As the summer draws to a close, we look back and reluctantly bid adieu to our family and friends, the foundation of everything we're doing in Montreal. And then we look ahead as the path winds out of sight and into a city we know, with so many possibilities we don't yet know. The twinge of excitement mixes with the dull pain of two years away from home. Still, our home away from home, Montreal, is looking more and more welcoming each day. We have great friends out there, Andrea and Julien, who have already found an apartment for us to rent, a free queen size bed, and a few boxes of kitchen essentials their friends are trying to get rid of. They email us with updates almost every day, and all we can say is "wow".
We apologize for not updating the blog very much during our three-month furlough at home. It's not as if we weren't having as many noteworthy experiences at home as we did in Montreal. We've been to San Francisco, Santa Maria, San Diego, Pismo Beach, Catalina, Tucson, Gilbert, etc. and in between spent most of our time hanging with Grandma LoLo, Uncle Jimmy, and the Manthornes on Santa Carmela. Grandma Lolo, aka mom, has been and continues to be our biggest supporter not only at home but also in Montreal. This summer she's whisked us away to all kinds of fun events, sometimes joining us, sometimes insisting we enjoy some alone time while she watches Dennis. Not even a smidgeon of what we're doing at home or in Montreal would be possible without her.
As for us, Lauren has worked hard all summer--learning first hand what it's like to be a working mom; and I've spent a lot more time with Dennis--learning first hand what it's like to stay at home. It's been insightful, difficult, and rewarding for both of us. It's an experiment we deliberately entered into--to switch the roles we'd so strongly established in Montreal--in order to acheive a more balanced work/home life between the two of us. It should definitely impact the way we organize our respective and collaborative efforts in Montreal.
So, one week from today we have a non-stop, one-way flight from LAX to Montreal. Traveling with Dennis, now that he's nearly walking and as determined as ever, will be an adventure all its own. The first few weeks, I know, will be fraught with character-building and stretching, but, unlike last year, we do know the city, we're learning French, we have a core group of friends that are already buffering our arrival, and we feel as sure as ever that Montreal is and should be home for the next two years.