Day 122: Back to Sweden (and the worries that go with it)

Tonight we fly again back to Sweden.  We are glad to be going back to Sweden, but I will miss my friends and the little guy’s play buddies.  I am really happy that I have met some nice people here – it is not always easy to meet genuine, good people.

As we go back to Sweden and spend the next 6 weeks there, I am worried about the little guy losing the social element that has seemed to be so good for him.  He has always liked being around people, but did not care much for other babies until recently.  Now he not only tolerates it, but likes it and tries to play with them.  So, I am worried that being back in Sweden, without my play groups and friends with babies, it will once again be just me and him, and he will become a “only play with adults baby” again.  We will do our best to get him interacting with as many other babies as we can, but I am worried because due to the completely different cultures, Swedish parents are not like the Hong Kong expat parents.

In Hong Kong as an expat parent, you are forced to be social, because you do not know many other people, or at the very least you do not know many other people with babies.  But in Sweden, it is not the porous place as Hong Kong is, and you are not forced to be open to meeting others in the same way.  You can keep living your life once you have a baby, and you will eventually make new and other friends, but there is no rush.  For expats, Hong Kong is like if you go to summer camp.  When you go, you are forced into meeting new people, being social, and so on.  On the other hand, parenting in Sweden is like if you just stay in the community you are from and do not go to summer camp, you can keep on living as you normally would, but you will eventually meet new people there, too.  Both are just fine, and I look forward to not always being at summer camp, but for the moment when we are traveling back and forth, it is important for the little guy to get the advantage of meeting other social parents and their babies.

Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to being back in Sweden immensely.  I can’t wait to see the friends and family who are there, eat the food, smell the clean air, and enjoy the low-humidity (and lower heat) climate.  So I worry not for me, but for the little guy and his development.  I know in the end it all probably doesn’t matter, but I still care and worry.

I guess I should probably focus on one worry at a time: We fly out tonight but we were unable to book seats next to each other.

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