This past weekend was the IAEA Ball — the one we’ve gone to the last two years. We had tickets, and had planned to go, but we couldn’t. Our two regular babysitters were both busy, so we stayed home. The ball, being many hours long and lasting late into the night, isn’t the kind of thing we could try out a new babysitter for, nor could we just impose on a friend who hadn’t watched the kids before.
So we didn’t go. It’s a bit disappointing, but it’s part of life abroad as a parent. (It’s actually just part of life as a parent in general, but it happens a lot more to us now that we’re far from home.) At home, there’s almost no chance that we would have to skip an important event because we were without a sitter. We have a large family and lots of friends with kids of similar ages — we would have been able to work something out with someone, I’m sure.
Living abroad means getting by with a significantly reduced support structure. I’m incredibly grateful for the support that we DO have here, and appreciative of what we had at home even more than I was when I had it. Both at home and living here, we’ve been truly lucky to have the chance to do some fun, social things that wouldn’t have worked with the kids in tow. This year’s ball just didn’t happen to be one of them. That’s just how it goes.