The Royal Baby – And 4 More Reasons to Be an Anglophile Right Now

(This post originally ran on the Framingham Patch)

As many of my blog readers know, I’m a Brit living in the USA. I’ve been here 13 and a half years now, 11 of those living in Framingham.

While I am proud of my cultural assimilation into the American and, in particular, Massachusetts culture (despite our amusing language differences), I can confidently boast that now is the time for you, dear Americans, to become an Anglophile! Here’s why:

  1. The Queen has just legalized same sex marriage
  2. Kate Middleton is about to produce a new heir to the throne
  3. Britain has a maze that is Doctor Who-themed
  4. Andy Murray won Wimbledon
  5. J.K. Rowling wows us with another novel written under a pen name

Cheers to the motherland!

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Highlights of a Trip Home to England

Count magpies
Drink tea with milk – and maybe a biscuit or two
Drive on the other side of the road – and remember how to get from here to there
Read an actual newspaper – and especially the polygon word puzzle
Reconnect with cousins, aunts, uncles
Smile and feel anchored anew after spending time with old friends
Rediscover London with fresh eyes and energy
Sleep so soundly in my childhood bed
Dry my hair with a seemingly-nuclear powered hairdrier
Gleefully wander the aisles of Waitrose & Boots
Stock up on chocolate hobnobs & Jaffa cakes

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Why America?

I don’t really like America. This may come as a shock to you as it’s been my home for 12 years. I’m the kind of person who lives in the moment and makes the most of what I have. I choose to embrace the world around me with an open mind and an open heart. So here I am, in America, 12 years after moving here with my job in February 2000. I could have gone back to France (which I still miss so viscerally,) could go back to my roots in England, could try somewhere entirely new.

I’ve felt at home everywhere that I’ve lived.

As I embarked upon this post, I was thinking of chronicling the major milestones during these 12 years. But two particular moments stand out, defining me and my future.

Flashback to August 5, 2001. Not to that lazy Sunday morning and the heart-stopping moment when this wonderful man I had fallen in love with asked me to be his wife. But later that night, as he slept beside me and my head and heart exploded with emotions and my eyes gushed with tears. Joy: I had finally found my soul mate. Amazement/gratitude: that someone could love me enough to want to marry me. Relief: now I could actually dare to see my future, having children could finally become a reality.

Fast-forward to April 2004. After a tough and mentally torturous journey, we discover I am pregnant. Yes, my body is about to perform this ridiculously clever process of growing a person. They say when you become a parent, you permanently wear your heart on your sleeve. For me, this started the day the little blue line appeared after peeing on the white stick. Life was profoundly altered from that moment. I was no longer one person. I still look at my son with amazement and say, “I made you! How nuts is that.”

Now we have two beautiful kids. This April, Devin and I celebrate 10 happy years of marriage. We have a lovely home, great jobs, good health, fantastic friends. I do not take any of this for granted. I wish my parents and siblings were closer, geographically, but we are closer precisely because of our physical distance.

They say home is where the heart is. Right now, it’s here. America.

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