This Time Next Year

Around here, May is a big month for birthdays. I guess this is true everywhere in the world, but in our small community of expats, there are nine birthdays in the month of May. So to celebrate, one of our friends had a birthday cookout – no small feat here considering you can’t just run to the store and buy hamburgers ready-made complete with buns. We all pitched in a little (I made mashed potatoes, for a little irony) and had ourselves a good ole’ fashioned American-style birthday party.

Pam made Macy’s very first birthday cake…the most beautiful ladybug

Macy enjoys some shoulder time

Pose with Pam

We strip Macy down to enjoy her cake. At first, she’s not exactly sure what to do with it.

She gets the hang of it very quickly.

The fun goes on…

Can you give Mommy a little taste?

Mommy, I like cake.

All in all, it was a really good time. As we were leaving, our host happened to say something that stuck out in my mind.

“Hey…we should do this again next year!”

This is something that we often say simply to express that we had a good time and that this event was worth repeating. Right after he said this though, he said something else that pretty much sums up the life of an expat.

“Oh, well, none of you will be here next year…”

We all paused for a second. There were six families represented there. As I looked around the room, I realized one of these was moving next month, another was moving in August, and yet another in October. The fourth family is planning a move sometime by next summer, and we plan to be in the States next May. Out of all these people, only one family will probably be in our city in May 2011. As much as we would like it, we’ll never be able to repeat this event.

In that moment, I realized how precious and short this life is. When you are fortunate enough to find good friends, the kind who will make your baby girl’s first birthday cake, you should hold onto them, even though these friends will be moving across the world.

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