Expat Life

Words with Friends

  My first-grader recently asked me to teach him to play Scrabble. It devolved mostly into me playing against myself, which was satisfying in its own way. I played Words with Friends on my iPhone when the boys were itty bitty, to engage my brain between burping and butt-wiping. I learned some excellent tricks and… Continue reading Words with Friends

Expat Life

On Family and Stories

Have you ever had a chance to spend a whole week with your dad? Like, a week when he tagged along as you lived your ordinary life, keeping you company over the coffees and waiting at the bus stop while the kids are at school? Walking by your side through the woods and the town?… Continue reading On Family and Stories

Expat Life · Parenthood

The Accidentally Bilingual Child

We’ve passed the halfway point of our time in Italy. The youngest–who asks me to call him the Piccolino, or the very little one–has spent 13 months in Italian preschool. Being the little brother of one of the world’s most articulate and conversant preschoolers meant he developed his language in a big shadow, often talked… Continue reading The Accidentally Bilingual Child

Expat Life · Parenthood · Wanderings

Lately…

Well hi! I looked at the calendar, then the last date I posted. It has happened again: I lost track of all the things we’ve been up to and didn’t get around to posting them. I’ll regret it, I always do. The details of our travels get lost with time. I don’t want to let… Continue reading Lately…

Expat Life · Military Life

We Moved Overseas 5 Years Ago Today

Facebook reminded me: on this day in 2011 we boarded a plane to move to England. The photo of our pile of luggage – six massive bags high – next to baby Walden in his car seat is very blurry. So here’s the front door of our first house in England, on Blomfield Street. It… Continue reading We Moved Overseas 5 Years Ago Today

Expat Life · Food · Wonderings

The Rituals of Coffee

The best part of being a foreigner is the opportunity to connect with other foreigners. (Stranieri is the Italian word for us. Sounds like strangers, no? Without a doubt we seem strange to Italians.) Far from home, we gravitate toward each other for a sense of understanding and community. We offer each other empathy and support. And… Continue reading The Rituals of Coffee

Expat Life · Parenthood

Being a Foreign Mom

My Italian is coming along, slowly, after seven months in Italy. I can get by in many cases, with lots of awkward pauses, if I let go of feeling embarrassed to sound like a toddler (with a bad accent to boot). There is usually much pointing and gesturing. Of course, many people who do speak some English… Continue reading Being a Foreign Mom