Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Old Country

It's been stressful to set up shop here. Every day, it's a million phone calls to get myself and the Girl situated into Danish life. We found an apartment, bought a car. The Girl found a good language course for foreign doctors.

At times, I am excited. Mostly, I think about the kids. As I am typing, I keep glancing over at their pictures on the wall. I talk to Daughter every night on the phone and picture where she is in her room, whether she is sitting or standing. I wonder what it would be like to lift her up and touch her. Leaving them like this is a potent mixture of longing and guilt that often brings tears to my eyes.

I have a recurring fantasy about surprising them after school one day. It's torture, because it won't happen; but I think about the looks on their faces and the night that would ensue. We used to have nights together that I took for granted; trips to the YMCA, books in bed.

It will take some time for me to come to terms with living away from them. Daughter, of course, comes over to live here this summer. I can't wait for that moment when she moves here. Son is still too young to talk to on the phone and I am not sure he understands that we moved away. Towards the end, he would break my heart sometimes with his naive ways. A month or so before the move, we were running together, doing something I can't remember. He stopped and looked up at me and said "I'm a fast runner like you, Papa, because you are my Papa". Near the end, I would pull him close to tell him that it wasn't his fault that I was moving and that I would think about his every day. I told him it was the stupid doctor world, which made us do it. He didn't understand at all.

The Girl seems to be adjusting just fine. It's an adventure for her, of course. She is picking up Danish impressively quickly to the point where she can carry a slow conversation and watch Danish TV. It's a bit of an issue between us, that I would prefer to be in the US with the kids, while she would prefer to be here. I try to be as excited as I can for her sake and, at times, I am truly happy about being here. At the same time, it's brewing under the surface. I feel like if we hit some major setback here I would want to bail immediately, whereas she would want to stay here.

As you can see, it's hard. I think things will be fine in a couple of months.

Running-wise, we are both running lots of slow miles. We have an 8.2K race on Saturday, which looks to be fairly uncompetitive. Someone fast could always show up but I doubt it. There are "Christmas Prizes" so it will be interesting to see what the family brings home. Will post a report.


olga said...

Tough to read. At one point I had to make a decision to leave my friends and my older son behind, and for my son to leave his dad behind - so that my boyfriend wouldn't have to leave his son. Of course, there is much more involved, but somehow I thought this sacrifice is less than the one he would have to make. Knowing him, and learning more and more about him, tells me it will be a right decision. But only you guys can make yours.
Congrats on the win.

johny said...

here is much more involved, but somehow I thought this sacrifice is less than the one he would have to make.