Ups and downs… mostly ups

There are weeks when it seems like not much is happening with Sammy. He is plays, he drools, he’s cute as a button. And then there are days when it seems like everything is happening all at once. He has two new teeth! He stands on his own and can take one or two steps! He points at Drew and says “dada!” He makes monkey sounds when we get to the spider monkey picture in Panda Bear, Panda Bear. And all this just in the past four days! I guess this is not a physical growth spurt, but a mental one. He’s also been very clingy, but I chalk that up to the teething and do not complain at all. (I will complain about it tomorrow morning when I have to drop him off at daycare. But that’s another story.)

So this is pretty much what I have been up to.

Today we hosted one of Drew’s colleagues and her family for lunch. They have a Hungarian high school exchange student staying with them, so I offered to cook the kid something Hungarian. He requested soup and fried cauliflower. So be it. Lunch went really well, the food was great, everyone was happy. But as usual, even the most simple occurance can elicit deeper thoughts. Right? So here is this kid: he is 16. He is homesick. As we start to chat, he tells me, almost in disbelief: “I’ve been here for FIVE MONTHS!” This makes me realize that I have been here for SEVENTEEN YEARS. Yeah. After some quick calculations, I also realize that I have been here longer than this kid has been alive! WHAT???

The SEVENTEEN YEARS really hit me. Next year, the years I’ve spent in Hungary will equal the years I spent in the US. What will that make me? Am I still a Hungarian? (Whatever that is!) Or an American? Ah, the eternal question. I guess I’ve been OK with not having an answer for a while. And since no answer exists, I will have to be OK with it for another seventeen years. But the question is still there, nagging, poking its little head into my brain from time to time. I know that I think about this more now because of Sam – what is he? He is half-Hungarian, but without having had all of the Hungarian experiences that I’ve had. It’s going to be even more confusing for him to figure out what it all means to him. I hope I can help him in that, but maybe first I have to find the answer. I am looking, I swear.

Their visit also made me relive a bit what it’s like to be homesick. I guess I still get homesick for Hungary, but it’s not quite the kind of homesickness that can be cured with a pot of soup and some familiar fried food. Sure, those things help, but I feel like my homesickness is somehow deeper… I guess because there is really no end to the “visit.”

Another UP development is that my brother is moving to Maine. (I know you read this, Torpe, so just go with it.) This makes me just…positively giddy. The thought of meeting up for lunch or just hanging out on a Saturday evening is almost just too much to imagine. I know that a lot of people have weird, strained relationships with their siblings. But I have been… I guess I’ve just been really lonely without my brother. No other relationship is quite the same, or carries the same history and bond than the one we share. SO JUST GET HERE ALREADY!

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