Sunday, June 11, 2006

The other side of the pond

We made it! It's been a week now, so jet-lag is mostly behind us and we're having a great time. It was a huge relief to finally see my dad, and I'm so encouraged by the progress he's made since we got home. We are off to central Washington on Monday, a trip I wasn't sure he would be up for - but he is, and we're all looking forward to some swimming and sunning in Chelan. It will still be another month until he's on his feet, but every day he gets a little closer.

The kids traveled well, and both are having a good time with their grandmas and grandpas, although Nora is pretty sure she'd like to go back home now, anyway. She has had this idea that we should just get a different airplane, ever since I told her ours won't be ready for a few weeks yet. She was thrilled when we drove past the Boeing factory - those triple-7's were calling her name. It wasn't pretty when I drove right by, though (I mean, it was a shopping trip, for crying out loud - couldn't we even stop and browse?). I'm not sure if she's more interested in actually getting home, or just getting back on a plane, where Donald-Duck-on-demand beams down from the seat back in front of you, and pretty xiaojie's come calling when you press the right button.

Cole is enjoying himself, having discovered great troves of books to sink into. His Grandpa Marc took him clamming this morning in Dugualla Bay - which reminds me, I think there are some gifts of the sea in Cole's pocket I need to deal with.

I am enjoying myself, too. I find I am less irritated by - well, by America - than I was four years ago when I came home after our first year in Taiwan. Yes, the people here are huge; yes, everything is too expensive; yes, people still think I live in Thailand. Still, it doesn't bother me like it used to. Maybe I dealt with it all that first visit home, and it's not a shock anymore. Or maybe I feel less defined by American culture now, and therefore don't suffer the same pangs of disenchantment. Either way, it makes for a pleasanter visit, and for that I'm grateful.

Tomorrow is a busy day, with a low, low tide, maybe some sun breaks, and two kids who could use some tide-pool adventures. We're happy to be here. I hope you are having a good summer, too, wherever you are.

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