Last September, my children were ‘due’ to start full time school, mere days after turning four years old. Instead of going to school, we went to Italy.
We ate a lot of gelato, learned a bit of Italian, and explored the always wonderful Boboli Gardens. I’d been there years before, alone with Suzy, and it was a curious experience going back with our children. So much the same – things unchanged that had been so for hundreds of years, but interacting with them in new ways.
We wandered small alleyways, rode tall busses, ate even more gelato. We stayed in a big old amazing, secret wonder of a place with twisting hallways and low ceilings. It was lovely.
That first week of official school time was spent immersed in another country, melodic words flowing around us, chatting to people and touching old statues.
We are now approaching what would have have been their last week of the school year. We’ll be spending that time in America. We’re here now, awake since 3 am, in that curious black space of nighttime jetlag. Lightening strobes the sky, thunder has been rumbling for six hours. I don’t know what this trip will bring, but I know it will add to our lives more than any other thing we could have been doing with this time.
What an amazing blessing. Starting this ‘school’ year in Italy, exploring England and Wales throughout the months between then and now, and ending things here, sitting at my mother’s kitchen table.