J is in New Zealand today and called this evening after a trip to Hobbiton. It all sounded wonderful, but I’m not sad that we are missing it. As we were planning J’s sabbatical, I spent weeks agonizing whether we should travel as a family to Australia and New Zealand. They are places on my life list; I could also have checked off being south of the equator and scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. I was afraid I’d regret not taking a leap of faith and just going, even if the circumstances were not ideal. But the timing wasn’t right and it was too expensive.
So we decided I’d stay in Phoenix with our parents while J was gone, and that decision has worked out really well. For all of J’s adventures, I’m not sad to have missed the long flight to Australia that was plagued with mechanical trouble, or the storms and leaches in Tasmania, or the heat wave in Melbourne, or the hours waiting in the airport. In addition, J has had the freedom to concentrate on work late into the night without the complications of small kids.
The weather in Phoenix couldn’t be more beautiful and the kids and I have spent hours outside. Any time they start getting wiggly or cranky, I say it is time to go outside. L1 often asks to go out before the sun is up. In the evening, we go out to look at the sunset after dinner, and the stars before L1 goes to bed. This week we are at Grandma Jenna’s house; the kids have spent hours playing in the gravel in the backyard, digging with trowels, industriously pouring the gravel on the other side of the patio, and digging up weeds. They have had a ball. I’m glad we’ve been able to spend a more extended time with my mom and J’s parents. And as for travel and memories this sabbatical, we will have plenty of adventures in Greece, and plenty of time waiting in airports, I am sure.