Time to head off for summer. We haven’t been back to the States in two years and even then it was only for two weeks. When you head home from over seas for two weeks it goes by in a blur. It is always crammed with trying to visit with everyone, trying to fit in a visit to a unique place (so that it does actually feel like a holiday) and spending at least one day shopping and trying to nab as many bargains as possible in a 4 hour period. This time it will be for two months. It is the first year I join the hundreds of expat moms who head out of Abu Dhabi as part of the summer exodus. Two Months, 8 weeks, 59 days. However I put it, a lot more time to just relax and enjoy being back home.
I am originally from New York.
I have lived in various places in New York state but spent my teenage years in up upstate NY, not to be confused with the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. It is a sleepy quiet place where people just get on with their daily lives. It was a place I couldn’t wait to escape from as a teenager but now is a haven I eagerly escape to from the Abu Dhabi summer. This will be the longest period of time I have spent in this area since I left. I feel a bit excited and apprehensive.
Apprehensive. It is going to be a long summer without a nanny. Ok, I know that sounds bad, expatish perhaps. If I lived in the US, the likelihood of me having a nanny is nil. I never thought of myself as someone who can’t function without her nanny but the thought of not having her around scares me. I became a mother as an expat. I have only ever known mothering with a nanny to rely on. Mary Ann came into our lives a month before my first child was born. Having her around has kept my sanity in check and kept me from going over the edge. Will I be able to manage all 3 kids (ages 1, 3 and 5) without losing my mind when I am left on my own after my husband returns to Abu Dhabi? Optimistically I say, “Yes, I can do this,” however, if you have ever been to my house on Mary Ann’s day off, you would think otherwise. My mom will be around to help but she’s got her own things to do. I can’t expect her to look after my kids and clean the house…can I?
Excited. I left this area of New York more than 20 years ago (gosh, am I really that old already?) I have been an expat for the past 11 years, married to a Brit, now with 3 children who have only ever really known Abu Dhabi life. I feel like I have changed so much since I last was home-home but have I really? This summer we plan to take in all things Americana. I can’t wait to see all of this through the eyes of my children who will no doubt have the time of their lives. For me personally I want to get to know the area where I am from again. Take in the sites, the people, the food. It is going to be a real adventure for all of us.
So I have spent the entire week packing, cleaning out the closets as I carefully pack a small selection that will last at least a few days for myself and 3 kids. The goal is to pack light and buy clothes whilst we are there. If packing 4 suitcases, 1 carry on, a diaper bag, and 2 backpacks is packing light – then I have succeeded.
I plan on keeping you updated as our journey continues, but if you don’t hear from me until September, it must be because have no internet, the kids have taken me hostage and we are having an amazing time…..and having no nanny around to help has nothing to do with it.
HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!