Europe, Here We Come!

I’ll see you in about 10 days! My husband and I are counting down the hours (5 right now!) until we leave for Europe. We’re helping chaperone a group of 27 students on a school trip to Paris, Rome and Turin.

As if visiting Rome and Italy isn’t exciting enough on its own, this is the first organized trip for Iraqi youth (Grades 8 and 9) to happen for decades. Proud to be pioneers! It’s very invigorating to be supporting this young generation in their truly valiant efforts to play an active role in shaping their countries future through peace, dialogue and education.

I can’t wait to be standing in the middle of St. Peter’s Square with this group, and witness them finally SEE what they’ve only heard for years – the universal Church is there for them, prays for them and supports them. And, of course, we’ll have to taste Italian ice cream to make sure it still passes the test!

This will be the first time in three years that we will be on a flight without babies. We LOVE out babies and travel with them a lot, but I’m sure any parents who have traveled with tots can tell you that it does complicate things. You spend most of your time changing diapers, passing out snacks, and singing “Baa-Baa Blacksheep”. I wouldn’t say that this trip exactly qualifies as “adult time”, given that we’ll still be with 27 students, but we might actually get a little reading or sleeping time on the plane!

Meanwhile, Charbel and Paul have begun their exciting stay with grandma and grandpa. They’re “camping out” in grandma and grandpa’s bedroom, sleeping in tents, and waking up each morning to a little gift from Mommy and Daddy until we get back!

Charbel’s to do list: go to the park, ride the mall elevator, eat pizza.

Paul’s to do list: follow grandpa around. Seriously, our two year old think grandpa is the greatest man alive. He (Paul) taught me a lesson today. As a parent who spends a lot of time caring for your kids, playing with them and comforting them, it’s easy to start to think that their world revolves around YOU. Haha. Not really. You see, they OWN you. They expect you to be there to care for them and love them and play with them. They take it for granted, and actually aren’t thinking about you most of the time. When Eddy walked out the door today to change some money into Euros, Paul started SHRIEKING. I started hugging him. My thoughts: Poor baby. He just realized that we’re actually leaving and feels traumatized. He’s going to miss us so much. Should we really be leaving? Etc. Paul’s explanation: Where’s grandpa? You said when Daddy and Mommy say goodbye Paul will be with grandpa. Paul sleep with grandpa. Where’s grandpa?

My mommy-ego humorously shrunk a notch or two in that moment. Just a reminder to keep life real. In our two-year-old’s mind, we are welcome to leave… as long as the promise of sleeping in the tent with grandpa comes true!

I hope you all have a great week!

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