Rome. June 21st. An array of emotions. A whirl of ups and downs. Highs and lows. Lows and highs. Grateful for the teachings of humility and empathy.
There are moments where my internal dialogue goes like this: what was I thinking travelling with an super sensitive teen who like most teens want security, want people not to stare, want comfort zone, want understanding; what was I thinking taking my super sensitive teen on travels that do not involve hotel rooms but Italian homes where no English is spoken; what was I thinking taking my super sensitive teen on a journey that involves metros and buses, trams and shuttles, asking for directions, inevitably making fools out of our selves! But then I knew what I was thinking cause when the ground settles beneath her feet and she is no longer in her head worrying about the world watching and scrutinizing and I witness her growl turn purr, her judgement turn awe, her vulnerability turn confidence I know this is a trip she will never forgot, impressions of real places, real people and culture she will remember forever.
Maya and I compare ourselves to those millions of folks who do not choose to journey to foreign countries but are forced to flee their countries, who are forced to live, to resettle in unfamiliar worlds with little money, sometimes with little hope of returning to their families, communities, the safety of what they know and cherish and we recognize these feelings of vulnerability and fear, these feelings of deep insecurity we now can feel a tiny fraction of a crumb of what many displaced people feel the world over and we now can empathize in our own small way.