Lena and Johnny greet Grandma and Papa J
This is a guest post by Jim Head, a/k/a “Papa J,” our brother-in-law. At our invitation, he and his wife, Mary, are sharing a “2 Roads Diverged” view of their recent trip:
Just three weeks ago, my wife Mary and I were anticipating a long-awaited trip to Switzerland where we would visit our oldest daughter Kate, her husband Mark and two young children, Lena and Johnny.
It was unlike me to be packed three days before our date of departure, which suggests how ready I was to see this family and to slip away from the work-a-day in Des Moines where we live.
Years ago, Mary and I had always hoped we would travel overseas – we had our passports ready – but it wasn’t until Kate and her family moved there in 2010 that we had the incentive to make that happen. This trip would be our third since their assignment began and possibly the last to this location before they return to the U.S. It’s unlikely we will ever visit Switzerland again, so this visit had a slight melancholy feel about it. Continue reading
Jim, Kate and Mary in Switzerland
This is a guest post by Mary Head, Mimi’s sister. At our invitation, she and her husband, Jim, are sharing a “2 Roads Diverged” view of their recent trip:
Having children … the overwhelming role of parenthood. I must attempt to teach them everything I know, remembering example means so much more than words. Will I live the life of example? Will I be the person who reaches out to others and not the taker? Will I show them enough of myself and enough of the world to open their minds and broaden their horizons?
Oh, the irony of a mother’s worries. I am on a long flight home from Europe – returning from a two-week visit with our daughter and her family – reflecting, laughing and crying. My children are no longer children. Did I teach them all I knew? Not as much as they’ve taught me. Have I been the model of the giver? Not the givers they have been. Have I shown them enough of the world? Not compared to the world they have shown me. Have I broadened their horizons and opened their minds? Not compared to the horizons they have opened to me. Continue reading