[formerly private…

[formerly private entry]

So, hope all of you had a happy Thanksgiving. I'm now at fourteen weeks, as of today -- or at twelve weeks gestation if we're counting for real, which means I'm really truly at the end of my first trimester. And, as promised, for the last three or four days, I've felt much more normal, which is awfully nice. Still a bit queasy in the evenings, but my energy levels are getting closer to what they used to be. I still need to rest some, but I can cook for a few hours now without feeling like I'm going to fall over, which is very helpful when you've invited people over for Thanksgiving dinner! :-)

Looking forward to that big burst of energy everyone tells me is coming. Golden trimester, I await you with bated breath...

We got some exciting news yesterday -- Kevin was offered a job at Oxford. They'll be e-mailing with more details shortly, and then we'll have to think about what we want to do. Apparently, they want to fly us both out in December to show us around, and we'd need to make a decision by January 1. It's unfortunate that they're on a completely different academic calendar than here -- English jobs won't even be interviewing until MLA, after Christmas, and at this point, neither Kev nor I knows whether anyone in the U.S. will want to interview us. I'll talk to him tonight when he gets off his plane, and we should know more. Whatever we decide, it certainly is nice that they want him -- I'm proud of my boy.

At the same time, I'm freaking out a little. It's so far away! And I'll have an infant, and I do have one good friend in London, and another friend in France, and I suppose Ben will be moving back to Switzerland at some point, but, y'know, it's not like he and Esther can just pop over to babysit. It's easy to get around Europe, but not *that* easy. I do generally make friends pretty easily, but I'm not sure my normal paradigms will apply when I'm dealing with a screaming baby. On the other hand -- it's exciting. It'd feel weird not going, in some sense. And as you probably know, I *am* a total Anglophile... (In case you didn't see it, this is the entry I wrote when we first heard about the job possibility.)

On the third (or fourth?) hand, I'm finding the idea of actually moving out of America oddly disconcerting. I may be more rooted in this country than I realized. It would be weird, not to be an American anymore. Could I spend the rest of my life as an expatriate? Does that word have the same meaning it had back in the days when travel was more difficult and time-consuming? So confusing...

Sorry this is all in the pregnancy blog -- in some sense it's not so appropriate, but in another sense, it's totally appropriate, of course. And I'm not sure whether I can talk about it in my regular blog yet, so for now, here it is. Any thoughts are welcome.

5 thoughts on “[formerly private…”

  1. Well, while I *totally* understand the reasons why you might not want to go (dealing with a baby in a strange place, let alone country, the disruption, etc), I have to think that this is an amazing opportunity. Seriously, when you look back on this, I can’t help but worry that you’d feel sad if you passed this up. A chance to live in England! To explore Europe! And if you don’t have to have a job, well, at least the bulk of the childcare is something you wouldn’t have to worry about.

    But, then again, you say something about living the rest of your life as an ex-pat. Honestly, my reaction above is based on assuming you’d come back at some point in the next 5 – 10 years. If it seriously is a permanent move… well, then yeah, I’d definitely think about it very carefully before embarking.

    But Oxford! Wow. Just, wow. That’s so fucking impressive, MA.

    Anyway, I’ve blathered on enough here. I’m very excited for you. It sounds very cool, and I can totally see you in a completely charming English cottage. It seems very Mary Anne…

    … and I’m not just saying that because you being there would be a great excuse for us to come visit England 🙂

    (Tim says you should buy Terri Windling’s house, which has some awesome-sounding murals. There’s a story about it in the next Locus.)

  2. Congrats on the job offer! Wow! Very impressive. So exciting!

    As a parent, and someone who did move across the country without any friends, I think it’s actually harder to make new friends without a new baby. Of course I did make new friends, including you, but when Special K was born, I felt isolated. I have lovely friends, but none of my local friends had babies. So I joined a parents club and suddenly it was like college — so many people to choose from and prearranged meetings. Most new moms are desperate to make friends with other new moms Apart from college/grad school, I think it’s the time when adults make the most friends.

    I see that Oxford University has a weekly meeting for newcomers with children. http://www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/clubs/newcomers/ For new mums, the babies lie on the floor and the mums chat. The playgroups in the beginning are for the parents not the kids. You’ll make friends. You mention screaming. Children can be noisy whatever their age. Babies have simpler demands than older children. It’s also a lot harder to chat when the babies get mobile. You have to chase after them.

    And if you host playgroups at your house, mums will love you.

  3. We’ll be going back to Basel in July 2007. Not close enough to babysit, which is really too bad, because that would be a lot of fun. But close enough for cheap flights, and for me to be swept up into whatever projects you relentlessly spawn in the Old World (right, sure, I know, you’re not spawning any more projects when you have a babe-in-arms… you think).

  4. Ditto Thida on the cycle of making friends — very easy to socialize with infants, then come a few years where the adults smile at each other briefly while they chase their kids around, and then at a certain point the kids start running off independently and you can actually talk again

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