Monday, August 12, 2013

Farvel Danmark

I don't like leaving, and yet we are all always leaving. We decided at the beginning of August that we are moving back to the United States at the end of the month. There are many things I am looking forward to about moving to my home country, but there are so many things I will miss about this amazing country that I have come to love.

I will miss the friends we have made here, many of whom were instrumental in helping us survive my pregnancy and our early days with the twins. I will miss the bakeries. I will miss their pastries and also their amazing breads. I will miss taking Riley to Lagkagheuset and leaving with his free child's roll in a small brown bag. I will miss taking our huge strollers on busses, walking past the city's canals every day, hearing English spoken with a Danish accent, passing days or afternoons at Tivoli, talking to neighbors in our courtyard while Riley plays in the sandbox or on the pirate ship play structure. I will miss the Danish people who think they are unfriendly but who are actually kind and generous in their own quiet way. There is so much to miss.

Neil jokes that if we had to sum up our time in Denmark in two words those words would be "We reproduced." This is funny to me because on the one hand, it is true, we moved here with a 7 month old and are returning with a 3 year old and two 4 month olds. But children, while perhaps the most important thing to happen to us, were not the only thing to happen. We traveled, oh did we travel. We had my dream European vacation at least four times over. And we became a part of a community here. We learned to live abroad, immersed ourselves in another culture to the point that nothing here seems strange anymore except the language.

I fell in love with Denmark. A friend recently remarked that living here is like being at Disneyland, you can't stay forever. It is true. It's easy to live in Denmark. Sure, there are problems here, but compared to most places, it is utopic. Our experiences with the schools here have been outstanding. I feel it is almost criminal to take Riley out of the fantastic little bornehavn he just started attending in June. My time at the hospital was so positive in so many ways. Our family doctor is outstanding. Our neighbors are nice. We can bike, walk or take public transit everywhere. It just feels good to be here and I am so sad to be leaving this place and the people who make this place special for us.

I look forward to being closer to my family and in the same place as much of Neil's family and I am sure I will enjoy things like understanding other people's conversations, reading signs, going to Target, etc. But right now I am determined to soak in as much Denmark as possible before flying to Oregon with two 4 month olds, a three year old and a 14 year old dog (and Neil and cousin Brittany). You just know that day will make for a good blog post or two.

Movers will come this Thursday and take all our belongings and put them on a boat. As we go through our flat and sort and pack it feels like both yesterday and a lifetime ago that we were doing the same thing in our apartment in Washington, DC in preparation for our Denmark adventure. I hope our next adventure will be just as good as this one has been.

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