|We don't need guidebooks to London....|
In many ways it seems as if you're putting yourself into reverse gear. All the things we had to do when we first arrived here - for example, obtaining a car, buying electrical goods and registering the kids for school - we're now doing from the other way around. So we need to think who might want our coffee maker, iron and toaster, which won't work in the UK, deal with selling our car, inform the school that we're leaving.
Things that have been stuffed into drawers for four years - UK credit cards, kids' NHS health books, UK chequebooks - suddenly have to be retrieved and located, whereas the things we fought so hard to acquire over our first year - our US credit cards, New York drivers licences, work permits and the rest - suddenly seem less important. Our attention is turning to issues such as buying a car for London, and working out where to live.
In some ways, it seems like a self-catering holiday (a long, long one) coming to an end. Except you've made several firm friends during it, educated your children, seen them acquire American accents, gained a new knowledge of how to speak "American", and understand more than you want to about the US gun laws, the Tea Party and the path of Hurricanes.
What do you do with all this newly acquired stuff? The knowledge, I mean, not the irons and toasters. Do you just file it away into a corner of your mind marked "America"? Do you bore people at home with it? (I always remember a university room-mate, who came from Guernsey, and prefaced every sentence with "In Guernsey"....until we were sick to death of hearing about the Channel Island).
Hopefully it helps give you a more balanced perspective on life back in your home country- an ability to appreciate the good and compare the bad. On the other hand, it could just all slowly seep away as you slot seamlessly back into London life, as if you'd never been away.