Thursday, May 1, 2008

Friends Like These

On Monday I got to tag along with Michael and the rest of his Fulbright colleagues for a tour of the Danish Parliament by a top member of the Danish Social Democratic party and a dinner later that evening. As a former Political Science undergrad, I ate up getting an inside look at the Danish parliamentarian government. And the dinner afterward with a side of great conversation with a collection of Fulbright scholars and American embassy diplomats was a real treat. All of this was made possible by our friends Robyn and Joel who spent a huge chunk of a busy Monday workday playing with, chasing after and changing the many diapers of my two little people.

One thing I've really come to appreciate about expat living is how quickly and how strongly connections between people who sometimes share little besides their nationality develop. People are naturally drawn toward those who are like themselves - single, married, married with kid, married with multiple kids all in middle school, single parent with high school kid who doesn't take school seriously, married parents with kid in college who has troublesome boyfriend, etc. - though we miss out when we segregate ourselves like this.

Within the next 18 months or so it's likely that we'll move into a completely new American community where we have no ties to family or friends. I tend to think it's unlikely that I'll find another working, childless couple who will take time off work to volunteer their babysitting services so a stay-at-home mom can spend time out with her husband and his colleagues. Sadly the thought never crossed my mind when I was in a similar position before we started popping out the kiddies.

Thanks Robyn and Joel!


nikki said...

that's so nice of your friends. I always find myself plagued with guilt that I wasn't more of a help to the many people we knew who had kids before us. I mean, we did the basic things that you're supposed to do, but I wish I'd truly realized that new parents need MORE than that.

Bluefish said...

It's so nice to have great friends who are willing to help when living in a foreign land.

Rachel said...

If you move to Pittsburgh, I'll watch the kiddos. That is, if you'd let me. :)

LMGM said...

Tim and I are always up for a good session of vicarious living with other people's kids =)

After having lived through the segregation by "affinity" at Eastview, I have to disagree with you though... I have a much greater desire for diversity.