Sometimes I wonder what the hell am I thinking. Taking my two small children half a world away. All by myself. Robert needs to stay and work in Australia for most of the three months. So I’ll be solo parenting; facing alone the challenges of a new country and a new culture with two small children by my side.
First, there is the necessary horror of a long-haul flight with two highly energetic children. And then the challenge of the journey from the airport to our new home: hire car, wrong side of the road, navigating traffic, unknown route, excitable backseat drivers. What could go wrong?
On bad days, when the children are screaming at each other and I’m eying the clock waiting for the sound of Robert’s key turning in the lock, this all seemed like a perverse plan. Am I really contemplating three months with these little rascals and no backup?
What saves the idea from the dustbin of discarded fantasies is a mental image. The imaginary moment of me awakening in my bed under the eves of our little chalet in Geishouse. Dim awareness growing in my mind as I gain consciousness – I am in France.
And what would 80 year-old Nancy tell this current version half her age who was questioning the wisdom of her plan. I suspect she would say – “Go for it. Yes it will be hard. But this is the stuff of life. Reach out with both hands and grasp it.”
And then too, I remember the words of another mother, a little older than me who also took her children travelling around the world. Her children are grown now and she reflects that the memories they most share with each other are from those travel experiences.
So, only slightly more reassured by all this pondering, I pay the next deposit on the chalet, work out the car-leasing scheme, discover the most direct flight combination from Australia to Alsace. But mostly, I distract myself with the latest photos and posts from the Ecole Steiner Haute-Alsace school. How beautiful it now looks, with its fresh yellow paint and all decorated for Harvest Festival. This really is a good idea… isn’t it?