Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Goodbye season

Summertime is a time of transition for kids or anyone with kids, and for some of us there lingers the feel that the new year really begins in September (see, we Jews got that one right!). For State Department folks, it is a time to say goodbye, sometimes forever, to people you've come to know over the course of one year, two, or if you're really lucky in timing, three. For people still friends with their elementary school buddies, this seems like a dalliance rather than true friendships. It can't be farther from the truth. We all know our time is short and we often dive into friendships with both feet from the first Hail and Farewell.

Last Friday night our Consul General hosted a farewell party for this season's group of departees. Two of these people parent some of my children's best friends - before this post Alex was 16 months old so the sadness of saying goodbye was solely for myself. Now I get to dread an impending departure date on their behalf as well. Later in the weekend more farewells were said as even those who will continue to live here leave during summertime's "visiting family around the world time". I hate having to get teary over someone who isn't actually leaving for a month!

My mother made me hand write my Bat Mitzvah thank you notes in the week I had before starting summer camp. I think there were 150 or so. In that excruciating exercise, I became a thank you note connoisseur.  Similarly, I am hoping our lifestyle eventually gives us the skill of saying goodbye gracefully.

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