So Autumn is officially here although it is still hot, at least for our Scottish blood, and the trees are still mostly green. But since the warm weather is edging behind us I thought it might be a good time to reflect on the Summer a little.
We are incredibly lucky to have had a lot of visitors this year: my parents; my in-laws; some of my oldest school friends; and one of Hubby’s friends. That is the beauty of living on the East Coast, it is only a 7 hour flight away from home. It felt like the house was busy (in a good way) and full of fun all summer.
Obviously we did some trips and saw the local sights with our visitors and enjoyed some time together. Hubby and I also very much enjoyed having babysitters so that we could escape for a rare date night and even one overnight stay!
We also managed to fit in some family trips away so that we could explore a bit more. We’ve spent some time in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and the Poconos as well as fun day trips along the way. I feel like we’ve really gotten to explore the East Coast and ticked a few places of our wish list!
On top of all of that, we had a lot of birthdays to celebrate with me, my daughter and husband all turning a year older within a month. My daughter had a party for all of her friends so I really feel like we have managed to fit a lot into the summer months. Our bank balance would certainly suggest we’ve done a lot!
However, with each set of visitors that we had, we found a certain lull when they left. It was wonderful to have all of them here. To be able to hug our nearest and dearest (not easy on video chat!) and to just chat about our day was a joy. To be able to show them around and spend quality time with them was amazing. When they left though, their absence was more noticeable than before they arrived. You get used to chatting by text/video chat and that becomes the norm. When they are here with us and then leave though, we miss them – and home – all the more. We are reminded what we are missing!
The kids definitely feel it too. When visitors leave, especially their grandparents, we have about 5/6 days of emotional outbursts. Over nothing. Well, not nothing – obviously it is really about them missing their grandparents – but the thing they say they are upset about is nothing! The week after someone leaves is an emotional rollercoaster for everyone. There are tears and tantrums almost hourly and everyone needs more hugs than usual but we get through it.
It is hard being so far away from friends and family but in a way, I feel like it has brought us (Hubby, me and the kids) closer. We are all feeling sad and we are missing home and we talk about it together. My kids haven’t really had to live the military lifestyle until we moved here. We have been very lucky and haven’t had long period apart or had to move every two years, up until 2018. For more on that see Go Big or Go Home. I don’t like that they have had to adjust to moving and making new friends, through no choice of their own, but I think they are stronger for it.
It is hard, especially for young kids, to deal with their emotions, let alone big emotions like being away from your family. However, I hope they will come out the other side more rounded and confident kids. We will be going home to Scotland for a visit after Christmas and I know we will have some more emotional times ahead, mixed with jet lag – oh joy! However, I know as a family we can get through it and hopefully reduce the number of tantrums as we ride that emotional rollercoaster… we can but dream!
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