Friday, October 30, 2009

Coming to America

You may have noticed that blogging here has been light for the last couple of months. That is because the entire family is picking up an moving to the US for the whole of 2010. I'm spending a sabbatical year at Harvard (chief advantage: no one asks you why) and we are all going to arrive in Boston just in time for the whole Winter experience.

And an experience it will be. I can count on one hand the days I have seen snow, the two children who have seen snow can't remember it and the last one is still unconvinced. The one of us who has experienced snow through a thing called skiing (don't ask what that's all about) has never lived with anything more than a Melbourne winter.

Suffice it to say, moving the five of us is a non-trivial exercise. We have a place but no furniture, we have visas but no health insurance (yet and ouch!), we have made contact with a school but have not dealt with the pages of forms and we have bags but no clothes. On the clothes front our plan is "to buy stuff when we get there." That last one is contingent on the hypothesis that we can last one day in Boston without winter clothes. But I forecast a future bleg asking for advice about all of that.

The children's excitement is mixed. No one is happy about leaving friends behind but there they have identified things that they are definitely looking forward to. The top 3 are: Number Three -- that is where Hannah Montana lives. This is a true statement but it is also coupled with some notion that we are just going to bump into her. Rather than cause our youngest any further anxiety, we aren't ruling out that possibility at this stage.

Number Two -- no school uniforms. Apparently, the desire to rid themselves of the Australian (and I guess rest of the world) norm of a uniform is strong enough to be a major reason to move countries. I'll evaluate that whole debate when I get to see more of the other side.

Finally, reason Number One, and a topical one, is: Halloween. Australia doesn't have Halloween and this has always been a constant source of disappointment to my eldest daughter. That disappointment will continue this evening. But next year it will all be different.

"I guess you are looking forward to next year where we will be in a place where people understand Halloween."

"Yes. Although I don't really understand it."

"What do you mean?"

"You know I love the whole 'let's go dress up and go around the neighbourhood getting treats 'thing but I have no idea how this all happened."

"I guess that will be something else you'll find out next year."

"Can't wait."

Neither can I. For starters, I could use more material for the blog and maybe a forthcoming (and doomed to failure judging by most attempts at such things) book, Parentonomics in the USA.