Monday, December 28, 2015

Let My Spirit Carry Me

Let me explain why I haven't been writing:

Because nothing actually changed.

I mean yes, the Kid has gotten taller and older. In fact, she is now three inches taller than I am and even tried patting me on the head once; let me assure you that will happen exactly once. On the whole, however, my life has had a certain marvelous sameness. I still have two cats and a dog. I'm still reading. I'm still figuring out I've had too much green tea but usually three cups after what should have been my last cup. I'm still living with the fabulous and patient Consort. My feelings about buttered toast remain undimmed. After seven years of blogging about my life it was impossible not to notice I seemed to be running repeats when, in fact, I was writing about a whole new day – which just happened to sound exactly like quite a few days I'd already led. You know that quote about "What will you do with your one wild and precious life?" My answer would be: "I'll go to Trader Joe's and then I'll get the dog his thyroid medication but not until I've spilled tea in my lap." As a person, I was fine with this; the writer in my head, less so. So I swore I wouldn't come back here until I had something to write about.

Ladies, gentlemen, and people in between: I have something to write about.

I don't know if this has come up before, but the Kid wants to be multilingual. Because of homeschooling (yes, we're sort of still doing that), we were able to shift her schedule to allow her to study languages now, while her brain can absorb a new language and doesn't just spit it back out in confusion and terror. She's learning Spanish, Chinese and French, but her real love is Italian. I can't blame her. First of all, it's just so appealing. To my untrained ears, it sounds like water spilling over beautiful rocks, if water was capable of waving its hands. And who wouldn't want to learn a language where, if you say it correctly, they give you Italian food? So when, back in January of 2015, she heard about an opportunity to spend a month in Italy this January, learning the language in an immersive and culturally appropriate way, and then begged to be allowed to go, what did I say?

I said "Of course you must go!" in a cheery and supportive tone. Why did I say that?

Because I assumed that while this certainly sounded like the opportunity of a lifetime, I knew she wouldn't really go because she'd continue to live the life she's always led up to that point; that she'd be frightened of new things, of new adventures, and that while she'd flirt with the idea for a few months, she'd find some reason not to go and, secretly, be relieved it didn't work out.

I overlooked one critical aspect of her personality: she isn't me.

She's going to Italy.

And because this program isn't designed for minors and she is a minor,  both the program and her family agreed it was necessary she have a parent join her. We had a family meeting in September and considered our options:


1. Speaks some Italian
2. Has been to Italy
3. Loves traveling
4. Loves food and wine
5. Enjoys meeting new people
6. Is basically cheerful in a hand-waving sort of way
7. Can do his work online


1. Terrified of flying
2. Hates traveling
3. Fears variables
4. Doesn't care that much about food
5. Falls asleep if she drinks red wine
6. Was the emotional model for Eeyore
7. Prefers the company of cats
8. Doesn't speak a word of Italian
9. Can do her work online

The Kid thought for a minute or so and said, "I vote for Mom."

Consort smiled broadly and said, "I hoped you'd say that. You two are going to have the best time."

Dear readers, I think we're back in business.


Anonymous Robin Raven said...

Your posts are always fun to read. What awesome news. I hope you have an amazing time, and I hope to read all about it.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Autumn said...

Hilarious. I cannot wait.

I hope she's learned enough Italian to tell the inevitable catcallers to do the anatomically impossible. That's the one thing I wish I had learned before going to Italy.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Susan Champlin said...

I asked my daughter if she'd like to upgrade to a new phone, and she said, "Let me preface this by saying that I loathe and fear change." So perhaps you could stay in Los Angeles with my daughter while I accompany yours to Italy? I didn't think so. This is a fabulous thing and you will come back having loved it. Hooray for both of you, and Consort.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Blondie! said...

Yay! Yay! Triple yay!

1:17 PM  
Blogger Quinn Cummings said...

Susan, I like the (very familiar) cut of your daughter's jib.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

Can I pretend to be you and go to Italy?? I mean, I'm not quite 5 feet tall but who notices stuff like that anyway. Plus I speak Italian. Or at least my grandparents came from Italy and I know a couple of lullabies. I think that will work.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Robbie M said...


5:23 PM  
Anonymous Cora said...

meraviglioso (both you writing here again, and the going to Italy part)!

11:58 PM  
Blogger Julie said...


(Kidding. In boca al lupo, as they say...)

9:28 AM  
Blogger Quinn Cummings said...

Julie, the dog's thyroid medication is being picked up today, as is the arthritis medication and the pill pockets so Consort doesn't have to do that "Shove hand past dog's uvula" thing I do.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Queendivakat said...

It sounds like you're going to have a wonderful time . . . out of your comfort zone, perhaps, but fun. Italy is beautiful and I know you will enjoy it.

Glad to see you back.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Brava! Will look forward to frequent and amusing updates. Northern or Southern?

By the way, if you are looking for non-trip-related fodder sometime, may I suggest a Town and Country redux review of tony set?

OR - how about Town and Country in Italian?
Buon viaggio!

1:34 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Oh, this is going to be great.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Virginia Luyster said...

I am so excited for you and happy its not me! Looking forward to many adventures.

4:53 PM  

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