When I was ten or eleven, I came to England all by myself. It was a blast! I felt so grown-up and played with my cousins and went and bought junk with my English money. Whenever I felt cold, Granny Margo made me go out and skip. I had a helium balloon, one of those silver ones, and took it outside to see it "deflate" and then inside where it "inflated", proving to me that air expands when it's heated. I ate A LOT of chocolate. I fed sugar cubes to a horse. I got family heirloom jewellery. I wore a plaid skirt, braided my hair so that it frizzed when it was unbraided, and wore warm socks. It was an awesome experience.
One afternoon, my dad called. On hearing his voice, all crackly and far-away, I burst into tears. I tried to say "I'm fine, I'm happy, I don't know why I'm crying" or even "Hello", but I was beyond speaking. I had to hand the phone to my baffled grandmother, and go and have a good cry.
Max says "I'm really sad. But I'm really happy. I want to live here, I love here. I love having two places that are home... But I'm so sad. Why is it so sad?"
I know, I know. I see it in the kids. They are happy, but they need to fuss about nothing sometimes. It's so hard to feel sadness and loss when you feel you shouldn't. We talk about it, how we love our home in Trinidad and miss it. But sad and happy is really hard to describe, isn't it?
I think that most of all, we miss our friends. We all do. Yesterday the boys Skyped their cousin Michael and spent an hour giggling, showing drawings, sharing youtube funny cat clips, talking about the skate park and remembering when. I know that the homesickness goes both ways: our friends miss us, too.
At this time of year, when we would normally expect our friends to have us around or drop in at a moment's notice, it's harder that usual to not miss them.
WE MISS YOU!