For the last several summers, usually while I'm driving from one camp to the next, I've fantasized about spending a month somewhere with the kids, preferably not on this continent.
School is out — and the boys aren't at camp.
I know a few things: The boys don't really love camp — especially Maxon, who requested a camp-free summer. Neither of them wants to go to overnight camp, and we're in no hurry to send them. Ezra enjoys a sports-specialized week here and there, but they don't dig on the general day camp, which makes paying for it especially painful. For the past few years, I've scheduled, coordinated and chauffeured week-long camps for each kid during the months of June and July — and found that there isn't enough Xanax in the tri-state area to make that tolerable.
For the last several summers, usually while I'm driving from one camp to the next, obeying Waze as it tells me to turn riiiiiiight, I've fantasized about spending a month somewhere with the kids, preferably not on this continent. No Schuylkill. No camp, day or otherwise.
And now, it's happening. Tonight, we're in Barcelona, where we arrived Tuesday morning. The boys and I will be in Europe for 30 days, Michael will be with us for the first 12.
So far, we've learned that Ezra gets airsick and taxi-from-the-airport-sick. Maxon, notorious picky eater, ate marinated anchovies today. He also made some unwise street purchases (ceramic bull, "dancing" paper cutout of Bart Simpson) and learned a few things about spending his money wisely. Ezra bought a penny board, which is his preferred mode of transportation. The next day, Maxon got his own penny board, and now instead of arguing over turns, they board together. They both regret not paying better attention in Spanish class, which they have been taking at school since kindergarten. I speak Sesame Street Spanish and I'm faring better. Imagine my shock when they asked me how to say, "do you speak English?"
Next week we will board a train for Paris, a city I can't wait to show them.
But my biggest hope for this trip doesn’t have to do with the amazing sights we'll see, or the foods they'll try, or the lessons they may learn. It's about the boys' relationship. Here, they have no other playmates but each other. Perhaps in these unfamiliar places, in these small apartments we've rented, in these rooms and memories they'll share, they will become slightly closer (wait, do I hear them arguing about some Minecraft issue? Ignoring. Ignoring. Ignoring).
A mom can dream, just like I dreamt of this trip.