It's easy for me to forget that our kids have spent the majority of their lives living outside of the United States. We figured out the other day that in their combined thirteen years of life, they've spent a total of 10 of those years living in foreign countries. When people ask Elise where she's from she smiles and answers "Japan." Caleb is still trying to use his Italian for every occasion that warrants a hearty "Grazie" or "Non Lo So."(with a very Italian pursed lip and shrug of his shoulders) And sweet Lucas asked yesterday if we could please go back to his yellow house so that he can have granite for his birthday. (He also asks just about everyday about when we're going to North Carolina...ummm, clearly he's a little confused.)
Anyway, it will take some time for this to feel like home - I dare not write about all of my current angst, sadness, etc... but, in the meantime, it's been funny to see that kids' curiosity about some things that are "Molto Americana." Squirrels, mailboxes, yellow school buses and the flushing handle on toilets currently take the cake for the most talked about new experiences. We're already on a first name basis with our mailman (Vincent) and when I asked the kids to put a letter in the mailbox and put the flag up, you would have thought I offered to take them to Disneyland. (well...almost!) Simple joy at it's best.