The little things really do make a difference. I have always went on about how Keith's brand of romance is doing the little thoughtful things that show me he loves me. With the kids, I have learned that it isn't grand gestures that make them feel loved; it's the little meaningful things that work the best.
This whole move is a huge thing, but the barometer of each day's feelings is affected most by the little things. That was illustrated in a big way this morning. Hannah has been feeling lost, and most of her days have at least one blue moment when she misses everyone back home and expresses in a lot of different ways her worry that she won't find a way to fit in here. But this morning at breakfast, there was a knock at the door. We opened to find Leah, the girl from next door, holding a little gift for Hannah. Leah had to run on to school, so Hannah opened it on her own. Inside the carefully wrapped (and heavily taped) package was a little plastic container with a small string of beads that Leah had made for Hannah. Such a small thing, but the light that filled Hannah's face showed just how much that little gift meant to her. It meant friendship. It meant acceptance. It meant that someone in England other than her family was thinking about her.
As she exclaimed that she "would treasure this forever" I thought about the little things that have been affecting our family in these first six weeks in the UK. Charlotte and her love of biscuits. Maggie and a day where we just stay home. Hannah coming home excited about gardening at school. Keith watching Antiques Roadshow and marveling that everything the Brits presented to be valued were the caliber and age of that one good thing that shows up on the US version!
I know that the little things affect me--most times those that know me best would say that I focus too much on little things. But the little things are what make life so wonderful. . .and so chaotic and sad, too. I have trouble going on Facebook because those little posts make me miss all that we have left behind. The little messages starred in my Inbox that I can't seem to sit down and answer because many of them are from the people I am missing the most.
But there are great little things here, too. Shopping on Castle Street with a Costa latte in hand. Driving through a little English village that has been there since long before America was born. The shopkeepers that wave at me and say "There goes the American lady!" Finding a great Spanish red wine. Keith making me a cup of coffee for afternoon tea.
Now I am paying more attention to the little things. . .after all they mean a lot, as the old song goes. And as we continue to explore here, I hope that all the little things I share in these posts give all of you an idea of how we are doing. And it does make me happy to know that this blog is a little thing that makes my mom and mom-in-law smile!