Church was kind of rough today. Every time I turned a corner I saw a face I'll miss. I sat on the floor in nursery during Sunday School while Marley cried and clung to me. My phone rang once and I leaped up to answer it, with the hope of seeing 'central showings' in the caller ID. No luck.

We came home and ate bruschetta with sparkling grape juice by candle light while dark clouds and thunder rolled in. Change flickered in the shadows as we talked and laughed shooed the dog away from the table.

After dinner I sat on the sofa with a marker and a pile of school supplies. Year-round school starts tomorrow here, and the boys decided they wanted to go for the two-and-a-half weeks before we move. I'm sure this will only make it harder to leave, but somehow it feels like the right thing to do.

Eric put the baby to bed and read James and the Giant Peach to the boys while I swept the dog hair from the kitchen floor and wiped the counters. Put everything in its place. Straightened the lamp shades, set out the lunchboxes.

I thought about the coming changes. I thought of Eustice and his dragon skin. And how this is the one chance I have to live a mortal life and learn all that I can from its challenges and trials. If I could choose between an easy path without growth and one that will test and stretch and prod me, I know which one I would pick.

And anyway, I don't get to choose do I?


What happens when you leave home for a week...

...and leave your children in the care of an opthalmologist.

...and neglect your garden.

Eric had a conference in Rome a few weeks ago, and since it was our tenth anniversary I decided to go along. It was lovely. Eric lost his phone (which was doubling as our camera) to either a pickpocket or the back seat of a cab, I'm not sure which, and so we have no photographic evidence. But we did go- really! And it was lovely! Basically, we ate amazing food, saw amazing art, met amazing people and Eric unwittingly joined in a gay pride demonstration. Standard stuff, pretty much.

I think I've discovered, or maybe confirmed something about myself, though. I'm not a traveler. I don't like physical discomfort of any kind, be it lack of sleep, dry eyes, stiff legs or an empty belly. If I'm uncomfortable, I'm unhappy and there's just a certain amount if discomfort inherent in traveling. And boy do I hate power-trippy airline employees.

When we came home, we spent an absolutely insane week working to get our house ready to go on the market and now that that's been done, we're enjoying a few days of respite while Eric's Brazilian friend, David, is in town.

THIS, I like. I like that when he walked into our house he touched the walls and asked what they were made of (apparently there's not a lot of drywall in Brazil). I like that while I was making dinner last night he was outside taking pictures of our neighborhood because he thinks it's so beautiful. I liked hearing Brigham ask, in a slow, deliberate voice: "WHERE WERE YOU BORN?" and when it was clear that this had not been understood: "WHERE DID YOU COME OUT OF YOUR MOM'S TUMMY?"

I like hearing about Brazil, where a nanny is called a "baba" and makes in a day what I would pay a 14-year-old to watch my kids for one hour. And where they eat dinner at 10 o'clock at night. And where it's normal to shower 3 times a day. I like our new Havaianas. I like listening to Eric speak Portuguese- my favorite language.

So I guess I'm not a total provincial American boob. I do like other cultures, I just like learning about them in the comfort of my own living room. Maybe I won't show my kids the world, but I think I see exchange students in our future....