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folding in

After an exciting celebratory weekend, with surprisingly fewer belly rubs than anticipated, S and her parents squeezed themselves between the suitcases and baby gear to make the return trek home to northern Maine.

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The drive is a familiar one for S. When her parents moved to Maine, S decided to remain in her Massachusetts hometown for her senior year of high school rather than have to start anew in an unfamiliar school. She has visited frequently but has never spent more than a week or two living with her parents, so she does not have friends to see or familiar haunts to visit. More than a decade of sojourns to Maine has bred enough familiarity for her to know where she’s going around town and where to find things in the house, but not necessarily what to do with her abundant free time.

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Armed with a to-do list that mostly involves preparing for the great unknown as first-time parents, S has devoted more time than she ever thought would be possible to reading about healthy sleep habits and breastfeeding, picking out the nursery décor, and deciphering the instructions for various baby contraptions. In addition to putting together a long shopping list to outfit us through the first year and a half of baby’s life, S is trying to strike a balance by keeping up with her Russian and getting back in touch with friends in other states.

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In the evenings and on weekends, S finds herself folding into the social fabric of her parents’ life and adopting their routines. In the past week and a half, she has attended a pharmaceutical dinner lecture and retirement party, bundled up to go snowshoeing, attended services at a synagogue and a bris for one of the newest congregants, watched an action war flick at the local movie theater, and almost accompanied her dad to a college hockey game. At most events, there are friendly faces and even a few people whom she knows from visits over the years, but most often it’s clear that the familiarity is due to the fact that S’s parents talk about her to their friends and colleagues.

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It’s been nice to spend time with her parents, though of course moving back in with one’s parents as an adult tends to be disorienting, no matter how brief the stay. The plan is to move to Portland once D returns stateside. If the little one keeps to his anticipated schedule, we should have a few weeks to explore a city that has been featured on several lists of top cities to visit in 2014.

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