Because our focus had been mainly on houses, schools and telling the kids, I’d barely told anyone about our decision to move. So, the next step was putting it out there.
“I thought this day would never come…” Poor Dad was quite emotional and Mum thought I meant we were coming home at Christmas. And as for our friends, I was amazed and humbled by the overwhelming support and good wishes we received.
But there’s always one… “Why are you coming home so soon?” Wha-at? Ten years isn’t soon. We’d been talking about moving home for years! So what’s with the third degree?
I guess some people like to look for drama in a situation, or can’t see past the negatives to get to the positives. They’re the same type of people who question why you ever left in the first place.
Living as an expat, you learn pretty quickly that you need to surround yourself with positive people to make a go of things. Everyone has down days, days when you feel so lost and alone that you wonder why you thought a life of self-imposed exile was such a great idea. It can be very easy to spiral down towards despair. But it’s your friends – those wonderfully cheerful, like-minded souls – who snap you out of it. So when you come into contact with people who bring you down, or constantly bemoan your adopted country, you find yourself backing quickly away from them.
One thing I’ve noticed time and time again, is how my children seem to have figured this out for themselves. The kids they gravitate to seem to have the same attitude towards life as they do. I’m constantly surprised and delighted at how these little people know just how to support and comfort each other, particularly when they know when someone is about to move. These kids have a depth of understanding and empathy towards each other that seems old beyond their years.
While I fear it may not be easy for H and T to make friends initially, they know the “who” that they like. And they’ll become best friends with them, I have no doubt. They just haven’t met them yet!