We have been home in the US for two months now, and I finally feel like we are settled - into our temporary digs, our new routines.
I thought that once we landed back in the US, I would feel right at home, but instead I do feel like we are visiting, or better yet, just passing through. Perhaps living abroad gives you that perspective.
I only now, after our very first post, realize how many times people ask you "Where do you live?". Um....I don't know....here, well not really, but only for a while, we just got back, blah blah blah - there is no easy or short way to explain our deal.
DC has welcomed me home, as she always does. I beyond adore being a 20 minute car ride from my parents - seeing extended family and friends on a regular basis is a wonderful gift, and being in the same time zone for phone calls is refreshing. We are living in a neighborhood that allows us to walk everywhere, which is a wonderful change.
Flip the coin, as it were, and life here is taking some adjustment on my part.
After being in SE Asia for two years and not once questioning my personal safety, I had to overnight remember to be aware of my surroundings and keep my eyes wide open.
Some things feel very foreign - hash tags on twitter, shellac manicures, say what?
Also, stores in the US are FREEZING. And I have become el cheapo - Topping the list of things I refuse to buy - WATER. I always try to have water bottles for me and the girls when we are out and about, but PV (pre-Vietnam) if we were out and thirsty, I would gladly stop and pick up a bottle of water or two. Now? No way can I bring myself to pay $2 for a teeny bottle of water.
It is interesting to watch the girls interact with their new world. Water fountains, crosswalks, Poptarts and greeting card aisles provide endless entertainment and opportunity for instruction!
My tropical babies have definitely had to adjust to wearing shoes everywhere we go, and then not removing them as soon as they enter a building, a la Vietnamese style. Also, seatbelts took a good week of reinforcement. And one classic, mothering moment of "Don't make me pull this car over!"
Being in the US does take some adjusting. And wrestling. A two year old into a coat. FUN.