Return Ticket and Anxiety of a Different Sort

Have you ever been on a flight without a return ticket? There is one other time in my life I recall having a one-way ticket and no idea of the date of my return to home. When Alex and I first married, I had a job that required me to live in Philadelphia for 4 months. My boss was wonderful and flew Alex up to visit every weekend or flew me home. When I flew out the first time, it was a Sunday night and I didn’t arrive in Philly until after midnight. I’d never before been to Philly and certainly never gotten in a taxi that late at night by myself at age 28 + stupid. And yet, even in that situation, I knew that I’d probably be back in Texas permanently by Thanksgiving of that year. But alas, I went to Philly with no return ticket. And I adjusted quickly… I found the places to buy pasta, the best morning coffee, and how to make my way around the downtown area on my own two feet.

There is something about not planning to leave a place that makes you acclimate faster, I think. Sitting here in Honduras, I have no ticket back to Texas… and there is not even a smidgen of anxiety in me about that fact. God willing, we will go home to visit at some point in 2011. For now, I am here. And there is nothing I want more than to be fully-present here. The worst, most disturbing place would be to constantly wish I were somewhere else.

With that said, I will admit to some anxiety right about now about something completely different … there are simply moments these last few weeks where I’ve wished the little guys were a few years older. I’ve thought how much easier this would be ‘on me and Alex’ if we were not constantly dealing with potty-training accidents, discipline challenges and worries about our littlest two destroying someone else’s home. On me and Alex… that really is the problem for me, isn’t it? It cramps my style, tests my patience and makes me look in the mirror with revulsion after I get really mad at one of them.

As you read this, you are probably saying “Lighten up, Laura. What do you expect from those two? One of them is very tied to any place that seems like ‘home’ and one has a real problem the first few nights he sleeps anywhere new. And 7 new places in just over 3 weeks! That’s a lot to ask of preschoolers.” Yes, you are so right. Thank you for your advice. I’ll take any other words that you’d like to offer on this subject, too.

Oh, my little guys don’t have plane tickets back to Texas either…


Holly (me.) said…
I wouldn't say, "Lighten up on the little guys, Laura!" so much as, "Give yourself a break, Laura!" The challenges of pre-K parenting are what they are, and your family is attempting to acclimate not only to a new place, but a new culture while juggling the Daring Duo, homeschooling the big kids, learning Spanish, and living out of a suitcase. There's not one small ambition on that incomplete list, my friend!

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