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I’m sitting in LAX awaiting our flight back to our other home in London. We have taken over an entire row in the waiting area with our carry-ons. I am always amazed at how my boys travel with such ease. They could no more take the bus down Sunset Blvd two miles without getting lost, but they can fly across the world with neck pillows, gadgets, food and foreign money and know how to check in and where to place all their stuff.

There’s a somberness to the beginning of this holiday season with the horrific events in Connecticut. I look at my seven year old sitting across from me without a care in the world, and can only take a pause and recognize the blessing of his safety. The random act of violence is a heavier destruction because nothing is fair, and simply believing in the life that remains after that becomes the greatest challenge you face. I pray for the families and for strength to embody them.

My friend, Heather, and I discussed talking to our boys about the tragedy and finding appropriate words. We both felt that especially during a time when Hanukkah was bringing present after present and Christmas is on its way, the boys needed to be mindful of what also happens in our world and how to pray for others, not just ourselves. It’s a tall order for a kid to understand that there is life outside of his four walls and surely it’s our job to broaden their awareness. I’m not saying we need to frighten them and make them watch CNN to feel lucky, but equally what happened is real and they need to understand that when we ask them to be safe when they go out, what to do when strangers approach, whatever, there is a real reason for it.

Up up and away. The same prayer every time we fly. Husband awaits at our arrival and it’s crazy to think there’s a prayer to be said to get there. But there is and we board with an assumption of safety but with a prayer as well.

The arrival to our house is always incredibly weird. In my mind, nothing has changed but for the seasons. I am always exhausted when we open the front door as the night flight lingers in my body, and my longingness for getting under my duvet is set against my boys energy at rediscovering their lives here. They race to their rooms and scream around the house; they run down the lane to the neighbors to declare their arrival; they run and run and run. Meanwhile, I become obsessed with unpacking their clothes and getting some order before I collapse.

We all shower – Husband’s phobia about germs from the flight. Even though I spent ridiculous money on my blow dry that made me look like I had hair extensions, I wash my hair like everyone else. Bed feels like the Twilight Zone where once under, strange dreams occur and I awake mid afternoon not knowing which room I’m in, which country,

In my mind I think I know what is behind every cupboard in the house but when I open them, I am jolted back to the memory of clearing everything out for rentals. My office is filled with boxes rather than buddahs and the whole thing makes me a little uncomfortable. I want my house back and yet need to keep it somewhat empty for the chance of renting again. It’s like I can’t invest in the small things for the house here because we might have to clear it all out again, and so it forces me to detach, which I don’t like.

It’s raining here and people are a bit anxious because of the holidays. Getting settled in is always hard and the best bit of advice I have is to try and not judge anything or anyone for a while. Husband is trying to wrap up the year end with work which can be like watching a crazy man try and stay sane, and Lord knows Santa is on his way! I need my heart to stop racing so for now, I’m going to wrap some presents and make a bolognese…because everyone knows a bolognese can always save the day.

About Jennifer

Jennifer is from Beverly Hills and has lived between London and LA since 1994. She's been a writer for over 20 years in the world of film, tv, travel and magazines and has been a class rep eight times and counting...
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