Thursday, July 5, 2012

More Fun in the 'Hood

We've been spending as much time as possible in our neighborhood this trip.  Last year we spent most of our vacation in our house for the first time since we'd moved.  While it was stressful because we were also moving, it was also convenient because we were right there in the heart of things with both my friends and the kids friends all nearby.

This year we are once again staying with my family who live about 20 minutes from our neighborhood.  Not far away but not close enough for us to just decide we are going to pop into the 'hood without advance notice.  So we've been trying to plan as much time there as we can.  Some visits have been planned last minute and some were planned weeks ago.  All have been a great time.

Aidan and Liam had a sleepover scheduled last Saturday at their best friends' Nate and Aaron's house.  But before the sleepover we spent the day at the Anastasia's house once again and had a great time hanging out, ordering Chinese food (um, yum!!!!!) and just enjoying each other's company.  It feels like I never left though at moments I'll admit, I feel like a guest in my own neighborhood.  It's weird being a visitor to the place you lived (and still technically live) for so long. 

The kids have been having the most amazing time with their friends.  Nothing warms my heart more than seeing these huge smiles on their faces.  I know it's going to be a struggle getting these guys back to Barcelona and I can't blame them because there have been many times where I feel the same way. 

When we moved I had huge fears of how Aidan would adjust to starting over again.  His best friends have been in this neighborhood since he was born.  He did better than I ever anticipated but I know beyond a doubt that this is where his heart is.  That if I told him we were moving home tomorrow he would have his bags packed and ready to go.  He's done amazing in Barcelona and while it took him a while, has adjusted well to life abroad.  But home is here and for him, I think it always will be.  And so when we are here, he smiles more, laughs more and is just generally a happier kid and more pleasant to be around.  I love it!  And I have no doubt that I will suffer the repercussions when we get back to Barcelona.

With Liam, he doesn't have the same memories of home or the same relationships.  Yes, he also has a ton of friends here.  But at 2 1/2 when we moved, his relationships were not at the same level as Aidan's.  And while he gets to know these kids more and more ever year, he's not as integrated into the neighborhood as Aidan is.  He remembers many kids via pictures rather than memories though I know that as he gets older that is starting to change.  But he's a social kid and just jumps right back into the swing of things thank goodness!! 

Aidan and Nate playing some baseball

I think Liam has spent most of his vacation in this hot tub!

I love these group shots :)

Aaron, Caleb and Liam



Best friends

Look how light he is in the water!

Since I took these pictures we've spent the 4th in the 'hood and are heading there again this upcoming Saturday for one last goodbye.  I expect it will be a teary one as always.  But with 2 1/2 years having flown by, I have no doubt that the next 3 will be the same.  It doesn't make saying goodbye any easier and every time I come home I remember all the things, the people, that make it special and our neighborhood is a big piece of that. 


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