Nov 08, 2006
I was lucky enough to watch my oldest niece and nephew grow up. I coached their soccer and basketball teams and taught them inappropriate words. I let my nephew shift gears and basically drive my truck when he was 4. I was 21. I shouldn't have been allowed around children. So it was bittersweet hanging out with Libby and wondering what I would get to see and what I would miss. It was the first time that I was so vividly reminded of the price of living abroad. I miss my parents and family and friends, but in the course of a few months or a couple of years, many of them come to visit me, and the ones I don't see don't change much. So for Libby to go from non-existence to this little girl I didn't want to put down was shocking. She was the hardest one to say goodbye to because she didn't understand that I was leaving, which made it painful. The fact that she sensed my pain without understanding what was going on, and that she hugged me tight and left her head on my shoulder for an especially long time, made it heartbreaking.