By the time we were about to leave for England, I felt like I had spent half a lifetime doing load after load of laundry, sorting through clothes, creating piles of things to pack, editing and re-editing those piles, writing up a hefty instruction manual for the small army of people taking care of our dogs, cleaning the house…I thought I was handling it all pretty well, but I must have been emitting serious stress vibes. As I was going about my business tying up loose ends before we actually headed to the airport, my son came to me and said in the soothing tones one would use when talking to a child about to have a tantrum, or a lunatic holding a lit stick of dynamite, “Mom…I know packing stresses you out, but could you please, please try to stay calm?”
It would have been a lot easier to, were it not for the incessant questions:
“So, when are we going to leave?”
“What time is our flight?”
“Are we almost ready to go?”
When my daughter started drumming her little hands on the kitchen counter, I lost it just a teensy tiny little bit:
“Please go sit quietly in the living room while I finish getting ready to go and don’t ask me any more questions!”
Other than running into the President at Dulles and getting my kidneys thrashed all the way across the Atlantic by the antsy toddler behind me kicking my seat, the trip was uneventful.
We made it to Hall Bank…
The boys were reunited at last:
Can you hear the swelling of the violins?
The cousins were there waiting!
That first day the boys initiated their little sister into a sacred rite of passage that the children in our family undergo at the age of seven:
“I keep getting engulfed in panic!”
“Think, ‘Just keep peddling!'”
She was discouraged and exhausted:
But a week later:
She is now our third child to learn how to ride a bike at Granny and Granddad’s house.
The last time we were in England was four summers ago. This was the day my son learned how to ride on the very same bike:
It’s been wonderful to reconnect with family here, but I’m missing my family in the U.S. Yesterday was my father’s birthday and today is my mother’s. Sending happy birthday wishes from across the pond for the two very best parents and finest human beings I know. xoxoxo