[dropcap style=”color: #9b9b9b;”]M[/dropcap]artin never doubted. When I announced last year that I wanted to get back to Germany, he instantly and easily agreed as if I had merely suggested we make spaghetti for dinner. And then, as I twisted and turned and agonized over everything, he kept cool as a cucumber.
At times, I actually got really frustrated with him for not sharing in my stress. Normally, I am the one who remains unfazed about most things. He’s the one who normally gets anxious when plans unexpectedly change, things go awry, when things don’t happen as intended. You know, that perfectionist German guy who likes things orderly and logical. And applying for jobs overseas is a process so far from orderly and logical that surely, as my spouse, it would drive him batty, too.
But it didn’t.
“Julie, it’s just a matter of time,” he always replied when I complained of his inability to be frazzled along with me. “Why are you so worried? I know it will happen.”
To him, it was a mix of logic and confidence. He didn’t dwell on it like I did, because, in his mind, of course it was going to happen.
He’s getting a little anxious, too, but in a completely positive and endearing way. It’s beginning to sink in that his children are actually going to spend a good chunk of their childhood in his home country. This is stirring a lot of emotions and memories for him, and we’re already creating a list of things we want to introduce to them: places where he lived, where we met, where we married, things he ate, television shows he watched, festivals he attended.
Also, Martin got a letter last Christmas from his father’s side of the family that included a family tree of relatives who want to reconnect with him and his brother. Martin and his brother were so young when their father died, they lost touch with that side of the family. Back in 2001 and 2002, when we were planning our wedding, we tried to locate these people to invite them to the ceremony, but back then, technology and family records just weren’t as accessible as they are now, especially in Germany which tends to buckle down on private information even now.
So you can imagine how awesome it was to hear from his kin, and to learn they were interested in reconnecting with him and learn about us, too.
Needless to say, this move means many things for us.
In addition to reconnecting with his roots, Martin will continue to embrace his responsibilities to his adopted homeland. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, Martin is in the midst of working with his Air Force Reserve leadership to find a position for him at one of the military installations in Germany. It’s not uncommon for Reservists to live and work overseas, and many are able to fulfill their annual requirements right there in Europe. Others travel back to the United States for chunks of time versus the once-a-month-two-weeks-a-year schedule. We’re open to whatever aligns for him in that regard.
He’ll also be able to continue his college courses with University Maryland University College. Not only are a lot of his courses online, but Stuttgart actually has a UMUC office where he’ll be able to take some classes, his exams, and all that jazz. There will be no disruption to his educational goals.
Above all, his focus will remain on the children, and he’ll continue to be a full-time stay-at-home dad to them over there. More so than ever, they will be very dependent on him as they navigate a new culture and home, new schools, and more exposure to their second language. We’ve always been open with the kids about the possibility of the move, so they’ve had plenty of time to adjust to the idea. But of course, we realize there will be so many changes for them that they can’t possibly foresee and understand.
Yet, in that sense, I don’t really worry about them because he will be there offering all the consistency and comfort he’s always provided them, ensuring they stick to a familiar schedule, maintaining order and discipline, seeing them off to school and being there when they return home, taking them around, introducing them to everything, helping them navigate the world.
You know, that guy.