A trip down memory lane as we've just passed the one-year anniversary of landing in India. We celebrated by having brunch on Sunday at the same location where we brunched the weekend of our arrival. Good memories. Good times.
I wrote the following shortly after arriving ... and wanted to share them with you now. It's been a good year!
Originally written July 18, 2009 ::
I have neglected to provide a status update on the general well being of this family.
The first week was expectedly rough, as we recovered from jet lag. It affected us all differently, with the most pronounced issues being dizziness, a constant feeling of an upset stomach, foggy speech and thinking patterns, overheating very easily and quickly, and getting little to no sleep.
Everyone has seemingly beat the jet lag funk and as of last night, everyone is sleeping in their OWN beds, at the appointed time for sweet dreams, and waking up shortly after the sun rises.
Terran is adjusting marvelously and I think he's pretty excited for school to start (August 4th). He's already met several kids that are starting Grade 9, as well as one of the track coaches. His room is in massive disarray as we figure out what shelving and storage he needs, but his xBox is hooked up and that seems to be all that matters!
Tony is also doing really well, albeit a bit perturbed that he has yet to start school and has not been able to take a formal tour of the grounds. We've "snuck in" to see some of the classrooms and took a peek at his playground. He is such a kick, asking Rosy every morning to teach him a new Hindi word.
The boys will both be going to the same school, located on the same gated compound. They will be taken to school by the driver, Kushal, and Terran will walk Tony to the elementary school portion of the grounds.
Mia has been registered for playschool. We found a wonderful Montessori school that she started at yesterday. She was such a big girl ... when I asked her if she needed me to stay, she looked me and stated a resounding "NO!" All of the children in her classroom are Indian, as are her three teachers. I'm not sure what I think about her being gone EVERY morning (8:30 - 12:00) but we'll take it one step at a time and see if this momma can let go of her baby for "school."
Todd is still crazy busy at work and it seems that may never change. Always so much to do and not enough hours in the day. I think he is relieved that we are here now and that our family is complete again and on the same continent. He squeezes out every possible moment on the weekends and it's hard to let him leave for work in the mornings!
Me. I'm officially now an expat mum. Most moments I would say that I'm also doing great. India is indeed a magical place and it has so many facets of interest that I fear I will never be able to do it justice. I do have a very large part of my heart that is homesick. I miss my friends. I miss being able to pick up the phone and say "What's up?" without figuring in the time difference. I miss the "normalcy" of what I've been accustomed to for so many years. I miss knowing what to expect and I definitely miss the quiet of our house/yard and the smell of fresh air.
I am still working my way towards "organized" with all matters relating to staff, and the managing of this household. I am hoping to get the house fully unpacked and settled by the end of this week. As we get closer to our things finding their 'permanent home' and the walls dressed with familiar artwork and photos, this house is beginning to feel more like home.
This was a good move ... and it can only get better from here. My ability to put things into perspective has been challenged nearly EVERY minute since we landed in India. My mind struggles to keep up with the requirements to process so many things at any given time, and I can only imagine that because of it, I am changing ... with each of those minutes. Changing into a better me.
Originally written August 6, 2009
I miss my baby girl. She's going to school EVERY day in the mornings. I miss her. I miss her telling me that she loves "our mommy and Mia time"
I miss my boys. They are what brings this house to life, what with the loud music coming from Terran's room, the shreak of happiness from Tony as he discovers a new combination of superhero dressup clothes and the multitudes of drawings and coloring art projects.
I miss my husband. I miss him every day just MINUTES after we all part company for the day.
I miss my girlfriends. Terribly. I won't digress and get all sappy, but I miss you girls. Immensely.
I miss my schedule. I miss the chaos of being the person that everyone depends on for things getting done. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but I miss that. I feel a little like a small fish in a big ocean, not sure which way to swim.
I miss the crazy search for misplaced keys so that I can run to the store to pickup a special snack for the kids for dinner. I miss dropping by the post office to send my loved ones a note, a card or an art project from the littles. I miss it being cool enough in the mornings to go for a quick run.
I miss the convenience of a salon that is open at 9am for a pedicure and the ability to get everything on my "I need" list at Target, with a scrumptious macchiato from Starbucks (no clue how to spell that!) while I shop.
I miss the house being just ours. Staff is wonderful for the most part in that I do not shoulder the responsibility for cleaning, cooking or laundry. However, I really, really, really miss the option to stay in my pajamas all morning. I also REALLY miss the flexibility to just have our space, without feeling invaded.
Picture if you will ... that your family is staying in a hotel. You're there for awhile, so your suitcases are unpacked and there is ample room for your brood to stretch out. Now bring in housekeeping, the laundry service and the kitchen into that space. People underfoot, overhead and right next to you, for what feels like an eternity. I miss my personal space.
I'm having one of those days. One of those days that I read about in Third Culture Kids, whereby you may feel settled and actually are enjoying your time in your new city/culture ... but yet where you still just miss your normal.
To my previous existence ... my past life ... my past "normal" ... I miss you like crazy.
[Yep ... I know that it will be better tomorrow ... I also know that there are SO many things to LOVE about India, that I feel that I'm already in that class of women that will terribly miss India, whenever it might be that we leave here. I know all of that ... but I also know that for today, I'm sad and melancholy. Have any good songs to send my way to pick up my attitude?]
Will keep this in mind today ... as a reminder ...[taken on our way to Gurgaon, India]
Has it really been a full year? 365 days? So much has happened in YOUR lives ... so much has happened in OURS.
Our kids have grown a foot (really! Not kidding!) since you last saw them. There have been deaths, marriages, births, celebrations and grieving. We've missed out on the happenings of stuff from back home, and you've missed out on time with us, over here.
We've adjusted to flying ants during a 4th of July "bbq", wake up to the sounds of laughing yoga and have sweated more in the last year than we ever thought possible.
I now don't get uncomfortable when the guards all throw back their chairs from where they've been sitting the second I walk out of our house. Mia doesn't quite mind as much when locals pinch her cheeks or rub her hair. Tony doesn't get so perturbed at the high number of street dogs he sees, and instead just asks now if someone is feeding them. Terran has smiled this last year (with dimples) and that says something.
We miss the comforts of what used to be home ... but if I were to be honest with you? This is home now. We will be staying put in India for another two years - if all goes according to the plans - and I'm excited about that.
Stay tuned ...