One of the really interesting things about having this blog is that I have somewhere to share, or not to share, information. I have always wanted MarocMama to be a resource for other women, other families who were in a similar situation to us. Over the last few months, MarocBaba and I have contemplated what it would mean to make the decision to go back to Morocco – to become an expat.
Our boys are getting older and we worry that without immersing them in an Arabic-speaking environment they will not be able to achieve fluency, something we both desperately want for them. We’ve thought about this for years but for some reason this winter it really struck us that this move needed to happen now or never.
We’re comfortable here in the US. MarocBaba has adjusted to life here, and it’s our home, but we’ve always felt something was missing. We’ve always wondered, what if we moved? Would we like it? Would it be somewhere we’d want to live? The thought of living in Africa makes me grin. That’s not to say I don’t understand the realities of living in the developing world. Moroccan bureaucracy drives me batty. I don’t speak passable Arabic, and my French has long since faded. I know my level of independence would be curtailed greatly by the language barrier.
But we finally made up our minds.
Can I tell you how terrifying/exciting/emotional it was for me to sit and stare at a screen flashing 4 one-way tickets to Morocco? My friend Alison reminded me, “frankly I’d be more concerned if you weren’t full of emotion – it’s a big decision!” I have been making endless to-do lists. Every day I’ve made it my mission to do one thing on the list so that August doesn’t roll around with a million things to do in a week.
I wanted to do this. It was my idea!
But before I could buy those tickets I went to MarocBaba and I started to cry. Not because I was sad. Not because I didn’t want to do this, but because I did! I’ve moved before but I’ve never moved overseas, not like this. In that moment I saw everything I had put MarocBaba through.
My impatience and cavalier about his immigration to the US. I couldn’t wait for him to get here. I pushed – hard – for him to leave immediately. I realized I never really thought about what it meant. Frankly in that moment I felt like a big jerk. The gravitas of the situation hit me like a ton of bricks. He told me “you know what, let’s sleep on it, and tomorrow we’ll buy them together. But, don’t think for a second I’m not going to take care of you when we’re there.”
I will miss my mom terribly. I will miss my sister, and my niece and nephews, that make up my everyday. I will miss autumn in the Midwest and the first snow in the crisp winter air. I will miss Christmas with my dad, and the spring thaw. But you know what, we’ve got a million memories to make.
Every morning I can walk up the stairs to our roof, and see the Atlas Mountains stretching across the sky. I can walk to the market every day and get the freshest, in-season produce. I’ll be learning a language that I’ve worked hard to become conversational in. I’m going to learn how to make all of the foods I haven’t figured out yet. I have the opportunity to get to know my mother-in-law, sister in-laws, and loads of nieces and nephews. We’ll be able to explore Morocco and even take a trip here or there to Europe.