Here are some aspects of life in America that I am positively relishing since we've been back.
1. The grocery stores. I always look forward to the first time back after a trip abroad because it is so overwhelming. Grocery stores here are so big, so clean, and do not smell like rotten meat. Glorious.
2. Having a car. Not to be a snob - and remember, I have lived without a car in the States for a few months in 2004 as well as the entire summer in Middlebury - but I do appreciate being able to strap my kids in my own personal car to get to where I need to go. No wrestling with them in the back of a hot, smoky, rip-off-y taxi with Koranic recitations blaring over the cassette tape player. Just the girls sitting quietly and restrained and enjoying a little Pinback with me.
3. The general state of order and calm. I do love a good, healthy sense of bustle about a place but on the other hand, it's nice to have things like lines, consistent opening hours, crosswalks and crosswalk signals, traffic lanes, lulls in said traffic, etc.
4. The familiar food. I always find ways to adjust when overseas but there's nothing like going to the store and being able to just buy a big block of cheddar cheese already. And not have to pay 10 dollars for it.
5. My kids are nothing special. This is kind of a strange one, I guess, but it is a relief to not have to prepare my kids psychologically before every outing. I noticed the difference as soon as we were in London - no one was staring at us or trying to touch my girls' hair. (Except for that Saudi family in London who gave my kids candy and then tried to take cell phone pictures of them. Not so much cool.)
Thank you, America, for these wonderful things. Amen.