It has happened to so many people that we have known here, yet it still came as a bit of a shock when it happened to us. We’re coming home for Christmas, and we’re staying for good. It has all happened very fast and the details are all very boring, but the bottom line is that Jon has been offered a very good job staying with the Cleveland Clinic. He will have to travel back and forth a few times in the New Year, but we will stay and start the next chapter of our lives.
I am very excited to get home and be closer to family and be with everyone more consistently. I am excited for Amelia and Charlie to see what living in America is really like. As far as they are concerned, Cleveland is vacation, camp, family visits, all the fun stuff. They say they are “so excited” for the winter at home and to take some skiing lessons. And I am too. But, I am anxious and sad too. We have had a wonderful 4+ years in Abu Dhabi. We have made some life long friends from all over the world. Speaking of all over the world, we have done some amazing travel and I am already mourning that loss. Yes, we will travel around the US and I am excited to take the kids to see what America has to offer, but China for Eid break? I’m gonna miss that. I am even going to miss all of the multi-cultural frustrations we have here from time to time. Because they have been an insight into other viewpoints and a realization at times, of how lucky we are to be Americans.
I am anxious that even though we are moving back to our fabulous neighborhood with amazing neighbors, we are starting over too. It will be a new school and new friends for all of us. I have been able to live on the periphery in Cleveland for the last 4 years, with a handful of great girlfriends, who I can pick up where we left off with. But now I will have to dive in and invest in more people.
Charlie summed it up best tonight as we were getting ready for bed and he seemed a little sad, “I just wish we could have both, I just wish we could have our friends in Cleveland and in Abu Dhabi, all in one place”. And I tried to explain to him that we do have both, in our hearts. It is funny to be looking at this from the other side now. As excited as we are to get “home” now, it really feels like we are leaving it too.