Dearest Laila & Archie,
While you’re young and sweet, there are a few things I want to tell you that I’m afraid I might forget to mention when you’re older. On the other hand, I may repeat them so often throughout your lives that you’ll find yourselves rolling your eyes all throughout this letter. And if this letter finds you in the reclined chair of a shrink’s office, go ahead and have the bill sent to Daddy and me.
There are some things that I really hope you guys will remember about the life we’ve lived here. Laila, we just moved to the 5th house we’ve lived in since you were born. You’re only 3 1/2 years old, but you’ve been all over the place. Hopefully, we’ll be in this place for a good while. You’re such a little trooper, and I’m so glad our frequent moves haven’t made you into a basket case preschooler. I hope you’ll remember the beautiful rose bushes in our yard and the way you asked every day to cut a few of them for our dining room table. I hope you remember our house guard who spoils you with candy and lets you watch Bollywood films with him. Also, if you picked up some of those mad Indian dance moves, you’ll be no worse for the wear. Lord knows you won’t have learned anything that cool from your parents.
When you think about airports, I hope that you feel the excitement of an immanent adventure. We’ve visited so many wonderful places, and I hope your memories go beyond just the photos we have to document them. On the other hand, if you have any recollection of wild-eyed psycho mommy in a security line at the airport, this is a false memory that was implanted in your brain by aliens. That never happened… and that British man with the ugly pink sweater had it coming.
A lot of people might ask you, now that you’re grown, what it was like to live in such a dangerous place while you were growing up. My hope is that you don’t remember the dangers, but rather the joys of living surrounded by people who loved you. We have friends from all over the world, and they enrich our lives with diversity and culture. I hope that you have a deep appreciation for everything international and the things that others might consider weird and foreign. I hope that you can look back at your childhood and know that the lives we had made a difference in the world.
I hope you remember how to live simply and how to solve problems third world style. Every day there are so many obstacles and weird things that happen to keep our plans from progressing the way we had, well… planned. Most days, you didn’t know that these things were happening, but sometimes when life just happened and there were demonstrations that kept us from getting to the other side of town or celebration so thick that the streets were impassable, we just had to improvise. My hope is that you have learned to make the best out of any and every situation.
Thank you, my sweeties, for enriching our lives. Even on the days when I’ve felt like giving you away to the nomads for the winter, you make the days brighter.
With much love,