We have been in Lexington one full year this September. Sometimes when I have an idle moment, I would think about how unsettled I feel because we haven’t been here for a long time. Living in a town for 1 year is only long enough for one to get a sense of place and bearing. In the past, it took much longer to move to a new city, country or continent by boat, train or wagon and so one would have time for the mind to catch up with the body being relocated. I don’t think they had jet lag back in those days. When there was no ‘jet,’ there was no ‘lag.’
These days, thanks to the jets we move to a new place in a matter of hours or days and by inertia our mind gets confused about our environment and location, especially during those times in the day when the mind is hazy, early morning or late at night for example.
After a week of moving into our apartment, we were still recovering from our travel and just became more focused on looking for employment. After 3 months we were getting familiar with many places around town such as the grocery stores, the bank, shopping places and especially our beloved public library locations. After six months I got used to the idea that we were now living in America. After one year, looking around at our fully furnished apartment, I realized that we actually have lived here for a while.
When I catch myself feeling unrooted and consequently envious of families who have lived here for many years or many generations, I try to remind myself of how far we have gone along in many many ways. It all started out with 2 very young, idealistic individuals going on a first date on the beach in central Thailand. 14 years after that first date, we have a home with 2 children.
For our family, that first date on Oct 5, 2000 was like the Big Bang. We have been through a lot together. If the challenges of our life together are sufficiently met, there will certainly be a lot more to look forward to in the next 14 years.
Of course nobody or family is alone in the universe. We owe our happiness today to our extended families in Vietnam and America as well as our church in downtown Lexington.
This month celebrates our third year of having this family archive. Even though in our conversations David and I lament endlessly this modern time of restless ambitions, over-connectedness and virtual realities, we are thankful for this blog. We have moved a lot and thanks to this blog we haven’t had to carry boxes of photo albums. We have our family pictures with us wherever we go thanks to the Internet.
Whenever I sing Auld Lang Syne to comfort James, I would recall many normally forgotten people and past events in my life. Even though each person and moment has contributed so much to my joy, sorrow and personal growth, I don’t necessarily feel sad that I have moved on from previous circumstances and relationships. It seems true that there is a time and place for everything.
David and I are like rolling stones. There was a time when it was hard for us to stay more than 1 year in a residence. Now with 2 children in tow we are less agile and gathering much moss. It is no longer hard for us to stay in one residence longer than 2 or 3 years.
Back to Auld Lang Syne, we feel that each moment with our children will become priceless when they leave our nest. Each trip we take together as a family will come back to us when our children are no longer around in the next bed room. Already, the time when Jacob was a baby and toddler and the time when we first had James sometimes would sneak into my consciousness when I am free from pressing concerns.
Pressing concerns for mothers like me are consisted of what to cook, when to do chores, bills, money to pay bills, the kids’ development, Jacob’s education, David’s career, everyone’s health and safety. Depending on the news, tragedies and poverty of people in the world also join my list of pressing concerns and leave me little time to reflect and remember. But that’s a whole different subject altogether.
To close on the subject of our website, as David aptly said when he first bought the domain for this website, “This blog will be gold to us one day.” He had to justify the expense to me because I thought it was a lot of money at the time. David is very likely to be right since the older we get, the more precious our memories of loved ones become to us.
So, toast to this website, toast to loved ones, toast to memories, and toast to money and time well-spent on a virtual family journal and archive.