Sunday, June 10, 2012

Homesick

I should be writing about the wonderful Paris weekend we just had - including the best crepe ever, the long-awaited return to Popelini, finally seeing the inside of the Opera Garnier, and a well-overdue lunch at Kunitoraya, all accompanied by the ever-good-natured and oh-so-helpful-with-Baby-Oil Uncle Pumpkin. 

Instead I find that that particular post will have to wait because I find myself needing to admit that despite all the wonderful Paris-ness about our lives, I'm homesick.  It snuck up on me, and I didn't notice until today that it had lodged itself in my psyche.  I know it will go away, but right now, in this moment, I really miss home.  Which means America, and DC, and family, and friends.  I hate missing the first of three summer weddings that we will miss (the first takes place today). I hate missing the wedding shower for the soon-to-be-Mrs.  Yes, we are starting to build a community for ourselves here, but it doesn't change the fact that our friends back in the US are incredibly dear to us, and I miss them.  I hate that it takes two weeks for me to be able to actually get on the phone with a friend. I hate that I still haven't met my nephew, who is now 3 months old. I desperately miss American television.  I could really use some grandparent support as my energetic toddler with no appreciation for quiet in the early morning is honestly draining me (though we are counting the days until Banana and Papa R arrive!).

It is true that many aspects of our Parisian life are enviable.  And no, I'm not ready to give up and head back to the US. But this country remains a foreign place, and one in which we are still very much outsiders. Last week I had a friend over for a play date (well, technically our kids were having the play date).  She had a bit of an expat breakdown in my living room - we've all had them, I promise - and in a way I think that released something in me. I've been holding in some emotions of my own in the name of the game face, an optimistic outlook, and the fact that I do still feel incredibly fortunate to be having this experience.  As everyone knows, and many years of therapy have reinforced, holding in emotions doesn't actually help.  So I'm trying to let them out, let them settle, and I know that just like Baby Oil's 5am wake-up time, this is also a phase. It'll pass.

A hot shower and a good night's sleep will help.  And this week I'm going to make real American chocolate chip cookies.  That will definitely help - and I get to use French butter.

2 comments:

  1. When I first moved to France I would get homesick or blue for no apparent reason, and a few days later it would be Mother's Day or another occasion that made me feel soooooo far away.

    I don't think it ever gets easier, but I do think that over time I have learned how to deal with it better. And it's almost worth it when my friends or family come to France. It's so fun to show them around. So as sad as it is to miss weddings and stuff, your friends and family still have a personal tour guide in Paris.

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  2. Gertrude Stein's brother got homesick after 30 years in Paris. Just woke up one day and wanted to be able to joke with the postman. 70 years of age and he still called the US "home". I guess you just never know when it is going to hit you...

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