Though it doesn’t belong to me. I am an onlooker, and an envious one at that. It belongs to my cousin Mike, his wife Anna, and their three kids.
He’s my first cousin, literally, and I have always loved and admired everything about him. We have tons in common, so it’s a little embarrassing how little time we actually spend together (ok, lots embarrassing). But still, we’re connected. Mike and Anna have three kids, they’re still in the front/middle stretch of parenting, while we’re at the back stretch. Their stretch seems harder to me. But evidently they don’t see it that way.
Mike and Anna have quit their jobs, leased their home and left the country for the year. With their kids! I have to admit (sorry Mike), I thought they were a little nuts. I mean, I love and value travel, and I do regret not having a grand adventure with my kids as well (“but they will miss International Folk Dance day, the highlight of second grade”…and I do see the irony). But I wondered if their kids would remember living in Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Greece and Turkey? And I kept thinking about how hard it would be to move around with young’uns who need naps, snacks, toys and other friends (or maybe that would be the parents?). I did imagine that Owen, Griffin and Isabel would be inspired by a sense of adventure and know that embracing life and exploration would become one of their family values. But really, traveling for a year? It kind of made me tired.
So, I was wrong. Totally, absolutely, really, really wrong. Mike has been generous enough to keep a blog, and each entry (including the ones the kids write) shows what a wonderful gift they have given their family. The kids will remember this, for sure. And they will know that a rich life is one of adventure and discovery, and how to cherish and even manage the unexpected. They will enter the world without fear.
The post Mike wrote yesterday took my breath away.
A few regrets? Yup, I have one or two. And adding another, that I didn’t buy a ticket to be one of the family members and friends who joined them for a moment of their adventure. Go Mike Go…and Anna, and Griffin and Owen, and especially Isabel! And Mike and Anna, you will never, ever regret that you did this. Never.