April 2, 2009

family “blending” abroad

This Saturday my husband and my seven year old son are heading to California for my son’s spring time visit with his father. Although I know these trips are needed for a flourishing relationship, I still can’t help but be teary eyed as the moment of truth approaches.

We have really made a life for ourselves here in Toulouse! Going to the “marche” on the weekends,taking our nightly walks and having our French neighbors over for dinner. I sometimes forget that there are other people waiting and longing for our return to America. It is so easy for me to become caught up in the reality that my oldest son is now a bi-lingual boy of the world! To see him get up every morning with a smile on his face to tackle a new way of learning and communicating is truly inspiring for me. I am in awe of him when we
take our evening walks and he can read the notices in the local bakeries or when he is able to give the hour of day to someone who requests it in French. I start to daydream about what would happen if we want to India, Africa or Asia together. How long would it be before he could master three languages and find “ZEN” at the young age of twelve?

Then I remember that he has a whole other family waiting breathlessly in California. His father, grandmother, uncles and cousins. How would they feel about him traveling the globe with me and only being able to see him on holidays or vacations? What if I wanted to travel to a so called “unsafe” region? Would he “fight” for him to come back to “safe” California? I am starting to realize that when my son and I hold hands on our Sunday walk or have our lunch together on Wednesdays that he is just on loan to me for a short spell. Then I have to give him up. France is AMAZING and it is easy to become smitten with this dreamy life. Being a blended family though has made me up wake up from my dream a little sooner then I would like.

As the tears flow on Saturday,I will be thinking to myself; is it really worth it?

Bises

Comments

  1. Karolina says:

    Oh my God, Jamila. This brought tears to my eyes. I am a Swede, living in Chicago. Thousands of miles from family and friends although luckli with my children’s father. My best friend lives in Orleans with her four kids. You’re right, when is the time to be selfish about these relationships? No easy answer.

  2. Jamila Avery says:

    Thank you Karolina for your lovely response to my posting! You are right no easy answers in these situations. We just do what we think will be best for our children and hopefully they will turn out to be well adjusted “citizens”. Those of us who choose this kind of life for our families are very brave I think. It nice to know I am not alone.

    Bises