Our first 10 days and nights were tough. We were tired all the time. The kids thought all the food and the milk were weird. Jack (2 yrs) woke every night once or twice, calling out “Mama, Mama.” I’d shuffle to his crib, rub his back and whisper nice things to him. He’d fall right back to sleep. I thought things were settling for us and then Nora’s (6 yrs) homesickness hit hard one night. Gary was traveling and I was in a deep sleep when I heard Nora sobbing in the hallway, then gagging. It’s happened a few times before that she’s been so upset she gets sick. So, I jumped out of bed and rushed her to the toilet, just in time to make the target. “I missed you so much, Mama,” she kept saying. I realized that she just missed everyone and everything that was familiar to her and loved. I felt so sad for her and I empathized too-while excited for our adventure I was feeling the isolation of this new place where we have no friends or family and only a small patchwork of new acquaintances.
After we talked for a while, I settled her down to sleep. Just as I was drifting off in my bed, she started sobbing again. This pattern went on for the next 5 hours. And, during one of her quiet times, Jack decided to wake and start crying. I thought I was going to lose my mind.
But the next bleary morning, to my relief, Nora was actually OK. And, so far, we haven’t had another one of those nights. Now she pops out of bed every morning and gets dressed fast. I let her go downstairs to breakfast by herself and Jack and I meet her a few minutes later. I’ve even let her take Jack alone 2 times. During Jack’s naptime, when she isn’t watching our only DVD, The Parent Trap–my mistake– I forgot to fish some DVDs out before the movers packed us up– I let Nora go exploring in our hotel which is full of hallways, staircases, and hidden rooms. Today she even told me how much she likes Germany. Phew!