Ben and I just realized that as of this week, we have been living in Virginia for a full year. It honestly does not quite feel like that long. Between Zosia growing like a weed, living at my parents' house for several months, essentially starting a new job, buying a house, making it inhabitable, moving, getting pregnant, and having a baby, it has been a crazy whirlwind of a year. Ben and I still miss so many things about Boston-- our amazing community, the walkability, the dry and mild summers, to name a few. We loved New England. But being here in Virginia has had so many unexpected blessings. It has been incredible to be around family and to have Zosia (and now Lily) have the blessing of being around many grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We love our neighborhood, and have settled into a groove of work, leisure, church.
I think that one thing about being the child of immigrants is that you often don't have a feeling of belonging in a single place. Having moved around Northern Virginia for my whole childhood, I don't feel like there's a single "home" that I can go back to, and my family's history in this area is so recent that I don't feel like I'm a local. But this morning, I was out running errands with Zosia (Lily was home with pops), and I was over in the part of Falls Church that my family lived in when I was born. I have only vague memories (or memories through photos), but I have heard many stories about those early years. This morning, I drove by the doctor's office my mom said she walked to when she was really really pregnant with Irene, by the McDonalds that we used to have birthday parties at, and imagined the many family members (my grandmother, grandfather, great-aunt) that were characters in those days. And I felt quite strongly that I belong in this place-- that I am from this place. And it feels good to be home.