Tag Archive: home

when i’m not sleeping.

i have been having trouble falling asleep these last few nights. this is something i have become completely unused to, & i don’t really like it. i had my share of insomnia as a teenager, but especially since m was born, i can usually fall asleep at the drop of a hat. anywhere. anytime. d, who does have quite a bit of trouble getting enough restful sleep is often jealous of my remarkable sleeping abilities. but lately… i’ve done a lot of tossing and turning, & of course, my brain goes into overdrive in during those lying awakeawakeawake hours.

here are some things i’ve been thinking about:

1. missing home. now that we’ve left the coldest canadian capital & returned to ontarioland again, i miss my parents. i miss my friends. i miss my cinnamon buns & having my eyelashes freeze. m wakes up in the night calling out for omi and opa, & every time that happens, my heart breaks a little.

2. reading so many books before next december & actually understanding them. this is actually something i spend a lot of my time thinking about. literature kind of terrifies me. i love to read, don’t get me wrong, but Literature is another matter entirely. especially German Literature. (you will note that i have capitalized these nouns to emphasize how in awe of them i am. usually i capitalize only the word God.) i have a pile growing in my apartment. i have a pile growing in my office. i brought a bag of books from my parents’ place. taking the volumes of goethe and schiller off the shelves made me swallow. the books i have are old, & the smell kind of weird. when i stare at those piles of unread pages, i cringe with something, but i’m not exactly sure what the feeling is. fear, certainly, but also excitement? and anticipation? and a whiff of disbelief that i will actually be able to digest the contents of that forest of stories. i haven’t read a single one yet. starting tomorrow, that adventure begins.

3. my parenting. people have different opinions of my continuing to breastfeed m. even i have different opinions. over the holidays, he nursed a. lot. i was exhausted. he wasn’t eating properly. i’m not sure if that was due to a stomach bug he had before we left, or to the fact that he was nursing so much. but he hasn’t nursed with that ferocity since he was quite little, in the days when i imagined two years of nursing stretching out into the vastness of eternity. i wonder how i am going to wean him in a way that works for both of us. i’m not sure how. but i know that i need to wean him, & i don’t want to do it cold turkey, because that seems mean to me somehow. another issue entirely is our use of two different languages with him, not to mention english, which he hears on sesame street & from people we know. he heard quite a bit of it in the coldest canadian city, actually, more than he does here, since most of the people we know here speak german to him. in this case, though, it is not a case of doubting our decision to raise m trilingually, rather pride at how far little m has come, & how quickly and eagerly he is using both german & french, & how he busily negotiates the language systems & their place in his world. i love listening to him enact conversations with ernie and cookie monster, or cow and sheep, (who are all very polite it seems, saying “ja, bitte” and “merci” faithfully). i am so fiercely proud of that little boy. which brings me to point #4.

4. why is it that academia & motherhood have to be mutually exclusive?? this drives me crazy! i have recently had a series of experiences that underlined what i already knew, but this is another post entirely.

tomorrow is my first official day as a phd candidate. i am excited for the adventure ahead.

here we go!



home again.

on sunday we flew home. there was an hour delay, lots of wriggling on the airplane, some tears, no sleep… but we survived and arrived.

coming home always mixes me up inside. most of the time, when we’re in our ontarian home, it’s okay. we have our family of friends, we have our work, our church community, our routines. we drink our coffee, keep our skype dates with omi & opa, with friends in canada and in germany. we read sandra boynton books, watch episodes of manon, play farm, dance to the glee soundtrack. we prepare our teaching materials, we go to school, to university, to day care.

& yet… when we return here, to the place where i grew up, the place of ice & snow in winter (though it really is awfully mild right now), where my parents live, where there are so many aunts and uncles and cousins, where there are our favourite places to go on dates, our first apartment, a bakery that makes vegan cinnamon buns, a terrible bus system, the windiest corner in canada… this home calls to me, calls to us. & then i get confused again about what i really want. where i want to be. where i want m to grow up.

there are things i really love about the place we live now. i love our community of friends. i love how challenged i am at university. i love the wonderful school where d has found his job. i love the farmers’ market. i love the mildness of the winter. but…

when i watch m being read to on my father’s lap, when i watch my mother chasing m around and around the living room to great squeals of delight, when i spend an evening with my best best friend, this home calls to me in a way that our new home will never be able to.

i am stretching in two directions, pinned down to the place where i was born, pinned down to the place where my son was born, where our lives changed forever. & stretching hurts a little, sometimes a lot, as my heart fills the space between these two places.

but it is true, i think, that going away makes coming back so much sweeter.