We’re back. All the things that were annoying me so much before we left are still here – the messy toys, the demanding children (oh yeah, they were with us the whole way), the incessant need to go grocery shopping and make dinner – but I feel happier about them now. I pressed the reset button, apparently, and I’m ready to pick it all up again with new vigour. (Just as soon as we’re over the jet lag.)
I can do hard things. I know that a family trip to Italy isn’t exactly a hardship, but it’s a change from the ordinary and it does involve challenges. It’s so easy to twirl myself up inside my little life until I’m just peeking out over the keyboard and feeling like anything further is a huge imposition; and to keep my children to their good regular bedtimes and their unstrict house rules and not push it, ever.
But if you shake things up you find that you can do it, and they can do it. They’ve spread their wings and challenged their assumptions and gained confidence and knowledge; and we’ll all get over the messed up sleeping patterns and the three-a-day Nutella sandwich habit and we’ll be stronger for it. And I can drive twisty Italian streets at night and I can make a stab at a conversation with an Italian stranger who doesn’t speak English, and I can stand in a city on the other side of the world with my family and know we made it there and we’ll make it home again.
And everything will look brighter because of it.
Don’t ever let me catch you skipping a vacation because it sounds too much like hard work. You can do hard things.