Saturday, October 20, 2007

Miles Away, But Never Forgotten

Yesterday Jack came home from nursery school with a little booklet called All About Me. On the front cover is his self-portrait, a long-legged spider-looking stick person with a big happy smile, standing underneath a cherry tree. And below that he's written his name, clearly, with the J capitalized and the -ack in lowercase letters.

The next page, entitled My Hand Print, shows a print of Jack's hand dipped in paint. The following page is called My Family, and there he has drawn all four of us -- smiling, long-legged spider-looking creatures with distinct differences of hair (Daddy: none; Mommy: big and loopy; Jack: something akin to a Charlie Chaplin mustache) and height (Sophie: smaller than everyone else, with the same big hair as Mommy).

The last page is My Friends. On it Jack has drawn a lone, smiling, long-legged spider-looking green guy. At the bottom of the picture, one of the nursery teachers has written the green guy's name: Levi.

Even though he has several friends at church and nursery school here in England -- little boys we get together with for play dates, picnics and Sunday afternoon rides on the miniature steam trains in the park across the road -- Jack still considers Levi to be best friend. Even though Levi and his family still live in Cyprus. Even though we left nearly two years ago. (Can it be?) Even though that's almost half of Jack's lifetime.

There are days when I'm awash in the emotion of missing friends and family among whom I/we used to live, days when it feels wrong not to be part of one another's daily lives anymore.

Today, as I'm confronted again by the reality that our children's hearts will experience the same underside of this nomadic lifestyle we've chosen, is one of those days.

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