“What do you miss most?”

People who ask me this generally follow it up with a Marmite joke, but I’m delighted to report that it is pretty easy to get hold of Marmite in Luxembourg – you can find it nestled between HP Sauce & golden syrup in the “world foods” aisle of most supermarkets, and if all else fails there’s always Little Britain

Here, however, is a list of things that have actually made me feel weepily homesick since we moved:

  • An email telling me that my daughter had a place at the Rainbows group that one of her best friends goes to.
  • Cute photos on Facebook of my children’s friends having lots of fun on play dates with other families.
  • Dropping off visitors at the airport – my son once expressed this feeling perfectly by refusing to wave to my mum because he didn’t want her to be going.
  • Facebook again: all the school uniform photos in September, especially a friend’s glowing account of her son’s first day at my daughter’s old school.
  • Turning back after getting stuck in a motorway traffic jam while attempting to take my son to playgroup (something that I often did on foot in our old house).

Just in case that all sounds a bit negative, here are a few things that have put a big happy grin on my face recently:

  • Family outings to the amazing local swimming pool, where the children love the wave pool & water slide.
  • Watching my son (& more recently also my daughter) have fun and learn new skills at Little Gym classes – last night they were both excitedly showing me the forward rolls they’ve been learning to do there.
  • A couple of excellent family events: the Little English Bookworm‘s Summer Reading Challenge party, and the British Ladies Club Halloween party. Both were brilliant, and it was lovely to be greeted by friends as we arrived and to see the children happily playing together.
  • Play dates and playground meetups where I’ve been able to have actual grown-up conversations while the children happily play alongside new friends.

Overall I think it’s interesting that at the moment, the things that I sometimes feel homesick about are mostly to do with the way our move has disrupted our children’s activities and friendships, but my highlights are also mostly about their new routines and connections. Moving with children makes things more complicated in some ways, but I’m very aware that without the easy contacts with other parents that having children brings, I’d be feeling a whole lot lonelier right now!

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