Tonight marks the end of three weeks of sabbatical. It's longer than I've ever taken for plain old vacation, and yet I still feel like I'm just beginning this experience of time away from the daily grind. We haven't been travelling long yet, and the preparations for the travels meant a lot of to-do lists back at home, so in that sense we haven't settled in to a new rhythm yet as a family. Also, Will hasn't finished his work yet -- but he's getting there.
Things did not get off to an auspicious start, because I left the one irreplaceable item in the cab on the way to the airport: our son's beloved blankie. So far he's been mostly too distracted to grieve it for long, but bedtimes would be a lot easier with it, that's for sure. It's taken me several days to forgive myself for the mistake.
In fact, there have been plenty of reminders that this whole experience, as unique and wondrous as it is, is not meant to be an exercise in perfection. There has been illness (our nanny's and, to a lesser extent, mine), lost items, a couple temper tantrums, sibling spats, a cut finger and an all-too-close encounter with stinging nettles. Family life and all its dynamics continue as usual, only in closer quarters and unfamiliar places.
I'm not getting much writing done yet (lack of blogging has not translated into lots of other writing, for all the above reasons), but life itself is taking center stage -- eating, sleeping, family and exploring the world. That's plenty for now.