|Emaline carried my picture in her pocket the day before I came home.|
I paused the fear and the judgement and just focused on her and I. And I realized that I need to give her the best version of myself. And for me, part of that is travel.
I recently read Yes Please and the words that stick with me are, "good for you, not for me." How I parent is not the same as how you parent. How I live my life is not the same as you live your life. And that's totally cool! I need to stop trying to meet some invisible expectation. When I let go of public perception, decisions are much simpler. The answer: Travel, like writing, makes me better. The same reason that I went, might be the same reason that another parent chooses to stay.
And like that, the fear settled. It did not go away, but I was able to package it up and stow it beneath my seat. I still cried on the way to the airport and I still felt a knot in my chest whenever a small child passed us on the streets of Europe. But as our train rolled through the Belgian countryside I felt light. I took in the beauty of the area and thought about telling Emaline all about this when she gets a little older.
|A real Belgian waffle|
|New Flemish friends in Bruges, Belgium|