Choose My Own Adventure

It's time for Amy's Neighborhood Fridays. Today's beautiful and haunting post comes from the talented Stacia at Fluffy Bunnies. If you aren't reading her blog, I can't describe what you're missing out on. Here's a sample:

Choose My Own Adventure: The Prologue

Three weeks.

In three weeks, my husband will board a plane and fly to Romania. He'll work there for two months. While he's gone, he'll find us a house and a car. He'll figure out where to buy groceries and how to get peanut butter. He'll shop around for preschools and pediatricians. He'll also celebrate his birthday. Our anniversary. Our baby's first birthday.

I'll celebrate, too. Here. With our three kids. Without him. We'll Skype, we'll chat, and we'll e-mail. It won't be quite the same, but it's only temporary.

Because in May, we'll join him. For a year.


I keep having this dream.

I'm with my children. At the circus, at a concert, at an amusement park. We're laughing and soaking it all in. Then, one of my kids is gone. Gone. Just like that.

I look everywhere. I am frantic. I scream. I beg people to help me.

Eventually, I find my child. He got distracted. Or she got carried away with the crowd. They are fine. I hug them and vow to never let go again. Only then do I let myself cry.

I wake up. And I'm really crying. Real tears, real fear, real relief. It all floods over me as I stare at the green light on the baby monitor or listen to the wind chimes tinkling on the porch.

I realize it's a dream. I know my children are cozied up in their beds with their favorite frazzled blankets and worn stuffed animals. I know they'll be knocking on my bedroom door in a few short hours, asking for bananas and Sesame Street.

I know everything is the same as it was before the dream. But I'm not.


How long is a year?

I keep asking myself, trying to assess how much to pack, what to leave behind, what we can live without and what we can't. I make and remake lists. I pack and unpack boxes. I send e-mails, ask questions, and search Google.

But I know I'm the only one who can answer that question: How long is a year?

It's 18 toothbrushes, 60 gallons of milk, and 26 boxes of waffles. It's 2 bottles of Children's Tylenol. It's 8 sets of sheets, 3 jackets each, and 32 haircuts. It's 12 glue sticks and 4 packs of crayons. It's 1,095 bedtime stories.

It's a visit from Mos Craciun instead of Santa Claus. It's weekend trips to Kiev and Warsaw and Dracula's Castle. It's sitting down to a dinner table piled high with sarmale and schnitzel and raising our glass of palinca with a hearty "Noroc!" It's a family vacation to Euro Disney.

And it's countless internal battles between my brave spirit and my anxious mind -- 365 exhilarating days waging war against 365 nightmarish nights. Which will prevail?

That's my adventure to choose.

How do you balance adventure and anxiety? What's your family's grandest adventure so far? And how did it show up in your dreams?


  • ayala

    Wow, my mom used to make the best sarmale. I miss it and I miss her. My parents were both born in Romania and after the war they immigrated. I hope you enjoy yourself. I was in Romania seventeen years ago. It was modern but it depends where you are going to.

  • Bibliomama

    Even if it's the kind of thing where you're more glad to have done it than glad to be doing it -- you'll still be glad you did it? That was more comforting in my head.

  • TKW

    Oh, just think of the stories you'll collect. Worth more than gold.

  • Cathy Reaves

    We came very close to moving to Zurich. I was excited for the change but unfortunately the job didn't come through. You are going to get so much out of experiencing another culture - it's an education for your kids that they'll never forget. Well, the baby might not remember, but still, you know what I mean.

  • Amy @ Never-True Tales

    I'm officially jealous! I know it's a huge leap to live in a foreign country for that amount of time, hard to pack everyone up and everyTHING up, but what an amazing adventure. Soak it in!

  • Kelly Miller

    I can't wait to live vicariously through you, Stacia. The fears, the experiences, the memories ... so glad you'll be blogging about all of it!

    (And thanks for being here with this amazing post today. It's so nice to come home from selling my weight in potato soup and getting to read this again. You have talent, my friend.)

  • Maude Lynn

    Neither will prevail. You get to travel with both!

  • Anonymous

    I with Kelly, I am SO SO excited to follow along on your adventure. And I'm so very envious. But you deserve this, my friend. You will all have the most amazing time. The time of a lifetime.

  • Stacia

    Thank you for having me, Kelly! I've loved hearing from some new voices, along with some old friends (old by virtual standards, at least). Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. =>

  • ck

    I love how you broke it down, Stacia. "It's 18 toothbrushes, 60 gallons of milk, and 26 boxes of waffles. It's 2 bottles of Children's Tylenol. It's 8 sets of sheets, 3 jackets each, and 32 haircuts. It's 12 glue sticks and 4 packs of crayons. It's 1,095 bedtime stories."

    And I love that you and your family are embarking on such an exciting time in your lives. I can't wait to read all about it!

  • Justine

    Stacia, it's going to be a WILD adventure! Good or bad, think about the stories and experiences you'll get to preserve with your words. And the ones in pictures. I can't wait to read all about it.

    In the meantime, I can understand your anxiety, and it's probably not going to be easy managing the household and ushering everyone to another part of the world. But you have us. Yes, we can't help you pack, but we will still be here for you somehow. You can count on that!

  • The Mommy Mambo

    WOW! I'm nervous for you. But what an adventure to tell your grandkids about! Good luck to you and your family :)

  • Hyacynth

    Stacia, this wasso beautiful! I look forward to what your adventure holds, what you choose.

  • Julie

    I know I've said this before, but you are brave!! I know about those kind of dreams. For different reasons. So I hope your sleep will leave you alone and let you enjoy the adventure! :)

  • Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri

    I am anxious for you Stacia because I don't do well with change. BUT I believe this adventure will nourish your soul in ways you can't fathom. Your going to do it! I know it and can't wait to hear about it.

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