It's down to 13 days now before the Mightys leave Geneva for their new posting in the U.S. (not that we're counting). We hosted a small dinner party for them last night with the usual Canadian contingent that was full of our typical laughs and conversation but tinged a little nostalgic at the same time. The kids all had a ball and were outside playing until 11:00pm taking full advantage of the first real Spring-like day and evening in Geneva.
The six of us (plus kids) have done a lot of playing together in the last 3 years. It began when we took our littlest ones to KinderMusic in Cologny and since then we've snowskiied, waterskiied, shared Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the occasional holiday, lifted many a glass, and shared many meals together. We have been a family of friends united in having real family far away.
There is something else, though, that has glued we Canadian expatriates together while living in this lovely but foreign land; a sense of familiarity and common ground. We six seem to have lived similar experiences. Who else but other Montrealers could nod knowingly when referencing The Peel Pub, Café Santropol , McGill's Curry Gym, Durocher street, and Crescent Street.
Now, we have built new common reference points from our collective experience in Geneva- the Mont Blanc bridge, the Mont Blanc tunnel, la Bise wind, the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix, skiing the Alps, crêpes in Yvoire, church bells, the smells of lavender and rosemary, carousels, and Sunday markets. Take them with you, Mightys, and don't forget us. We'll miss you at the table!