I haven’t blogged forever. I have been blocked. I let the holidays bog me down, and I spent most of December moving in little cyclones of frantic energy. But luckily, despite the craze, I answered the urgent calling to take my boys on an adventure. Doing so was difficult as there were a gazillion reasons not to: school, basketball tournaments, band and orchestra concerts, classes to teach and the big one, lack of interest in 2/3 of my kids. I’m pretty sure my husband thought I was crazy, making plans last minute, paying top dollar for plane tickets and fighting the kids the whole way. There was fear too, the sort that happens every time you try something new. I hadn’t taken my kids out of the country solo before, and never out of the state against their will. But I am so thankful for the girlfriends who cheered me on, reminding me, “they don’t know what they want” and “you follow your heart, sister”.
It would have been so much easier to stay home, save money, let the kids spend their last week of winter break playing video games and sleeping til noon. It would have been more responsible to stick to our societal commitments and not do a week’s worth of make-up school work. It would have been smoother and less painful, but so much less rewarding and meaningful. And the part of me that was cut off from my source energy would have continued to be strangled.
Yes, we’ve had our share of disagreements, injuries, bites, stings, blows and house music pounding us awake at night, but I have accessed the part of me that came alive on my first real trip to Latin America, the part that vibrates, creates, feels deep connection and seeks to learn. The blood is back flowing in my veins and the courage I was lacking is present once again, saying, sí se puede. And, of course, the kids are pretty darn happy. Gus is proud of his Spanish skills and owns the beach. Teddy has thrived on the skateboard and the surfboard, both of which have been valuable vehicles for small-talk with peers from around the globe. And Max, despite what he might tell you, has been caught belly laughing along with the rest of the study-abroad crew every single day.
I trust that this foreign experience will settle in their souls in ways they don’t yet understand, and I feel grateful and proud to be able to provide them this opportunity.
I write this while listening to the crashing waves on our last morning here. I share because I want to encourage you, too, if there is an itch in your soul. If there is something you’re wanting to do this year, but have no idea how to make it happen or are overwhelmed or fearful or others are doubting your desires, keep on. Keep the desire and intention in the forefront of your mind. Tell someone you trust. Keep repeating your intention. You don’t have to have the details worked out. But especially, if it is a deep, deep desire, like mine to take my kiddos to study abroad, don’t let the dream go.
Sí, se puede.