I am writing from Paris, where we are spending the first part of Ben's winter break ( We'll go on to London in a few days). Today we looked at Greek and Egyptian antiquities at the Louvre and had lunch in the Tuileries. Then we met Frederic, a friend from voice class who moved home to Paris in September, at the Musee d'Orsay. Afterward, his friend Colette joined us for drinks, then we went to a baroque music concert at Eglise Saint-Germain. Altogether it has been a complete departure from our life in Brooklyn, which is the point -- we want Ben to experience other places and cultures, to grow up with an open mind and an appreciation for differences.
Before we left, a friend confided that she envied our family for "always jetting off somewhere." "I wish I could afford to take vacations like that," she said.
In fact, we do a lot of scrimping at home, as well as extra work, to pay for these trips. And the vacations themselves aren't exactly deluxe. We travel to warm climates in the summer and cold ones in the winter. We stay at fairly primitive hotels, and we gorge on the included continental breakfast in order to skip lunch (or, as we did this evening, dinner). We look for discounts and special offers, and we cut corners wherever possible.
Even so, I am aware that we are privileged to be able to travel this way. An even greater privilege is having a sixteen-year-old who still enjoys traveling with Mom and Dad. I know we are on borrowed time, and I want to make the most of every moment.