Last Night 2017

We always leave with such mixed feelings. On the one hand, everyone is looking forward to a return to normal rituals in normal places — to a return home, in short. And yet, who really wants to leave Babcia? Who wants to leave a place filled with incredible paths for bike riding and adventures around every corner? Who wants to leave a place that is at the same time comfortably known and yet always new?

The final evening is filled with those bitter-sweet moments. We say goodbye to so many people, and we stand in the cool evening, kids playing, and chat as if it were just a normal evening in a normal summer — nothing out of the ordinary. Just friends and family catching up on old and new times.

We all pretend it’s just another departure, but it never is. A lot can change in two years. The little girl that L began treating like a little sister — playing with her, protecting her, hugging her — will no longer be the little girl she is. She’ll be closer to E’s current age. The neighbor girl L played with will be well into her mid-teens and perhaps not so thrilled about hanging out with a twelve-year-old.

All of this weighs heavy on Babcia, but she doesn’t really say that much. Occasionally she comments on how sad it all is, running off back to the States after such a “short” visit. It’s tough on her, I’m sure, returning to a virtually empty house, with just the regular noclegi guests, but she keeps it mostly to herself.

We go to bed a little worried about connections tomorrow. We arrive in Munich with only and hour and fifteen minutes to make our connection. In the past we had hours. Now, we’re cutting it terribly close. There are certain advantages to that: we don’t have to get up before we go to sleep in order to make the hour-and-a-half drive to Krakow. Yet that buffer — I’m a little worried having kids in tow. Still, if we land on time, we should make it.

2 thoughts on “Last Night 2017

  1. Beautiful posts.
    You’ll make your connection! My random guess is that the longest delay will be in leaving the Schengen passport controls. Long lines, but not as long as the ones getting people into the US!
    One more thing: I feel Babcia’s sadness. In ways that only a grandmother who loves her kids and loves their happiness and misses them nonetheless though she would never say it out loud way.
    Welcome back!!

  2. We did indeed make our connection. We arrived at gate L21 just as they began boarding. (One of the great advantages of traveling as a family: we were just behind those in wheelchairs. The kids got comfy, pulled out their earphones, and started making a plan for passing nine hours.) The guy checking passports in Munich, though — I don’t know if he was new to the job or something, but he was sending through one to every other officer’s two or three.

    Re: Babcia — it’s especially hard for her now because her other grandchildren will be going back to Macedonia for one more year. But that’s what long, weekly Skype chats are for…

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