Naturally, to mark this family milestone, each one of us is planning a vacation away from one another.
DW hasn't made any definitive plans, yet, and hasn't even settled on a destination. She may go to Cuba. She may go to Mexico. She really wants to swim with sea turtles, but hasn't decided where that will happen.
I, too, would love to swim with sea turtles and would love to join her, but I've already made plans, have already bought my flight tickets and booked hotels. In May, I'm off to South Korea.
Nearly 20 years ago, in January of 1999, DW and I were finishing our second year in East Asia. As January commenced, my contract with Jeonju University ended. Though DW had a contract with another university, her contract was for an additional month, so I spent January teaching privately and packing up our belongings.
|DW, in Kuala Lumpur, in February 1999.|
As we said farewell to friends and students, I was asked, "Will you ever return to Korea?"
I paused for a moment before answering, "Sure. In 20 years."
As much as I want DW to join me, she has no interest in going back to the Land of the Morning Calm. And so I return alone.
A separate vacation.
This summer, DD15 has been invited to join her best friend, and her family, in Greece. I've always wanted to visit the cradle of western civilization but that won't be for a couple more years. So our youngest, who will be sweet 16, will spend a few weeks on a Greek island.
Which leaves DD17, who will be 18 in a couple of months, and had no summer plans. Or so we thought.
Some dear friends, with whom we consider extended family, will visit us at the start of summer. These friends, who have travelled with us through Italy and France, have agreed to take our eldest back with them to Germany. This is an excellent opportunity for our daughter to break out of her cocoon and experience life without her parents.
I'm sure before the summer is out, we'll try to squeeze in another family vacation. But for now, in the foreseeable future, it's separate vacations for us.