Global Mom: Homeland? Security?

The American cemetery of Normandy

The American cemetery of Normandy

From Global Mom: A Memoir:

By November, still keeping a low American profile, and still getting settled into this rented home in the village of Croissy-sur-Seine. . .



. . .Which meant still sorting through boxes to find Christmas decorations I’d barely restacked in a now-dry basement. . .

Still in boxes. . .

Still in boxes. . .

. . .Randall got a call. It was word that he had been selected for an advancement that would put him at corporation headquarters. In New Jersey.

In the U.S. of A.

Could he move immediately?

Let me pause. Let me allow that to sink in a spell.

Home for almost 10 months...

Home for almost 10 months

This scene is not all that atypical in expatriate life. You move to a place — to Moscow from Minneapolis or to Mumbai from Moscow, let’s say – and you just begin figuring things out when a call comes. The call might ask you to repack your boxes and head back to where you just came from, (to the home you just sold, to the school you just forfeited your children’s slots in. . .

Claire and friend. . .

Claire and friend

. . .To your spouses’ practice/studies/firm/office he or she just closed or sold off), or to repack your boxes to head to another place altogether, (where you must find a new home, school, a new life track for everyone), or to repack your boxes because the company is sorry, there is no job anywhere for you in the brand new corporate structure.



Imagine the scenario where you have uprooted because you’ve accepted an assignment in Cairo or Stockholm or Bangalore where you in good faith are digging in your roots and drinking from a new soil. . . only to be Rubrik-cubed back or away or out of a job all together. Most of the time employees are given the option to keep their job, but sometimes that means the job is in one country and the family stays in another.

Our youngest two

Our youngest two

It is a less-known and less-appealing side of the international life. But given the backdrop of 9/11 and a subsequent military invasion in Iraq, such professional dramas are, we certainly must agree, mini-dramas, even picayune.

Still, they aren’t easy.

Last bike ride before Dad leaves France

Last Sunday bike ride before Dad leaves France for several months in the US

Besides, I was writing about Randall’s offer for a new job.

“No,” he said, “We can’t move right now. We’re just moving in right now. But,” he eyed me for the no-go grimace or the go-ahead nod from across our bedroom where he was receiving this phone call from headquarters. . .

Saying goodbye to Montmartre

Saying goodbye to Montmartre

. . . “But, ” he said, “I can move in the new quarter. I’ll move. Melissa and the kids will finish out the school here year and follow in the summer.”

We did this for many months, Randall in the U.S., the rest of us in France, which time it took for us to get our heads around the prospect of reentering The Homeland.

Montmartre, Place du Tertre

Montmartre, Place du Tertre

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s