Home sickness…..

We went and saw Bridge to Terabethia this weekend. It was a good movie. Now I am home sick to the point that I cry when I look at a photo of the US. The movie reminded me of what we used to do when I was a kid. I grew up in a little farming community named Tomball in Texas. We lived just outside of town in a heavily wooded area and used to go exploring the woods like they did in the movie. We would spend hours out there. The smell of the trees and the feel of the soft, wet earth is something that I will never forget. It is a part of me. It is in my blood. My brother was a cowboy. He used to rope cattle and ride bulls in the rodeo. I even miss the smell of the stables and the sound of the farms.

Sometimes I mourn the life we left behind. I feel sad that my kids will not know the way the woods smell in the morning, or how the peacocks sound at sunset. I feel sad that they won’t experience a real July 4th or know the feeling excitement at seeing a home run in a big baseball stadium. High school football games, and proms……….Homecoming and Sadie Hawkins dances………….Parades and Christmas………….. I miss home.

I don’t regret that we are here, but I do feel like I have taken something away from my children. I feel like I have taken some of their heritage away from them. I don’t know. I am so happy that we were given the opportunity to live here in the UAE and I wouldn’t change it right now, but I am still sad. I grew up seeing the rolling hills of West Texas and smelling the rain on a stormy Spring night watching the weather reports with excitement as the tornadoes rolled across the planes, and while that is sometimes scary, it is still part of who I am. It is part of my life that I want my children to know about. I am a southern gal who went cow tippin in the balmy summer evenings and sat around bon fires with my friends whispering about the cute boy on the other side of the fire. I was in band and belonged to the newspaper club and lived for the day I turned 16 so I could drive. My kids won’t have any of that here. What they will have instead is knowledge of the world and of a different culture. That is great, don’t get me wrong. I am still mourning what I took away from them though.

Does any of this make sense? Am I the only parent that feels this way? Am I the only crazy person who gets depressed about this sort of thing?

~JAM

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3 thoughts on “Home sickness…..

  1. Anonymous says:

    It definitely makes sense, JAM. I’ve felt that way too. And now, we’re leaving, and I realize how attached I’ve become to this place. I’m happy to be moving to our new situation, but I’m sorry to be leaving some of the things I’ve so enjoyed about being here. Relieved to be going “home,” yet sad to be leaving this fascinating place behind.You should write your personal history, or some personal essays, so that someday your kids can at least read about your youth. Or you can read to them about it. It sounds like you’ve had some great experiences (I enjoyed your descriptions!)–write them down while they’re fresh in your memory. Your kids will love it someday, if not now.Just my 2 cents. 🙂I want to see that movie too. I remember liking the book.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    What your kids will gain from the experience of living abroad is priceless. Although you have special childhood memories that you would like your children to experience, they will be making their own memories that they will hold dear when they grow older. They may someday say, “I wish my kids could experience the special times I had growing up in the Middle East.” Also, remember that it is easy to think of your home country in a much more positive manner when you live abroad, and even easier to forget the negatives. As an American who has lived overseas for 11 years (and about to move to the Middle East for the first time in two weeks, to Al Ain), I know that I always had such fond feelings about the USA when I first left home. After a number of years abroad, though, I began to realize why I love the expat life and will never live back in the US again; life seems more full, and the experiences I have always keep me on my toes. It is a daily learning experience, one that I wouldn’t trade for anything.I don’t have children, but if I did, I would keep them abroad so that they could be exposed to as many different kinds of lifestyles, cultures, and languages as possible. This would be enriching, and I think that your kids are extremely fortunate to have you as a parent. The most interesting people I have met have been those who were raised living abroad or travelling extensively while growing up; it opens eyes and minds to what typical Americans have no knowledge of. So, I take my hat off to you. Don’t ever doubt your choice to live in the UAE; your kids will thank you for it when they are grown!

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