When the kids were enrolled at the local school in Switzerland, the end of June was an exhilarating moment. A time when all WE locals happily hugged and kissed, wished eachother a nice summer holiday and knew we would all be back in the same places and return to familiar faces. We never even considered a different option. It was a good feeling. A feeling of freedom because you just started eight weeks of vacation. A comforting feeling knowing that you'd find the same smiles and routine at the end of the summer.
All this has changed. During our first year in Paris it never crossed my mind that what I had taken for granted so many summers was about to change drastically.
It hurts to say goodbye to friends but it broke my heart to see my kids having to bid their farewells to their buddies in floods of tears. My kids, myself and half the rest of the school were crying. So many little lives which are thrown into so many divers situations and they take it in strides because they have no other choice - because of Daddy's/Mummy's job!!!
Of all the pros and cons of an Expat life the last day of school must be THE worst of all. It messes with your emotions and messes with your head. You tell yourself that you are lucky to have found such close friends and that you'll be friends forever. You promise you'll visit but deep down you KNOW it will never be the same. Not for those who are leaving and not for those who are staying. It is a chapter of your life that you consciously need to close, even if you'd give anything to make it go on... just a little while longer, please!
As an Expat you know that a happy and successful assignment abroad boils down to the people whom you have met (locals and foreigners) and the experiences you shared with them in that country.
So, yes, we are gearing up for another emotional rollercoaster next week when we start seeing off friend after friend, promising to keep in touch, knowing that a piece of us will travel with them and that Paris will never be the same without them!