This week we hit our two year mark. October 29th. I can't believe it's really been two years since we arrived in Thailand. As I expected, the time has flown by. Since the day we got here, I knew 2 years could never seem like enough. There's just so much to see and do, so many things to experience and learn. So many places to visit. No way could one family do it all in two short years when we also need to carry on a real life!
So, our time is coming to an end. We have six short weeks left, and until last week, I was feeling pretty sick about it. I imagined myself being happy to be home for a while (of course, why wouldn't I love to see my family and enjoy the holidays???), then after settling in, feeling like I'm ready for another change. I always have felt bad for the families who leave here; very few want to, and many are worried about the culture shock of going back to their home countries. It doesn't matter if it's Japan, Canada, the U.K. or the U.S.A., there's a culture shock there. I've worried about that a little with Jane, as she's spent twice as much time in Thailand than she ever did in the U.S. If you've never lived away from home (wherever that may be), maybe this makes no sense. I've always dreamed of living abroad. I've always dreamed of living in a big city. I've always dreamed of traveling the world, especially with someone I love. It's unbelievable to think that it's all happening. I'd hardly dare ask for more, but admittedly, I've wanted to stay in Thailand rather than return to our other life so soon. Until last week, that is. Maybe it's the feeling of the oncoming holidays. Maybe it was having Fay here for a week, loving my children like only family can. Maybe it was Jack on Halloween night amazed that kids were riding their bikes in the street, right by their houses! (Imagine that!) Or, maybe it's me feeling ready to have my own transportation that I can actually STRAP my kids into! Whatever it is, I finally feel ready to come home.
I feel ready to have a house. I feel ready to have a yard for my kids to play in. I feel ready to mow the lawn. I feel ready to only go to ONE store and be able to buy all the groceries I need. I feel ready to have Sunday dinners with family. I feel ready for my kids to spend regular time with their grandparents, to play with their cousins, and to remember how awesome their aunts and uncles are. I'm ready to live in a place where it's normal to have your three year old home with you. I haven't really felt homesick since we've been here. A little here and there after a phone call with parents, but not like I feel now. I am actually looking forward to coming home. I'm happy about it! And, thankfully, so is Jeff. Saying goodbye to Auntie Fay did it for Jack.
Just watching him have to say goodbye to Fay broke my heart. He looked at me after she walked off with those big eyes and just teared up. He was homesick for family and he didn't even know how to express it. We shed a few tears together, then talked about the things we still have to look forward to before we fly out. We realized we're finally ready!
I'm SO thankful for my homesickness. I never thought it would come. I thought I'd be leaving a big chunk of my heart here with unfinished business. Now I realize, although a part of my heart will always be here, I'm ready to take the rest to my family I'm missing so much. So, although I'll enjoy this last six weeks in Bangkok, (and they will be filled weeks!) I know I'll feel much more ready to step on that plane than I thought. It will be hard, but how could it not be after all the growing up I've experienced here?
Living in Thailand has definitely been an adventure. I think the next chapter of our lives (part of which will include trying to remember how to be a Utah housewife) just might be our biggest adventure yet! Especially come May (drum roll please...) when we welcome the next baby Hillman into our home! As much as we would have loved to experience the medical care in Thailand, we are THRILLED that we will be near family when our little one is born! Even though our child will be born in Utah, we keep being reminded, as the news is getting out, our baby was "Made in Thailand", and not to forget it. Now, to think of a Thai name for this little one... any suggestions?
So, SIX more weeks of delicious, cheap pineapple and mangoes. SIX more weeks of cheap transportation and not having to use parking lots. SIX more weeks of sweating when you walk out the door. SIX more weeks with our Bangkok family. SIX more weeks of the language, smiles from strangers, all the delicious food, and living a life we'll likely never live again. It's been a wonderful two years, but the time has come, and I'm happy to finally feel ready.