Nearly 8 months and life is slowly creeping its way into normal here.
The onset of spring brought with it my usual change-of-season gloom. The sunshine and open windows, the fresh air and happy(ish) pedestrians... it all made me miss home.
But it wasn't so long this time, and certainly not so painful. And actually, spring here is kind of great.
Our first visitors arrived last week, just as the weather took a drastic turn for the better. It was like seeing the city through fresh eyes, the passersby practically bouncing in their light jackets, the bustling pedestrian street littered with cafe tables, the Danube glittering in the sunlight. It all felt a little magical.
And the best part... our fenced in yard where the beasts can roam free. So when Aiden starts chasing Finny with the broom, or Finn's tantrums have me pulling out my hair, I simply open the doors and breathe a sigh of relief as the whirlwind moves outside. And by the time they return, all that pent-up energy released, I'm almost happy to see them!
As always, spring brings new life... most notedly the life of my new nephew, Gavin! Born just a little over a week ago, baby Gavin has stolen our hearts from afar.
I loved him immediately, the second I knew he was born, but I felt the distance more acutely than normal. I left my first conversation with my sister in tears, knowing that a year ago I would have been right by her side, holding that baby in person, experiencing the joy of it firsthand.
But I understand that this is life now. And that the bond of family doesn't change or lessen with distance. It was actually something of a relief to feel such love for someone I never even saw a picture of, let alone held in my arms. And now that they are settled at home we can finally be together through the wonders of technology. Watching the baby, talking to the big sister, smiling and laughing.
It's not the same, but it's something for sure. And while Aiden's desire to "rub the baby's head" may be delayed some, it won't be forever, and before long I'll have that little guy in my arms (although he may be too squirmy to stay there!).
And so goes our life here now. I imagine the warm weather will jumpstart our weekend excursions to the city, where we'll wander the streets, eating ice cream and frequenting parks. The boys will continue their bike riding and us our family hikes.
I don't think I'll ever completely stop missing home, but I like that I can still enjoy life while I do. I like building memories here. I like that our family is closer than ever. I like that the boys are learning to adapt, that they're learning about different places and different people, that they can make friends with anyone, regardless of who is from where or speaks what language.
I like sitting out on our deck in the sunshine writing this blog, knowing that a few months back I was almost too scared to go outside. The sights, the sounds, the smells... they were all so unfamiliar, and they terrified me.
But now, they feel like home. It's a different kind of home, for sure, and certainly not the one of my imaginings. But, all things considered, and albeit some tougher moments, I think, perhaps, I am beginning to love it.