Young Older Man Lady!
One more day.
That is all that remains before my family embarks on an epic trip to Colorado.
Today will be full of hustling and bustling, list making and organizing, packing and planning. We will drop our dog off at the kennel that makes her smell stinky and clinical but where she is well-loved. We will load up the family truckster with all the necessary accoutrements, fill fuel tanks and tires, clean windshields and seat cushions.
And tomorrow, when the sun peeks over the edge of the world, we will be driving away from it, headed West.
You see, we are making this trip with my parents.
They were supposed to go to Italy, those two. That was their dream and something that they carefully researched for quite some time. It was going to be beautiful. They were going to cruise the Mediterranean, eat themselves plump and take in the beauty of that boot shaped land.
But, in the interim, my dad's hip and back and feet decided to betray him and my mom's leukemia got a little riotous and so Italy was put on the back burner. First, indefinitely. Then, permanently.
And there was a sadness.
So, for a time, they attended to their health and garnered up their strength. And then, being the amazing people that they are, my parents pitched an alternative. Why don't we take a trip together instead?
And the dream for this trip was born.
Tomorrow, when we back out of the driveway and turn that loaded van towards the West, there will be a lot riding on those wheels.
There will be two boys who will take their schooling on the road. The rugged landscape, the strange geological formations, the ancient homes built into the side of cliffs, the hundreds of thousands of acres of unspoiled land filled with elk and bear and mountain goats...all of it will become their classroom.
There will be me and my husband. And we will find ourselves in the unique position of traveling as parents and as the parented, navigating decisions with another set of opinions and perspectives, summoning patience for the young and the old, and loving each other through it all.
And there will be my parents, whose generosity of head and heart knows no bounds. This time around, they will be passengers rather than navigators. Their job will be to look wide-eyed at the beauty, to soak up the laughter of their grandchildren and to marvel at a length of days that is beyond a gift and is, quite remarkably, a miracle.
For the next ten days I am going offline. This space will be quiet as I travel with my family and focus on being fully with them and in the moment. It will feel very strange to not immediately share my experiences with you as I have become quite accustomed to chronicling my days and my heart in this space. But I believe that this time away will grow something new in me. I need to unplug and slow down and be present. It will be good for me to have conversations with the people who are most important to me and wait for their comments, rather than virtual ones. And it will be soul stretching to be still and quiet and listen for the sounds of the spheres. Thank you for your patience and understanding.