Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What do you miss?

Yesterday I enjoyed a lovely afternoon with my new German friend, Nina, that I met through the Kindergarten. Last week she invited little r and I to join her for coffee in her home, and I was all too excited to accept her invitation.  I had been studying my German in anticipation of this event, and it was barely needed.  Turns out Nina teaches English here in Germany and her English is probably better than mine.  In fact, her accent is almost nonexistent and it comes across more British than anything else.  She still spent most of our time together speaking in German and letting me practice speaking what little German I could, which I appreciated.  Knowing that I could break into English was an added comfort as well.

Little r and her son, Linus, played together really well. Linus will be three years old next month, and it's amazing to me how much they grow in just six short months.  She kept telling me that Linus was the same way as little r when he was that age, and yet Linus seemed so much more grown up and patient than my crazy little man.  I think it was fun for little r to have another boy to play with.  Seems as if all my friends here that have small children all have girls, and it's just not quite the same.

While we were enjoying our tea and our lovely German cakes (I indulged ever so slightly simply to remove any appearances of being rude - no one wants to be THAT girl that won't eat cake!), and she kindly asked me in German if I missed being at home in the United States.  I said, "a little bit" in response, but she wanted more, so she asked what it was that I missed.  "Friends and family," was my best response.

Although she still didn't want to believe me, we got into a nice discussion about the things Big R and I truly like about living in Germany, and how we haven't been terribly anxious to go least, not yet...

It got me thinking about what it is that I miss about being home in the U.S.  Honestly, being closer to friends and family really is not only at the top of the list, but also pretty much IS the list.  Oh sure, I miss the conveniences that go along with familiarity.  We all get comfortable going to the stores we like and buying food we are accustomed to.  None of these things are a necessity though, and for certain none of them are things I can't live without.  We have all of the other comforts of home available to us here.

I do miss the ease of speaking English to take care of things.  Although it's getting easier the longer we are here, there is still a small level of angst every time we have to call the cable company or get the car fixed, and the vast unknown about certain things can be slightly scary at times.  That aside, we have managed to surround ourselves with friends, including awesome German friends, that can help us if we need it. Our German is coming along well enough, that we can communicate our needs with the landlord if necessary or stumble our way through a phone conversation with Kabel Deutschland.

I, of course, also miss working.  Being a lawyer here in Germany does not come easy.  I am thankful for this time with my family though.  If we had stayed in the United States, I would most likely be working somewhere and I wouldn't have the experiences I have spending these formative years with little r and doing the list of projects I've been able to conquer for myself here.  Things always happen for a reason, right?

There is no doubt in my mind that at the end of Big R's tour here, we will be ready to go home. But will we? I think there will be many things on my list after we return to the U.S. when someone asks me, what do you miss about Germany?  

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