Gosh, I have about a million things I want to write about. Rather than posting one long digest post, I'm hoping to sit down and write a bit every evening and get back in the habit.
First, I wanted to follow up on my last post from vacation. I think sometimes I have to really take my emotions out, turn them over a bit in the sunlight and examine them before I can own them. That is the way it was with the melancholy thing. I'm still not sure where it came from, exactly, except to say that it can be hard to see Oliver through the eyes of people who see him for only a few days each year. I tend to focus on progress, where the noticeable thing, to a person lacking context, might be a deficit. You'd think I would be used to it by now. But I never will be used to seeing that certain look cross someone's face as they observe my boy. I never will be.
BUT, having said that, I also have to tell you how completely and totally awesome my kids were on this vacation. Oliver, a boy of motion, is at his best when we are traveling -- no kidding! Stand in line for a half hour here, 40 minutes there? No problem. Follow Mom and Dad through a crowded airport carrying his brother's banjo on his back? Great! Sit contentedly through a 9 hour plane ride? Sure!! In fact, both kids in this way are true children of their parents: they are real adventurers at heart.
(Just one word of caution for any other parents of kids out there who think taking play doh on the airplane is a great way to occupy her sensory seeking kid. To airport security play doh = plastic explosives. It is a banned substance!!! Who would have thunk it? However, after a little begging on my part they let us keep one container for the trip. Apparently that desperate look in my eye did the trick.)
Also, while in Switzerland they were completely (mostly) wonderful. Sami had only a few flare-ups of temper but not anything like last year. Not once did he call me a smelly pig :-) Oliver tolerated lots of visits with family and friends. Both kids ate in inordinate amount of chocolate and ice cream, and they voluntarily cleared the table after every meal. We hiked every day. Oliver learned how to operate a hand brake on a borrowed scooter and Sami learned to balance on two wheels using a gliding bike. We went swimming in the Rhine. We rode the train. They rode a zip-line that nearly gave me a heart-attack. ... Oliver didn't sleep all that well but otherwise seemed perfectly at ease.
There's lots of other things to share, of course, but I'll leave you with a few photos and a short video of the zip line adventure.