When we left Washington, DC in December, we were Beth and Joe. When we arrived in California, suddenly our names changed. We underwent a temporary identity change for two months in California. We became Nona and Papa.
With our grandkids, our life style changed. Instead of dining, we were eating quickly. Instead of sleeping in, we were up early. Humor was no longer political but about bodily functions. Conversations were no longer on a higher level but rather short exchanges about super heroes and Ninja Warriors. For two months we’ve been with our grandchildren and enjoyed the (mostly) highs and the (few) lows.
We all make choices in life. Any path will have benefits as well as disadvantages. For us, giving up our apartment and possessions was an easy choice to make in pursuit of traveling. A harder choice was whether to leave the country for 14 months. Clearly, the disadvantage is not being closer to see our grandchildren. We struggled with what that would mean and haven’t totally resolved how that will work out in the coming years. Kids grow up fast, and we don’t want to miss the stages our grandchildren will go through. On the other hand, we want to travel while we can, that is, before health problems and low energy – old age – slows us down.
Spending time with our four grandkids – ages 6, 6, 5, and 3 – and learning more about each one gave us many precious moments, and we’ll count on picking up where we left off, when we return from our round-the-world trip next year.