Home Leave

Kickin' it in the Paris airport
They are called avoidance behaviors and I've got some. For example, instead of thinking about and working on three very stressful things with fairly immediate deadlines...I'm going to write about our R&R. You do what you have to.

 First things first - Buckley was a champ on the plane.  He just sat in his little house under our seat (and sometimes in his little house on our lap) and remained quite the entire trip. We flew to Paris, stayed over night at an Ibis more reminiscent of a prison than a lodging establishment, and then took the 11 hour direct to Paris. The trip home included a 4 hour stint circling the great Salt Lake before an emergency landing (our first) followed by a 6 hour rerouted red eye to New York and a 7 hour leg to Casa on what seemed more like a floating mall than an airline. (The hair pulling! The eyeliner!) And through it all, Buckley just hung out in his little house calm as can be. I've never been prouder.

Seeing family and friends was awesome. More than awesome. I don't know if this is symptomatic of FS life in general or of being in a small post with a small American community, but you kind of get into the "life is work, work is life" zone. It's hard to keep your work life and your home life separate and sometimes you feel like the two are all hogglewashed together. An R&R does exactly what it's supposed to - gives you a minute to come up for air and re-prioritize. Revisit all the great people and things that motivated you to take up this lifestyle in the first place....and provides you opportunities to eat all of the Mexican food and pork products you can get your hands on.

A few months ago Max got it in his head that his high school band should get back together and play a show. And then somehow I got it in my head that we needed to rent a giant bowery, invite several other friends who were in bands and throw a big concert in the park to see all the people we hadn't seen in ages. A few emails, a friend with a DJ business and a sweet audio set up, and a letter to the city council later - we had ourselves a concert. It was just like I dreamed it - good tunes, reminiscing with old friends, families spread out on blankets in the grass, people playing catch with their kids and running around with their dogs. My own American utopia come to pass. And, if I'm being honest, Max's band waled. They were even better than I remember them being in our high school auditorium. And who doesn't love being married to a rock star?

My adorable neice Maycee walked/was dragged
around Buckley, who was just her size.  

And when our time in Utah came to an end, we moved west....


Taking Churros From Children

Don't do it.

So, I'm cleaning up a little at our fantastic, unbelievable, infinity pool to the ends of the earth Southern California vacation house and I see a churro left over from a pit stop earlier that day.

Certainly everyone has already eaten their churro who wants one.   I say to myself as I pop it in my mouth and finish wiping down the kitchen table (which the house rules say we are not to stand on as it may break - we are not really the dance on the kitchen table kind of vacationers, but you never can tell, right?)

Just as I'm wiping the cinnamony goodness from the corners of my mouth my wee nephew, part 8 year old, part ocean liner, walks into the room looking for the last churro that has been lovingly saved for him.  "Do you know where my churro is?" He asks in a panic, eyes round as frisbees.  

I can't remember the last time I felt this ashamed, so I hemmed and hawed until he left the room looking for it elsewhere.  When I didn't see him for a while I thought I'd gotten away with only the intense personal shame of stealing treats from a child instead of the public humiliation I deserved, but then he trudged up the stairs with the most enormous alligator tears I've ever seen running down his round face.

"They saved one churro for me and some idiot walked by and ate it!"

He sobbed at me, looking for answers.  You know why? Because adults have answers.  They help kids find lost things, they sympathize when idiots walk by and eat your churro...they don't eat your churro and then hide it from you.

For some reason I felt like my first step was to confess to his parents and they, of course, laughed, because it's kind of funny and they are nice people.  But I made Max drive me 20 minutes to the nearest town to buy him another one.  It was only after we left the gated community that we realized we didn't know the code to get back in and that we'd left our cell phones back at the house.  In the end we found a solution that didn't include scaling the gate and running up the hill to our vacation home AND the churro was delivered without me having to forever break the trust of my churro loving nephew.

Churro-gate aside, vacations are awesome.  So awesome, in fact, that I'm just getting around to blogging on the next to last day of ours.  Our R&R has been so terrific.  We got to see lots of friends and family, we ate American food that was bad for us but tasted amazing, we went to Disneyland, and Max's high school band got back together for one giant concert in the park where we rocked until the sun went down (and the sprinklers turned on and almost ruined our equipment...)  I'll blog more about getting to know America again, but right now Max's brother's are building a  human train down the waterside with the lights off and it's pitch black.  How could I miss that?