Friday, October 06, 2006


It is unanimous. We all miss home. Except that it isn't home anymore.

On paper, intellectually, the move to Canada is the best thing for our family. The politics are much better. The city where we're living is wonderfully diverse and full of culture. Our apartment is literally the nicest housing I've ever lived in. The department I am in is one of the best for my particular specialization, not just in Canada, but in North America, if not the world.

But we miss home. The tiny house which we would have needed to add on to if we'd stayed any longer. The huge yard that required constant attention. The horrible traffic to get anywhere outside our immediate area.

But... Also the walkable neighborhood with shopping and restaurants (oh, how I miss the Lebanese tapas!) easily accessible. A coffee shop that is second to none. An airport accessible by public transportation, another a short drive away, both with reasonably priced fares all over the US. Temperate winters.

Our first summer here, our son repeatedly asked to go home. It took him a long time to accept that we had a new home. And our move also marked the slow down of his verbal development. Not coincidentally, if I'm reading him right.

Issues in my relationship with my wife, things that have always been there but had been in some sort of stasis, boiled over. It was the first time we seriously discussed splitting.

After a hard three weeks trying to get our son's allergies under control, adapting to a new semester's schedule, and being seriously deprived of sleep, we're all homesick again. Our son is asking to go home, and he definitely doesn't mean our apartment. My wife and I are feeling crabby about the little things. We want our US television (specifically the Sci-Fi Channel, Space just isn't the same) and access to US internet sites (again mostly a Sci-Fi issue, but also some other sites are blocked when we try to access them from Canada). We want easy access to a Target and more options in internet shopping. We want to be able to buy our son's favorite, organic cereal bars (they're not allowed up here because of the added vitamins and minerals) and frozen, organic macaroni and cheese at Whole Foods. My favorite frozen vegetarian entrees are not sold in Canada.

When I visited my old school, everyone asked about Canada. I put on a happy face and stressed all the positives. I hesitate even to bring up the negatives here. I hate it when I complain like this. I don't want to be that person. I know why we moved, I know that I did not force this on my family, my being a student here was really more a means to our specific end. And yet I still feel responsible for our current sadness.

I know this will pass, I know that things will improve, I know that we can make this work. I just wish it were a little easier.

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