We are travelling the world with our children.
Well, part of the world. A part that they’ve never been to. We are taking our first international trip to Spain for ten days to stay with marvelous friends who there for a year-long sabbatical.
The fact that we are doing this is nothing but exciting. Except it is.
It’s a bit nerve wracking, to be honest, but only because I’ve allowed it to be. I tend to be a bit of a catastrophic thinker (according to the various “anti-anxiety” blogs I’ve read lately). Although there is a 1 in 11 million chance that the worst will happen while we’re in the air, it’s there.
There was a time when I loved nothing more than climbing aboard an airplane and travelling to places unknown. I was quite fearless, looking back on it. I miss that fearless girl.
It changed when I had children. I don’t blame them. The fear was originally rooted in love. I don’t want them to lose me, nor I them.
This week, as we’ve spent the majority of our spare moments preparing for this amazing adventure, I’ve thought to myself about my perfectly average life. Going to the dry cleaners, chasing the dog around the yard because he has a dead squirrel in his mouth, doing the dishes (and then doing then dishes again, and again), folding laundry, going to Kroger. My days are filled with the ordinary.
Yesterday I spent 3 non-productive hours at the DMV. I briefly thought, “If this is my last day on Earth, I’m going to be pissed.”
Except that I’m not. I realized this week that I absolutely love my ordinary life. I love every single mundane moment of it. And if I were to suddenly leave it, I don’t regret a single moment wasted. They were my wasted moments. I would miss the mundane.
The travel is magical. The special moments; birthdays, Christmases, time with family; that is the icing on the cake. The real life is the time in between. Kissing my husband good night. Reading Fancy Nancy to my daughter even though we’ve read it one hundred times already. Trying to figure out the answers to all of my sons questions so that he doesn’t figure out that he’s smarter than me.
Buying them shoes because their feet just won’t stop growing. Making them dinner. Hearing my husband laugh and having him tell me every detail of a podcast he just listened to. Watching him snuggle on the couch with our kids, and then watching the dog try to get in on the action.
Phone calls, paying the bills, vacuuming the floor that was just clean an hour before, going to the bus stop, drinking my coffee as slowly as possible; these are the things life is made of. It isn’t the magical moments I would miss as much as I would miss the ordinary every day. The breathing in and out, the finally falling asleep. I would even miss insomnia.
So we’re off. We get on a plane in almost exactly 12 hours. Suddenly, I’m not afraid. I love my beautiful life, and I’m grateful for every second of it, and every person in it. Spain will be a marvelous adventure, and when we return, I’ll be back to doing the dishes and chasing the dog to retrieve dead squirrels. I’ll be back to the DMV to fix what 3 hours there yesterday still didn’t fix. I’ll read, and drink coffee and laugh with my children, and call my parents to talk about how cold it is. It will be perfectly ordinary, and the thought of it makes me happy.