It’s happened. The illness I thought I would never, could never have is upon me. Homesickness has invaded my brain. But why now?
Is it because our time here in Melbourne was recently cut short, our bodies mentally ready to reenter our normal, American lives, only to be lengthened again without a confirmed end date to our expat-hood? Yes.
It is because I recently took a trip to USA Foods? Yes. It’s a trip I thought I would never, could never take. What does one expect at an American food store? Now I know. Grape jelly. When grape is not a flavor of jam offered in Aussie grocery stores a mom will go to great lengths to find it. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches just aren’t the same without it and I’ll gladly pay $8/jar for happy children. We passed on basic Cheerios for $10/box, but noted the canned pure pumpkin and Thanksgiving tableware for the future.
Is it because our actual house is torn apart? Yes. Natural Disasters happen but they don’t happen to us. That would never, could never happen. But, it did. Our finished basement is no longer a finished room but an empty cave right up to the studs.
Am I homesick because we missed babies being born? Yes. Being this far from home has taught me a lot about communication and friendship. Thanks to Alexis and Pete for taking that extra step to send a baby announcement 10,000 miles across the globe. Even though I told them not to mail it and even though I saw many baby pictures on Facebook, receiving the announcement in the mail made me feel remembered.
Am I homesick because I don’t want to forget or be the one forgotten? Yes. Snow was falling on that March morning we left our New Jersey home. I hardly remember looking out our bedroom window. It has only been 7 months.
Also, I worry. I worry about my dog. I worry about my daughter’s school registration process back in the states. I worry about any minor loose ends.
Previously, I thought I was the kind of person homesickness would never, could never inflict. I was wrong. I love Melbourne but I love home too. For now I, along with my kids, rock out to Bon Jovi, Springsteen and Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind on the radio, looking forward to that first trip home.