I'm sorry I haven't posted in awhile. There's been so much going on in my life, so much more than the average newborn mom probably goes through. Anna is now 6 weeks old, and I can't believe where the time has gone.
(Anna's beautiful white hat was knitted for her by my wonderful friend Laura!)
I'm already nostalgic for her first few days. Having a new baby is a visceral reminder of how quickly time passes, and how quickly children grow. For some reason her babyhood seems to be going by lightning fast. That may seem laughable, as she is still so very little, but perhaps it feels even more fleeting to me because all her three siblings seem to be growing unfathomably older every day. So, it feels heartbreaking – at the same time that I am so excited to see who she will be and become and see more of her first smiles and hear her first words and witness her first steps, it is bittersweet to see what we leave behind.
This feeling of nostalgia is even stronger because we are preparing for a partial move back to the US. In less than a month, we will leave Japan, where we have lived for nearly 4 years and where two of my babies were born. I came here with just two little energetic joyful boys, and leave now with four children, daughters I never had before, and an older son who is mature and on the cusp of adolescence.
This is not a full move. We will be returning here for long summers during which our children will attend the school they've been going to (school runs until late July in Japan), and we may move back again year-round, but to leave our home here even for just a few months will be a big change for us. Every day, when I walk outside with the children, or pick them up from school, I soak in every bit I can of our lives here, so I can remember it all. The tiny jam factory near their school with its compelling strawberry smells wafting out into the street. The sight of cheerful children running along narrow roads with their yellow and blue school hats and square leather backpacks. The ginko leaves, bright yellow, under our feet in the fall. Buying sweet-bean and sweet-rice treats at the corner store. Wandering around our favorite park, remembering looking for crayfish in the summer, and visiting the miniature waterfall which so delighted my boys when they were small.
There will be more sights, more memories, in our new home. Of that I am completely sure. But there is something about leaving a home where you raised your children when they were so small, that makes goodbye feel especially hard.