Our guests are gone -Let's have a party
When my kids were little, they would sit on the gate, waiting for their grandparents to arrive. "Why aren't they here yet? How long Mommy?" This emotion is called Iktsuarpok in Inuit and I have watched my kids having this as guests come and go.
Over the years I couldn't possibly count the number of friends, family members, and well, random friends of friends who have stayed with us. Some of them for a day or two, while yet others for months... yes months!
We live in Europe, we love guests, and we love having all of our loved ones close to us...yet again when they leave my husband says, "Party tonight, shall I break out the chocolate and champagne?"
My husband openly states this to our family guests, often to my embarrassment, "You know tonight we are having a party? You are leaving." I cringe as he laughs. I have come to think it is healthy. We love them but at some point he wants normality to come back to the house, and we need it. The dinners, restaurants, museum visits, late nights and laughter are the best...but then so are the peaceful nights that we spend as a family.
My daughter was two, as she stood at the Hamburg airport crying for her Grandpa, "Giz, my Giz." A tear rolled down my cheek, I was touched and sad to see them go. I am still sad every time they leave...but I also want that party. It took me awhile to not feel like a jerk for being happy to have things back to the status quo.
–Allison Ochs, Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife