So far, we've done ok. The kids knew from the outset that this year would be a very different year without the familiarity and comforts of home, without birthday parties, and without friends.
We missed out on Hallowe'en completely, but no one seemed too bothered. When no one else around you even talks about it, you just don't feel like you're missing out on anything.
Eamon had a great birthday 10-pin bowling in Santiago (such a fluke that there was a bowling alley right by our apartment) and then cake and presents. Of course he missed having a party, but that's only made him talk a lot about his plans for his next birthday.
There were no complaints about Christmas even though the gifts were small and few (and yes, Kerry and I have taken note). We heard a very gleeful announcement that our elf found us. In fact, we've heard more than once how fantastic it was that our elf found us in Australia. Looking back on our Christmas, I clearly see that the lead up to Christmas and the anticipation of it is a very big part (maybe the biggest?) of what makes Christmas so fantastic.
And then we came upon Easter in Paris. My sister very kindly brought a bit of Easter chocolate for the kids, just in case we didn't find anything here in the very short time we had to find some. And I thought that we should decorate eggs. It would bring a bit of home to our travels, and it seemed very doable in Paris.
A while ago, I happened to see on Pinterest a way to decorate eggs with wax crayons. Boil the eggs, and while they are still hot, toss them in a bag with broken crayons. Beautifully coloured eggs resulted. And so easy to do anywhere we might be.
Or so I thought.
I knew things weren't going to work out as planned the moment I realized I could only find brown eggs. But we continued.
We don't have any actual wax crayons, only Twistables. We sacrificed a few and went about the business of decorating our brown eggs.
The result was less than spectacular.
But then later, when Eamon and I were looking at our egg creations, he told me that he knew it wasn't going to work out because Twistable crayons don't melt like real crayons. At first I thought he was talking to hear himself talk. But I quizzed him. Turns out, in school they did some experiment melting crayons and Twistables in the sun. The Twistables didn't really melt. He didn't think to mention this to me at any point in the egg decorating process.
But the day was not lost. Turns out, no one really cared about the eggs. They preferred the egg hunt -- which Kerry insisted be chocolate eggs this year because we don't have a dog with us that would spend the night finding them and eating them.
Next year, we'll resume our egg decorating tradition with white eggs and have greater success than this year. Because having less success is actually impossible.