Not that we’re going back, you understand, but there was once an idea that we would only be living in Canada for a trial period of two years. After all, we managed fine with only two years (give or take) in every other place we lived as a family. It seemed like long enough while we were there – time for the kids to settle in and make friends, time for us to find new friends too, learn where the good places were and visit them enough, not long enough to tire of the entertainments on offer, and just the right time to leave before you gain too many responsibilities (school council, parish council, Sunday School leader, Prime Minister…)
But that was Air Force thinking. In the RAF they move you every two years (if you’re an officer) so that you can get wider experience. Or, if you have a cynical view of things, so that you don’t have enough time to do any serious damage in whatever post you’ve been given. Two years is long enough for the competant to improve a bad situation, but not long enough for an idiot to wreck something that’s working.
The interesting thing was discovering that civilian life is much slower. When we did our two years in Bournemouth, living out in the wilds with real civilians, we found that two years WASN’T enough time. In the real world, without the common experience of living behind the wire, folks make friends more cautiously. They don’t hand out the jobs in the community that make you connections until they’ve got to know you, whereas in the Forces, with folks on the move all the time, you can find yourself on three committees before you’ve unpacked.
So that was useful experience that changed our ideas about this sojourn in Canada. Five years, then, five years and we’ll see where we are. But you know what? In five years, Tiniest Weasel will be coming up for the end of Elementary school, and Middle Weasel will be in High School, and Eldest Weasel will be…I don’t know, working as a vet, singing on streetcorners or designing rocket ships. It doesn’t look like there’ll ever be a convenient point to disengage from our life here in Canada and go back to the UK. And I’ll tell you a secret: I don’t want to.
Much as I love my friends and family back in the UK (and I do miss them, pretty much on a daily basis) I really, really love living here. It’s hard to believe it’s two years, hard to believe it’s a year snce I wrote this because the time has flown. We’ve moved twice, found schools and jobs, made a bundle of new friends and taken on some responsibilities, learned new skills and done a lot more camping than I’m comfortable with.
Life is going to keep changing and challenging, but as far as I’m concerned, it can challenge me here for a good long time to come – I’m done with moving for now, and I’m certainly done with moving to different countries. Don’t bet on me being in this house in twenty years (to be honest, I think it’s lucky to have stood for seventy!) but I wouldn’t put money on me being back in the UK either.
What’s your biggest adventure? What are you doing now, that you would never have imagined when you were younger?