Saying goodbye to my parents is a difficult thing. The fact that after 3 weeks in my small apartment neither is going home in a body bag is a testament to how much I actually do enjoy their company.
The thing is that when you are married to a foreigner you only see their family for blocks of time. Take Mr. Rant for example. He spends about 3 weeks a year straight with my family, if we are lucky. The only reason it is that much is because my parents are awesome enough to travel to Rio de Janeiro over and over again. They could be normal and say that this year they are going to Italy but no, my Mom won't have it. There are no grandbabies in Italy.
And Grandbabies really do mess up the expat system. There is no "it's only been a year" when kids are involved. In a year a kid has passed through 37 personalities, 2 difficult phases, a million photos, and about 3 honestly cute moments. That is a lot for an expat's family to miss. Let's not even get into close friends.
My saving grace is my life here. I have a life in Rio de Janeiro. I have my Mommy friends, my Brazilian friends, my Brazilian Mommy friends, and my fellow expat friends. I am doubly lucky because I have Mr. Rant's large extended family to top it all off. I'm talking a mega social 3000 calorie banana slip with around 3 cherries on top.
None-the-less, they aren't my history. Growing up you imagine raising your kids with their cousins, their aunts and uncles coming over for birthdays. Your best friends are supposed to be there to see you get fat... I mean really pregnant. You miss the people who, when your 3 year old storms off and slams his bedroom door (only to open it again for a second dramatic slam), laugh at you because he is just like you. The feeling is somewhat lost when your husband's family would give you that curious look like who did that come from. Thank you very much but we all know it came from me. At the very least you could mock me about it like my kin do. ;)
It is a fact of life when you marry someone from a different country. Someone is always far from home. Home also has a special definition as the expat just may have more than one. I, for example, call Rio de Janeiro my home. It is so my home now. I am only getting in deeper people.
In the end you resign yourself to the facts. You even come up with coping methods. Of course people will visit. You will also go back. Your children will be multicultural, how great is that. Skype rocks even with a slow connections. And lastly, who needs personal contact when Grandma is an awesome box sender.
Truth be told, I doubt I would ever have appreciated my family like I do now if I didn't move to Rio. It isn't just the distance but what the country has taught me about life. As hard as goodbyes are, I'm a better person than I was. I suppose that is what life is all about, right? Bettering yourself, learning, and living.
Whatever life is about, I miss my family. I love seeing my parents. I miss my brothers desperately. It breaks my heart daily that they aren't my boys' best friends. At least I have perspective, damn perspective, to remind me that I have a damn good life. Missing people means that I have a lot of people who I love and love me in return. I suppose there is something to say about that.