Friday, January 1, 2016

Falls Church Awakens

We sat down to dinner on Wednesday night, Peter's birthday, after having been in the car for two days, in our temporary corporate housing apartment, and everyone took a turn telling the family what they were most looking forward to in this new chapter of our lives. Turn the page. One chapter closes. A new one begins. Elise wisely pointed out that most families do not benefit from being able to clearly identify the end of one period in one's life and the beginning of the next. The India period ends. The Falls Church/DC period opens. 

Clementine said she was looking forward to taking ballet lessons. Sam said he was looking forward to joining a soccer team. Peter also said he was looking forward to Sam joining a soccer team (??). 

A lot has happened in the last two months that will not make its way into this journal. The last week, especially, as we travelled cross-country from Washington State to Florida, spent two days securing my mom's escape from the hospital, then spending two more days trapped in the car, driving from Florida to DC, has been challenging. To say the least. We arrived at 6:00 p.m. We'd been in the car since early morning. We drove through the driving rain, finally sticking in DC rush hour traffic. We couldn't have timed it worse if we tried. On Peter's sixth birthday.

We pulled into our temporary corporate housing apartment complex and were immediately greeted by old friends from Chennai. A few minutes later--as we unpacked the car--we were greeted at the door to our apartment by friends from Brasilia who had brought us a pot of spaghetti, groceries (including yogurt smoothies for the kids, wine, coffee filters, a zip-loc baggie full of sugar and another one with ice. Even homemade egg nog!), and chocolate cupcakes for the birthday boy. Our landing could not have been more seamless or soft. 

The one thing I do love about this apartment complex is how it is a nexus for all the lives (like ours) coming to or going from DC, either for work or training.  Like snowflakes, no two stories are the same. Everyone is coming from somewhere and going to somewhere else, like a giant airport terminal. And you meet people who have been to places you want to go, meet people going to places you have been, and see old acquaintances from the last time we were here two years ago. 

Coming back here is like going back in time. Nothing has changed, and it is as if the last two years in India could have been a vivid and wonderful dream. When we entered our temporary apartment, Elise and I were overwhelmed by a sense of relief, happy to have our own space again, regardless of how temporary it may be. "I'm unpacking," I told her. "I don't care if I have to pack up again tomorrow."

I leave in an hour to sign a lease on our new house in Falls Church, the place where we will call home for the next year and a half, the place where the next exciting chapter of our lives will unfold.