“I’m hot. Why do we have to live here?” Son1 asks petulantly, after coming in from the heat outdoors.
He looks at me with accusatory, dark-brown eyes, his cheeks flushed red and a bead of sweat trickling down his sticky forehead.
“Well, Daddy got a job here,” I explain, for the umpteenth time. “You know Daddy AND Mummy have to work to pay for all the thing you want, right?
“Besides, it’s our home and we’re very lucky to live here.”
He goes quiet for a few seconds.
“But WHY can’t we live in England?”
I explain, again, that, if we moved to England, it wouldn’t be summer all year round. There wouldn’t be fun outings every day, ice cream on demand and late bedtimes. It would rain, a lot.
“And,” I counter, trying to define winter to a child who has no recollection of this particular season, “You’d have to go to school there – and come home in THE DARK.”
I do get it, and I feel it too. Returning to the scorched, dog days of a Dubai summer after spending time in the motherland with family isn’t easy for many expats. It’s infernally hot, most friends won’t surface until school starts, everything is covered in a veil of atom bomb dust and the air is heavy with sand.
But it’ll pass Son1, you know it will. It’s the same each year and, soon, we’ll be dancing to the tune of glorious sunny days, under blue skies, with school in full swing. (Did you hear me whoop?)
In the meantime, darling Son1, could you please STOP whining – I’ve rallied every single 6-8-year-old playmate I can find within a five-mile radius and am on the verge of booking a reality-check trip to the northern hemisphere. In January. THEN, you’ll see, there’s no perfect place to live.