Saturday, August 30, 2008

No Place Like Home

It's 2:30 a.m. in London, and I'm sitting here in the dark. Wide awake.

Less than 48 hours ago the kids and I got back from two weeks with my parents in Michigan. It was the perfect holiday! Lots of space for Jack and Sophie to run, play, explore, chase the cats, jump on the neighbor's trampoline, etc. Lots of one-on-one time with family -- in addition to being with Gran and Pa, my sister joined us for several days at the beginning, Matt came for a few days in the middle and Matt's parents came for several days at the end of our time. Lots of togetherness, in the best sense of the word. I intended to see a few friends and make a few phone calls, but the days got away from me. In the end it was just us, and it was lovely.

Michigan is a great place to visit in the summertime, and my parents' house is wonderful anytime. So relaxing. Just what I needed! The whole time we were there, it felt so good to be home with my Mom and Dad. Retirement and grandparenting really become them! The day before we left, Jack said he wanted to stay and live with them forever. He wasn't the only one.

Jack and Sophie travel really well, except for that part between when the airplane takes off and when it lands again. On long flights, when the kids need to sleep but can't relax because they're too distracted by all the new sights/sounds/smells around them, I am the woman that everyone wishes would make her child stop screaming. I am the woman perfect strangers approach and say, "Is there anything I can do to help?" I am the woman who dreams of the day she can travel alone, reading a book, looking out the window and drifting in and out of sleep while someone else's kid does the screaming.

I am the woman whose husband surprised her with an appointment for a Thai massage the afternoon we got back. It was amazing! Exactly what I needed, along with the clean house and stocked fridge I came home to. I am the woman who thinks her husband is the best.

I also came home to ripe, crisp Cox apples on the tree and fat, red Autumn Bliss raspberries on the canes in our little back garden, to a fresh appreciation for all that I love about our little home and community and a sense of contentment that we live here, that our kids are at these delightful (and challenging) ages, that we are blessed in so many ways on two continents.

Honestly, mine is a charmed life. Well, except for the jet-lag.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Eyes On Beijing

Jack and I are watching the Olympics. We managed to see the last part of the Opening Ceremony yesterday afternoon, and he was totally into it.

Mommy, Mommy, look! There's the Olympic flag. I love the Olympic flag! Here comes the Olympic torch. I love the Olympic torch! Oooooh, fireworks! I love the Olympic games, don't you, Mommy? Don't you just LOVE the Olympic games?

In spite of not posting in the last few weeks, I can tell I'm not going to get much written today. It's hard to focus with Jack's running commentary beside me. This is his first Olympics, and he's naturally excited, asking questions in one breath and explaining things to me in the next.

The swimmer in lane 3 won! Look! She's very strong. Number 1 jumped in after the bigger numbers. One person jumped two times. Zero is not a number, is it? Wow, that was a quick race. The American won, so we won. Because we're American, right?

The Olympics that stand out in my childhood memory was Montreal 1976. I was captivated by a young gymnast just seven years older than I was at the time, Romania's Nadia Comaneci.

This year the events Jack especially wants to see are diving and gymnastics. We're watching some of the men's gymnastic qualifications now.

Whoa. Wow. Wowee! Omigosh. OmiGOSH. Mommy, did you see THAT? That was SO cool.

We're very impressed, sitting here on this cold, wet afternoon. It's going to be an exciting two weeks, both on the telly and on our couch.