This is one summer I will hold dear in my memory. A summer that had some of the best moments life has to give, continuing some of the best months we had as a family. A hell of a summer really. In the good sense.
73 days later…
It is time we go. The bags are packed (and jammed), the pool is empty, the goodbyes have been done.
‘Bye, we are going on the airplane, we will be back for Christmas!’Baby S
He says it half in joy, half in consolation of the faces he sees saying goodbye or throwing one last hug. He does not know when Christmas is or how long it will take. For him what matters is that we are coming back.
But now, it is time to make our goodbyes. Put the beach clothes away, leave behind what the children have outgrown, reduce the 73 days to 3 bags and 2 carry-ons. No small deed.
The beauty of the summer
The summer was filled with us, with the added benefit that we had family (and some friends) around. It was a summer where we dedicated ourselves to prolonging the best of the lockdown times – spending time together, laying in the sun, playing games, reading stories, tickling, dancing and hugging. It was also a summer where we dedicated our social times to our family, for the 5 months we were away in lockdown, for the fears we had in our hearts when this all started and we had little idea of where it would end. This summer, we started with cautious hugs covered in masks and ended in smiles despite the distance that promises to be long.
A summer of much growth together, of strengthening what we believe and love.
No anxiety at departure
It is unheard of. Through the last 16 years, rare has been the time where I have not been filled with anxiety when it is time to leave. In all honesty, I thought this would be the worst time of it all. Partially, we did not even come here earlier fearing we might just have a new normal that felt so normal we would not want to come back.
But indeed we depart with our hearts full and filled with memories and good times. I don’t feel like I am living it behind, I am bringing it along.
Building a new normal
Part of returning today is that we return with an open heart. We go to London with the hope that it will be a new normal. Whilst no-one wants to return to lockdown (even me deep inside), no-one wants to return to 2019. We have found each other in a way we don’t want to lose.
I hope to be there for the staggered drop-offs, do some socially distanced play-dates, take the children to a few sports activities, or even just greet them at the door when they get home. And I hope to find this new normal of coming in the office (by boat) for effective meetings and working home for effective thinking. I hope to find time for our family at the weekends and break it only for the build-up of memories with those around us. Those that we miss when we are in the land of the sun.
It is time
Today we board. We depart through this corridor of hope. We go with a smile of joy, for what it was, what it is, and what is to come.