There are some days that it feels like I have been living here in Stockholm forever, instead of just a few years. I will notice something and think, I would never see that in the US. But then just as quickly I second guess myself and say: or would I? It’s like my memory of both homelands is merging into one collective memory. This morning was a perfect case in point. The day was gray and freezing and as I passed by the playground at the end of the street, I saw a group of dads playing with their kids. I smiled and immediately thought: that’s so cool and so typical of Sweden that the kids are out and playing on this not very nice day. Then the second part of my thinking went something like: it’s great to see those dads out with the kids on a Wednesday morning. The paternity leave here is really wonderful.
But then I started second-guessing myself. Would I, in fact, see kids out in the park on a bad winter day in the US? Would I see that group of dads? To my first question, I thought: well maybe. Then to the second, I thought: no way.The dads are at work, more typically. It’s the moms that are at home.
I notice that I get just a bit fuzzy about some of the finer details in the US, as well. When I was back in Cincinnati at Christmas, I found myself having to think about how I needed to get to a restaurant that I had been to a dozen times or more in the past. It was a bit disconcerting. I hope my brain has not reached a capacity overload. I would like to think that I am just expanding it.