Three years ago, Alpha daughter moved to Berlin for a year, taking with her my Grand, my son-in-law and my grandpup. We visited, we Skyped, we emailed. There was all the excitement of new experiences. Time went by. She moved back. We made it through.The dog did too, narrowly.
But now she's packing her bags, leasing her house, inoculating the dog and heading for another year in Berlin. Where there was the first-time sense of adventure, that's missing this time. This time I know too much. Which is to say, I don't remember time flying by so much as I remember how much I missed her and her family--and the sympathetic warmth of her voice.
We may not live through our grown children but what they do can give a little extra edge to our lives--from the kudos they win at their jobs to the triumphs their children achieve in math class. The second year abroad is a positive for her career, so we should be thrilled--again--about the move. And yes, we'll go visit and use the trips as a jumping off place to see more of the world. Maybe go bicycling in Portugal or hiking in Turkey. We'll brush up on our minimal German. Tschüs (bye bye) will be in our working vocabulary again. We'll bring our laptops and work side by side in a cafe with our daughter and feel for a few days that we also live in Berlin. It is, after all, an exciting city with energy coming up out of its sidewalks and streets. And when we come for a visit, we can be helpful in bringing our relocated family those things that it's hard or very expensive to buy in Berlin--middle-school novels written in English; Mexican-style hot sauces.
All true, but as the parent of the grown child, I'd prefer not to have a repeat performance. Not that I have a choice, but I'd rather have her family close enough so that when I get that overwhelming longing to see her, I can hop a short flight and be there, without a change of six time zones.