Thursday, July 26, 2007

Leaving

I hate people. Not specific people, mind you – just people in the abstract. I’m the kind of person who walks into a party and heads straight for the food table in the corner. That way, I don’t have to try to make small talk with people I don’t know. People I don’t know are slightly terrifying to me.

Which is why it’s so funny that I live this kind of lifestyle. It takes me forever to warm up to people. It takes ages to get past the “how’s the weather” conversations. And yet, I move every few years and have to start those weather conversations anew.

Back when we first moved here, I wrote an article for the Foreign Service Journal called “Sick Overseas: Health Care and the Foreign Service.” (You can find it here.)

When I wrote it, I had just moved to Virginia from Kazakhstan. We left Kazakhstan early because of Aidan’s health. So we were new to Virginia, fixing up our new house while juggling Aidan’s myriad doctor’s appointments at Children’s Hospital. In the midst of all this craziness, I suffered miscarriage #2. So we loaded the boys into the car and drove to the hospital. While I underwent surgery, poor Bart had to chase the kids around the waiting room. Afterwards, at home, he had to take care of them and me. We had no other options: no family nearby, and no friends either. When I wrote the article, I was feeling rather sorry for myself, alone in the great friendless state of Virginia.

Fast forward three years, and I’m preparing to leave this neighborhood. The view from here is quite a bit different. Since that article came out, I’ve developed a network of dear friends and kind neighbors upon whom I can rely. Just in the past few weeks, my neighbors have all pitched in to help with this crazy move. One took Kyra and Aidan for ten hours so we could pack out and go to the emergency room (see previous post). One took Shay for two whole days and nights. One neighbor brought dinner. Some have taken us out to dinner. Several threw a backyard barbeque for us. This neighborhood, where I felt so friendless just a few short years ago, has become a haven.

I’m going to miss these people.

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