Friday, December 9, 2011

The Scanga family's coming home

The calendar is starting to lose meaning to me.  If I turn back four or five pages I am looking at dentist appointments, trips to my parents, days at the Pittsburgh zoo.  Just four or five months.  Was it only that long?  I think I may rip my calendar in half, break it into lifetimes.  This life... and that life.  It doesn't feel right to bind them together, to separate these worlds by a day or a week, to let them sidle up against one another like any old day next to any old day.

I turned the calendar today (just nine days late this month) and realized in a little over a week we fly home.  Home, to our family and friends and all that is both familiar and comforting.  But somehow, after four months of fantasizing almost daily about our life there, imaging where I would be, what I would be doing, recalling the exact texture and flavor of my favorite Turkey Hill ice cream... I just can't picture life there.  Real life that is, not the stuff of my fantasies.

I think mostly I can't picture myself there now.  Because when I do, it is something like an escape for me, from this life's reality.  It runs as a movie in my mind, takes me to a different time and place where I can pretend everything is perfect.

But as we're all well aware by now, life is not perfect, anywhere.  And while I mostly feel excitement, there's a lingering tinge of timidity.  Like the fear of walking right into your favorite tv show.  The very idea of chatting with the actors, of lounging in the armchair of  your favorite set, is overwhelmingly exciting.  But there's always the chance you ruin it... just by being there.  Or on the other hand, that you find it just so wonderful you can't possibly return to reality.

I wonder if it will feel different, or if I'll feel different.  I wonder what I'll love, and if there's anything I'll hate.  I wonder if I'll miss it here.  Which life I'll think of as home.  Or if it is possible to feel at home in both worlds.

I can be sure of some things, though.  The Double Dunker ice cream waiting in my parent's freezer.  Soft couches and warm homes.  Laughter and good food and the ability to relax again.  The people who love us most in the world, anxiously awaiting our arrival, counting down the minutes of our journey across the ocean.

I quite literally can't wait for Mexican food and drive-thru Starbucks, to chat with cashiers and understand what people are saying around me.  I am anxious to walk down the street, to smile and say "hi" and know (most of the time) it will be returned.

But most of all, I'm excited for my children.  I'm excited for them to experience the full adoration of their grandparents, the love of their family and friends, the people who poured into our lives for years, or decades, the people who most naturally and easily love them (even at their most unlovable).

The separation from these people remains the most painful part of watching our children grow overseas.  And while there are so many happy moments and these boys are certainly not suffering for lack of love over here, there is something very special waiting for us in the States this Christmas.

Worth the cost, worth the 18 hours of travel time, and most certainly worth the wait!

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