c17 is starting 11th grade this coming fall – that seems impossible – and it’s fairly likely we won’t be back in the states before he graduates high school. so we figured now was as good as any to get in a few college tours. we started with the university of colorado boulder (CU). a good friend of ours attended school there and was more than happy to show us around. he also – very generously – drove us all up there. this required both of his cars and for him and his lovely wife to drive.
CU has the prettiest campus i’ve ever seen. nestled right into the rockie mountains with lovely open spaces and beautiful buidings. and the 80 degree weather at the end of june is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
we told him that it’s not likely we’ll see a prettier campus this summer. and he wasn’t really sure what he thought about it – since he’s not really in college mode just yet and this is the first campus he’s seen. we’ve got plans for 4 or possibly 5 more campus visits. we’re hoping that that will give him something to think about. and just in case he does decide on CU and i decide i need to go with him – i scouted out a few houses i could stand to live in.
i’m leavin’ again, long way to go
it’s a sad feeling, we already know
and some of us are sadder than others. 4 out of 5 of us are ready to get back to thailand. sleep in our own beds and all that jazz. and 4/5 of us are all that are returning immediately. too bad the 1/5 that’s not ready to return and the 1/5 that isn’t returning immediately aren’t the same 1. that would have made this equation much better. instead, the way this is working out is i’ll be headed home with the kids and michael will show up later – like 3 weeks later. sounds a little bit like our move, except way back then michael accompanied us to bangkok and then sent me alone with the kids to chiang mai. and from what i remember that was fun.
s9’s our holdout on going home. but last night i thought we’d had a breakthrough. he was tired and sad. and when i asked him what was wrong he said he just wanted to go home. which made me think this transition back might be much easier than i’ve been expecting. and then he said, “home to colorado.” and we did have a great time in colorado. a near perfect time. the kind of near perfect that doesn’t last forever and quite possible wouldn’t have lasted had we been there one more day. but we weren’t. so his memories of colorado are now totally of the nirvana that he is absolutely certain has and will always exist there.
so today i’ll pack luggage. and weigh luggage. and then redistribute the contents of the luggage. and then i’ll re-weigh the luggage. and possibly re-redistribute until all bags weigh 50 pounds or less. and then we’ll all sleep one last night in america.
our time in colorado is wrapping up and it’s been lovely. friends who are very much like family, favorite places and familiar activities – fun times. and today what we knew was gonna happen happened. as we left my college roommate’s house to go visit our old neighborhood from the backseat we heard s9 say, “why do we have to go back to thailand? i want to stay in colorado.” and this sentiment was quickly repeated by a12. and who can blame them. in colorado there’s four square
and impromptu front yard picnics
and kids. lots and lots of kids.
after all the festivities we headed to dinner. a much needed dinner at red robin with just the five of us. and we experienced our first melt downs of the trip. the goodbyes are no easier than they were 18 months ago. and the excitement of heading to a new, unknown place is no longer there. and it seems the kids are mourning once again. which we were warned about, but still not exactly prepared for. and i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t feeling the same way. but i was doing a pretty good job of holding it together. no falling apart in parking lots for me. i prefer more private settings, like stalls of public restrooms. which is where i was when the rest of the family was seated at red robin tonight. but i managed to pull myself together before returning to the fam.
as we finished our meal, our waitress server delivered an obscenely large chocolate mud pie for the whole family. she said it was from all the servers because she understood just what we were going through. she’d grown up in a third culture herself. and that brought me as close to losing it in a public place as i can remember in a very long time.
i don’t know if the servers were paying attention or not, but i hope they were. because as we ate that way-too-big-even-for-a-family-of-5 desert smiles returned and everyone was ready to move forward. at least for the night.
this past friday we headed out with my college roommate and her kids for a picnic at the garden of the gods.
it’s illegal to climb or scramble in the park.
but that didn’t stop us. however, the park ranger type guy who stopped by on his golf cart to inform us of the wrongness of what we were doing did stop us.
so we stopped.
but turns out one of us was incorrigible.