This time of year I get twitchy. It comes from my teaching days. My dreams are about lining bulletin boards with colored butcher paper and writing on clothespins. I start looking at the yogurt containers like, “You’re so cute. I’m gonna save you for something!” My circadian rhythms are still set to the morning bell.
But this year I’m leaving the country and I won’t return until mid-October. In a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I’m on sabbatical. There was a time in my life, a sad December 23rd, when I contemplated unwrapping and returning Christmas presents to Toys-r-us to get money for groceries. But things do change, and I am going to Europe.
I started my sabbatical last week, at the ERC Eating Disorder Conference in Denver. I had been emailing with Sarah for months. Sarah coordinated the whole event, I guess. My colleagues and I were presenting and so we were emailing slides, and coordinating flights, and other details. It was a huge event with tons of breakout sessions, and keynotes, and all that. Like setting up a classroom in August, that kind of meaningful work that we hope will benefit people on a deep level.
When we got there, turns out Sarah was pregnant! I had no idea. I want to say 8 months pregnant. She was days from maternity leave. When I was 8 months pregnant last time, it was hard to get to the doctors in my slippers. Sausage toes.
But moms are amazing. If it’s from the heart, we can do anything. And not just moms. I think either birth or death will do that to you. Once you understand the importance of this life, it’s time to get going on your heart work in the world. Time to get twitchy.
So I’m going to Europe, and yes I’m going to eat good food at bistro tables, and hike in majestic mountains, but I’m also going to visit the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Galway, and Omaha Beach in Normandy, and Dachau and some other sites people talk about when they talk about grief and trauma. I just want to bear witness. That’s what I do now.
If you are interested in my trip, I’ll be posting to Facebook, unless I’m eating foo-foo food.
Hope all the kidos have a good first day at school!