Sunday, November 30, 2014


The answer to the first question is "5 years older than you."

The answer to the second about when you're too old for the children's classic, "Goodnight Moon," is NEVER.

While painfully packing everything up to head back to my other country and life, I started thinking about "Goodnight Moon."

I recall the first time I heard about that book. A neighbor, the wife of a minister who was moving to a new location was having a tag sale. And unlike yours truly, she was not a hoarder. Although my son was only about nine months old at the time, I was drawn to the children's books that she was selling. Among them was this odd little paperback that was not in very good condition.

"Goodnight Moon?" "Never heard of it. Looks a bit boring.  I'm not sure I want that one."

"Oh yes you do!" And then she briefly explained why. She was SO right. But she forgot to mention how much its message would matter to me over the next 34 years (and still counting).

I haven't read that book in years, but I can conjure up its soothing pictures and melody. "Good night, comb. Good night, brush. Good night, bowl full of mush." It offers the perfect way to help a child wind down and make the transition into a comfortable night. And maybe an anxious mom, too.

I am wondering if I will ever come to terms with transitions. They are supposed to get easier, but I'm not convinced.

Today, somehow I will manage to get on a plane with a husband on crutches and a large dog whose crate is bigger than some Paris apartments. That crate will have to be assembled at the airport curb because otherwise it is too large to fit in the car.

Here are a few of the steps that will be involved:
1.finish packing and close up house

2.Drive on our terrible Italian country road to the parking lot where we will meet the friend who will drive us to the airport.

3.A few minutes before we arrive at the airport, we are supposed to call a special number that will supposedly make a porter materialize upon our arrival.

4.We are also supposed to pick up the yellow telephone to summon a pre-arranged wheel chair for Jim and his busted leg. What are the chances that these two helpers will arrive at the same time, if ever?

5. Try to find a moment and a spot to pee the dog one last time before getting him into his crate.

Never mind the rest. Somehow it will all get done. And two days later, if all goes well, I will be back in my other nest, don my professor cap, and resume university life.  

Good night, Italy. See you later?

Coda to myself:
When that baby in the book oh-so-gently nods off to Dreamland, she does not have her hands full.  She has bid goodnight to all of her stuff. She doesn't need it now. She is comfortably free, and all by herself.

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