I meant to write this post before I left Germany and post it on the day I was crossing the pond, but I just ran out of time. Perhaps that was for the best because had I written it in Stuttgart, I think I would have gone through an entire box of tissues. Forgive my self indulgence. This post may get a little syrupy sweet.
When we moved to Germany, I most looked forward to all the opportunities we’d have to travel Europe. I’d finally get to see Venice, Prague and all the other destinations that are commonly on people’s bucket list. I couldn’t possibly predict that when we left, the thing I’d miss most were the fantastic friends we made.
As you know, our family moves around a lot, but we’re basically loner homebodies. There are some places we’ve lived that we didn’t even leave behind anyone we wanted to keep in touch with. Our family had been a very self contained little unit. I suppose I didn’t think Germany would be any different. But, there were some persistent souls who knocked down our walls, like my friend and Remember Wren guest blogger, Beth. She was the first person to reach out to our family when she invited us over for Easter our first year in Stuttgart.
It seems that making that first friend snowballed into a community of ISS Girlfriends (International School of Stuttgart moms). Beth introduced me to Marlene, who introduced me to Chanrey. I met Christy and Mary Claire. Chanrey had a party and I met Souji, Cindy, Dolly, Jackie and Laura. Luna and Jaime’s kids were in my son’s class and we hit it off chatting on the playground after school. Then came Jill, Courtney, the Andreas, Sara, Lori, Gwen and Lisa. I met a lot of other wonderful people that way, a whole gaggle of ladies whose company and conversation I really enjoy. We had many coffees and birthday lunches together. If you are reading this, you are probably one of my favorite people. I think you are the bee’s knees!
I recently read a book by Mark Greenside titled I’ll Never Be French No Matter What I Do. He recounts his experience when he moved to France with his girlfriend. He broke up with that girlfriend, yet he stayed in France and bought a house! Here’s an excerpt:
All my life, I’ve disdained the connectedness, closeness, visibility, complicity–the busybodiness and dependence of small-town and suburban life, and here in Brittany, in this village of five hundred people, I find I desire it: the coziness of it, the togetherness, the neighborliness, knowing there’s a place where, whoever you are, you are known. I don’t know why I feel this, but I do, and I know I’m going to miss this life and these people when I leave.
Yup, that is pretty much how I feel. I have to add how much my international friends mean to me. You all taught me that this introverted loner really does know how to make friends and that I actually like people! I’m so grateful to know you. I don’t think our parting is ‘good-bye,’ but really a ‘see ya later!’
In Stuttgart I learned we should all take a cue from a couple of first grade boys. The first day of first grade, Mary Claire’s son Caleb asked my son,”will you be my friend?” The answer, of course, was “yes!”
See ya later, Stuttgart!