I think my family is more suited to long-distance living than others, given as we’ve been doing it for a while. It can make things a little complicated, to have my sister and I in the States, my mom and my other sister in the Netherlands, and a dad who flies back and forth between the two, but with Skype, Whatsapp, and frequent flyer miles, we make it work. It can make me kind of jealous, sometimes, when my friends take their family clans for granted, because I don’t have that and will likely not have that. But on a day-to-day basis, I think it’s a miracle my family has survived all that it has and come out as intact as it as, so who am I to complain if it takes some juggling of time zones?
This past weekend, though, I missed my family fiercely. Easter weekend always meant visiting my mom, eating sumptuous feasts, enjoying the sun in her yard, and other such low-key family togetherness. Easter has always been my mom’s holiday, while I associate Christmas much more with my dad. But this Easter weekend, I was stuck so many thousand miles away, and although I did make scones so we’d have some kind of special breakfast, it wasn’t the same and I will confess to crying a little bit that morning.
It’s something I’ve been working out over the past few months, as L. and I have gotten more serious: being with L., and imagining a happy future with him, means not forgetting about my Dutch side (as if that could happen–if I’m not paying attention and L. asks me something, I’m as likely to blurt out something in Dutch as I am in English) but kind of putting it on hold, if that makes sense. And as happy as I’ve been, it’s also been kind of a mourning process that there are some things I can’t share with L., because of language barriers or cultural differences or whatever.
This isn’t L.’s fault–he’s never been anything but appreciative of my Dutch side, and we already talked about the possibilities of moving to Europe for a while someday, and he listens to me talk about Europe with genuine interest. He practices the vowels in my name in an attempt to get them authentically right, texts me Dutch phrases with a little help of Google Translate, and tells me we can go to the Netherlands any time I want. So he’s doing everything right. It’s just the reality, that a future with L. most likely means living an ocean away from my friends and family and a place that still very much feels like home. I expect it will get easier over time, even if it’s a bittersweet kind of process right now.
But in the meantime, I’m particularly grateful for Skype, as it got me a little closer to my other home.
And for F., A’s boyfriend, who captured this picture of my mom and my sister, skyping with me and obviously having fun while doing it. It makes me homesick and happy at the same time, which, all things considered, is not a bad place to be.