We've been back in the UK six months.
In some ways it seems to have flown by - in others, it seems as if America, Long Island and everything we did there seems very far away.
Already, the boys have virtually lost their American accents. They don't even say "awesome" very much any more - although I've noticed that British children now also use that word quite frequently too. They talk about "break" instead of "recess"; "shops" instead of "stores". But yesterday I heard Littleboy 2 refer to a chocolate digestive biscuit as a "cookie", so it hasn't all gone.
Littleboy 1 now plays rugby and football, not "soccer", and will soon be learning cricket. He's made some friends and had some playdates, although he still misses his best friend in America and keeps a photo of him next to his bed. He loves his new school, and has developed a real passion for reading thanks to an inspirational Library teacher (very Dead Poets' Society). He's still enthusiastic and eager about everything, with a confidence I think is ingrained in children in American schools.
We haven't had the little annual rituals of Martin Luther King Jr Day or drawing pictures of Lincoln's Log Cabin for Presidents Week, but Littleboy 2 is enjoying learning all about British history - he loved The Tudors (obsessively drawing pictures of Henry VIII) and is now full of enthusiasm about World War II, earnestly explaining about me to about ration books as I drive him home from school.
Valentine's Day is coming up and I think they'll be surprised that not everyone in their class sends a card to each other. (They did, however, write Christmas cards - something that didn't happen in America.) I'm just relieved that we won't have a bagful of pink tat coming home on the 14th of February.
I'm missing the beauty of Long Island, but appreciating being back in the City again. Work has become a lot more fun; I'm still with the New York company, but being their "woman on the ground" over here means I can go to more meetings, do more interviews and meet interesting people. Socially, I've chatted to a few more playground mums, but I still feel like the new girl and I suspect I will until the next school year starts.
The Doctor has finally sorted out his job, and after feeling for a while that his time in the States had been wasted, it now looks as if it has got him exactly what he wanted all along, which is a mix of clinical work and academic research.
Now we need to find our family home for the foreseeable future. The estate agents are still circling, we have yet to get an offer on our house, and we haven't found anything quite right either (except for one place that 's currently way above our budget).
Wish me luck.