Saturday, June 20, 2009

What do Foreign Service Kids Do in June?

So, school's out, and for the first time in eight years we have no plans to get on a plane. We're already here, after all. But something must be deeply ingrained in our children. The first free day the three of them got busy upstairs. I could hear them on the monitor as I cleaned the kitchen. They sounded happy and industrious, talking about blankets and books. Then they invited me up to "Get on the airplane, Mommy, we're going!"

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Best Playdate Ever

Gabby, Riley, Kit and Sheridan have been friends since infancy. Their lives have been special. They have played together in four different oceans. Together they have celebrated Muslim, Jewish and Christian holidays. They've camped in the desert and stayed in five-star hotels. Since they first met, they have not been apart for more than one year. My wish is that that never happens to them, or to our two families, the Flemings and the Perlmans.

Last week I was about to take off for California myself. I was really excited about new baby Perlman's arrival, and after this very trying, tumultuous year, I really, really needed a vacation and my good friend, Jill. But it was clear: I could never face Riley and Sheridan without bringing their girlfriends. Furthermore, my daughters (and my husband) might just disown me (for different reasons) if I said "I'm going to visit the Perlmans. I'll be back in a few days!" God blessed us with reasonably-priced airline tickets and John gave us his blessing, too: "You have to go."

So what happens when you get a four-, five-, six-, and seven-year old together for a weekend? In our case, a twelve-hour playdate that isn't long enough. Four hours at one park and no one wants to go home. A list of activities abandoned, because just being together is enough. One glass of wine with my friend was worth the vineyard . . . as always.

As for the boys: Matt certainly had his hands full, the lone Daddy/Prince among the maidens. John was stuck with work (the reason he didn't come in the first place), some plumbing tasks, and Jack. Oh . . . Jack and Grady? Their time will come. They need each other, they just don't know it yet.

So let me retitle this entry: The Best Playdate So Far