Unable to sleep last night, I laid pushed to the edge of the bed by my 15-month old daughter sleeping arms-sprawled between me and Kristin. Will sleeping at my feet. My thoughts drifted to London. It is hard to believe it has been four weeks since our re-entry into the States.
My final weeks in London gave me a new perspective on the City and our family life in it. I wish I could have had more of that time. Some of the things I miss most about those final weeks...
The walk to school in the morning. Will's school was only a ten minute walk, but it was a perfect walk for a father and his four-year old son. I miss the funny questions he would ask. I miss the countdown to West End Lane, signaling time for a ride on Daddy's shoulders. I miss hearing him talk about his teachers Ms Karen and Ms Patricia. I miss the brisk November morning air that would jolt me awake and give me energy for the day. And I miss watching all the people rushing down West End Lane to the Tube or the London Overground, trying to guess what they did and where they might be going.
George's oranges. Will was hooked on oranges from Georges Fruit and Vegetable market on Mill Lane. Yes, the oranges were good, and the quality of the produce was better than any around, but Will really liked going to see George. He was such a nice man and went out of his way to break open a fruit or cut up some grapes for Will and Ella. It was a 30-minute round trip walk to George’s market, but well worth the time.
The music. I'm not referring to the great music venues of Camden, but rather just listening to my iPod. I found that walking, and taking buses and the Tube promoted my iPod use. I probably had my earphones in at least two or three hours a day. I rediscovered songs and artists that have been lost on my iPod for years. Now that I am back in the States, and the only walking that I am doing is from the door to the car and then from the car to another door, I fear that my music time is gone.
Love Food, a small organic food store just a short walk around the corner on West End Lane. Our house was rarely empty of their freshly baked bread. On Friday nights Kristin and I would often treat ourselves to a sampling of the cheeses and olives along with a bottle of wine. What a perfect dinner.
Friendships. Finally, I miss the opportunity to get to better know the friends we made in London. Of course, while working, there was not a lot of time to develop new friendships--the weekends were always dedicated to family time. But in my final weeks, I had a chance to spend time with some of the parents of Will's schoolmates. Kristin and I hosted and went out to dinner with friends. We developed friendships with people from around the world. I hope through the use of technology we can make them last.
The things I did not like about London…well, let’s just leave that for another day.