We are a family of four with this crazy idea that life isn’t linear, that an occasional digression from the straight-ahead path is healthy. And fun. At first, this blog covered a digression to Colombia, to learn Spanish, to expose the kids to a culture with different neuroses than American culture, and to take a break from the exhausting cycle of carpools, homework, meetings, practices, webinars, rehearsals, urgent emails, permission slips, deadlines, committees, and other byproducts of modern American family life. And then it took on a life of its own, as life continued to digress from the path we planned.
Meet Becca. Becca took a six-month leave from an awesome job that she loves loves LOVES but had been doing for 13 long, intense years through way too much political drama and the roll-out of a law that is a great idea for people in general but kind of a hassle if your job is to implement it. She was lucky to have the best boss in the world who allowed this digression (and co-workers who picked up the slack). Although she told everyone that she was going in order to learn Spanish, she went just because she can.
Meet Eric. The whole sabbatical thing was originally his idea. That’s the kind of brilliant guy he is. And then he stood calmly under the barrage of reasons why it would never work, nodded sagely and replied, “But it’d be awesome, right?” So we went. He good-humoredly puts up with being the comic sidekick in many stories.
Meet Retta. She was enthusiastic about the Colombia trip, until she broke down in sobs in a taxi 5 months in. She also has graciously allowed her mom to use the best stories of her childhood as fodder for other people’s entertainment. Mostly graciously, at least.
Meet Jack. Jack left home for Colombia as a puppy-like fourth-grader and returned a wiser man. It only took a couple months — after returning — before he could describe the experience as “bittersweet.” Now he jumps in with the funniest stories with the rest of us. He may not know that stories are being told about him. This can be something he discusses with his therapist later in life.