Life in the Foreign Service can sometimes feel like one long, never-ending countdown. You can get sucked into a pattern of waiting for one event or milestone after another. First you wait for your invitation to join, then you wait for A-100 to start, then for Flag Day, and then for training to end, and then for your departure. When you get to your new job, you start waiting to feel like you know what you’re doing, for your stuff to arrive, for your first R&R, for the one year mark, for new friends to arrive, for your second R&R. Then you start waiting to leave and all the fun that goes with it: the pack out, airline tickets, long flights and layovers. And when that’s done, you get to start the process all over again!
On top of that, there’s the personal life waiting game. We’ve known since early January that we’d be adding a new member to our family in September. So we waited, and waited, and waited. Then September came and went, and we found ourselves still waiting! Finally, after being induced and laboring for 24 long hours, baby D decided to arrive in October! And for the first time since I can remember, we find ourselves truly living in the moment and not waiting for a thing.
The thing about always waiting and counting down for something, is that you are always willing the time to pass a little faster. People have been lamenting that we need to “enjoy every moment because the time will go so fast” since we learned we were expecting. That seemed pretty obvious to me, as each December 31st, I’m always surprised to find myself at the end of another short year. But now that we are seeing how fast a baby changes and grows, both physically and mentally, I realize that life is moving at warp speed! He’s packing on the ounces, learning to move new muscles in his face, and exercising his vocal cords a bit more each day.
I know that we’ll eventually fall back into countdown mode, especially late next spring as training wraps up and our departure looms nearer. But I’m really quite glad that we’re done waiting for now!