Saturday, November 22, 2014

New York dreaming come true

"Look mommy, I'm drawing myself", Zoe said as she drew a picture of herself as well as her house on the whiteboard in my office. I had taken her into my office on this afternoon because I had to work late and had hoped she would enjoy the theater piece that was going on, as part of the opening ceremony for our new building. The play was a bit too adult and she was very hungry, so when it was finally over (and she had eaten all my colleague's crackers) she was excited to run around the offices and get to know my PhD students. But she was very specific when one of them came to ask her if she wanted to be shown around. "I'm drawing this for my mommy, but I'll come afterwards". I praised her artistic skills and we hung up one of her drawings she had brought from daycare. "I'm drawing this for you so you can think of me when I move to New York", she continued. Oh, was all I said first. I knew I actually hadn't told her anything because I wanted to make sure things were settled. "So when are you moving to New York", I then quizzed her. "When I'm this old" she said confidently and held up both her hands. 10 years. "Are you moving on your own?", I asked and she nodded, ah ha. "But if you are moving there then I'm moving with you", I continued, already imagining this lovely scenario. "But mommy, then you have to take another airplane, I'm moving there by myself", she then replied. She was certainly not letting her mom tagging along just like that.

A few days later I was able to tell her that her dream is coming true, except she will have her mom tagging along. We are moving to New York! For 6 months. I am going to New York on a mini-sabbatical from January 2015 to work with some awesome researchers at a great university there. Zoe is going with me for part of the time. Getting my apartment rented out, finding a temporary place there and getting a visa has all been smooth sailing compared to the negotiations with her dad in terms of taking her with me, though. Of course if you ask Zoe if she wants to go with me to New York for 6 months she does not hesitate to answer excitedly yes. She has a good friend there and I have already signed her up for acting and dancing camp, something she is very excited about because it will be in English. But we share custody and her dad needs to see her too. So instead we are cutting her in half, sending her over to me a month and a half after I arrive and sending her back early too. The joy I feel over going there is most often overshadowed with the pain of being without her for several periods of 3 weeks. But I try to be strong and look forward to getting away from Stockholm for a bit. In any case, New York, here we come!

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