Monday, April 25, 2016

Closing in

I have been ignoring it for two months but now it is getting real. In two days, Zoe will be picked up by her dad, go on vacation with him, the girlfriend and some of his friends. Then we are all going to a conference before they fly back with Zoe for her to spend the rest of the school year in Stockholm. I will not be able to see her for two months, since I can't go back before the end of June when my holiday starts. Well, in theory I could go back, but then I would not be able to return (visa issues) and I would not be able to work and have a salary for the summer. Not unlike last year where I had my first two months ever without Zoe. They were some of the hardest days I have ever had, but we survived.

This evening, as Zoe was happily playing with some of all her birthday presents from Saturday, I started thinking of the reoccurring theme: How will this lifestyle of living in two different countries, of having to switch context often, of having two sets of friends, yet being far away from extended family, how will this affect Zoe? How will she deal with it later on when her opinion will matter more? Will she be able to understand why we live in two different countries? Will she like one country above another? I occasionally mention things about moving, both because my future is uncertain, but also just because I'm subletting and can't stay here forever. Today I said something about next time I find an apartment and she flinched, looking up at me. "No mommy, no mommy, I want you to be here." She wants to stay exactly here in our tiny apartment, going to her wonderful local public school with her wonderful friends, taking acting and dance classes a few blocks from here. I realized that she likes stability, because in her life she has seen very little of that. Today on our way home from acting class, we counted just how many apartments she has lived in. Eight different apartments, four different cities, three different countries. And she is turning six.

Later we sat in the bed with pajamas and duvets, watching Muppet Show, the one with Debbie Harry, Zoe's favorite. We both sang along to all the songs and laughed at the grumpy men while outside the window, the Empire State Building shone its signature color. I wrapped my arm around her and hugged her extra tight, knowing it was the second last night in a while. But right now, I was able to just enjoy the moment, just the way things are and life just didn't get much better than that.

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