Friday, August 8, 2014

Russian chocolates

The day before I went into labor, Ethan and I celebrated our one year anniversary.  In lieu of how we imagined we would celebrate (a trip to Kyrgyzstan, camping in a yurt), we instead spent the day doing more low-key activities--namely, buying houseplants, eating at our favorite Sichuanese restaurant in the Maryland 'burbs, and visiting a few of the adjacent "ethnic" grocery stores, one of which was a Russian/post-Soviet Imperium grocery store.  There, we came across these chocolates, which I encountered in many grocery stores in Russia. I remember bringing these home as souvenirs for friends in Portland.

That trip feels like a lifetime ago.  I think often of that trip.  I guess it could have been any trip. Replace the Tran-Siberian with a trip to Italy or Chile - whatever.  That trip marked an inflection point in my life; so much changed after that time.

One of the surprising things I've found about motherhood is that it has strengthened my resolve to live/work abroad again.  Moving abroad again has always been our plan, but there's another dimension to it now. When I found out I was pregnant, my mind clung to an image of me, Ethan and our child in Cambodia or another country. Perhaps it's because that's where this story began (where Ethan and I met and fell in love).  Perhaps it's because I was exposed to many expat mothers raising their families in Cambodia, Thailand, elsewhere.  And/or, perhaps I'm clinging to a way of life that may no longer fit.  I'm not sure; it's probably a mix of all three.

With M's arrival, Ethan and I talk a lot about living abroad again.  It pains our families to hear that we plan to move abroad with M in a few years. While life certainly has its twists and turns, I hope that when the right opportunity presents itself, we will have the courage to go through with the move.

But that won't happen for a few years, I think.  And right now, there's a lot to relish about life in DC.

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