If it wasn’t already obvious that we’ve all been using our little mountain house as a bit of a crutch, it is glaringly so now. The kids are sad – they don’t want to leave. We are all pretty grumpy, in fact. And the long and the short of it is, we had a bad experience, and this place has been the embodiment of security since we arrived. It is tiny, safe, and we were here long enough for it to become home, and therefore, comfort. It was just what we all needed to recover and regroup.
And now it’s over and we’re going back on the road tomorrow. The little one is scared of things going wrong, the big one doesn’t want to go to any big cities, and the middle one doesn’t want to leave her dog friends, who have been the real life replacement for the ones she lost in Rome. This tranquil village has reminded them of their own home, so that makes it harder for them to leave too. You know when you go on vacation, and you have a great time, but when it’s over, you’re just ready to be home again? It’s like that, only they aren’t going home, and sometimes they get kind of mad about that. And sometimes I do too.
Obviously, I’m not looking for any sympathy here, and I haven’t forgotten how unbelievably lucky we are to be doing this. It is the experience of a lifetime, and even if it doesn’t feel like that every single day, especially for the kids, it is. As a friend and travel-with-kids veteran told our girls, “you may not appreciate this trip right now, but when you’re older you’ll realize how cool it was of your parents to do it!”. And I guess that there are days when we all need to hang onto that one. Because sometimes we are homesick, sometimes we are tired of our own company, sometimes we are scared, sometimes we really miss our family and friends, and sometimes we really just want someone else to figure it all out for us.
Because, you know, as great as it is, it can be pretty exhausting. And I’m sure if you’re reading this after getting in from an eight hour work day, you’re scoffing contemptuously right now, but I’m all about the honesty of this experience, and I’m telling you, it’s not all raindrops and roses. Most of it is, but not all of it.