10 Things We’ve Learned Since Leaving Olympia

We just made it to the Fattorie Faggioli yesterday after 10+ days on the road.  We packed up and moved out of cohousing on October 31st, followed by a week of consolidating all our lives into luggage and an “interlude” visiting the East Coast before landing at the farm. Here’s a summary of key lessons learned along the way:

    1. Absolutely the most important lesson is that traveling with a child is not only more tiring but also sweeter.  The fatigue is obvious, but people are much nicer, even on the subway or check in counter, when you have a little conversation starter hanging off of you.  Amazingly, one’s baby will smile at all the right moments to reduce excess baggage fees, win forgiveness for piles of luggage on the train at rush hour, or get you to the front of the line.  Which is good, because you’re too tired to explain or defend yourself.
    2. Sleeping with Ellington

      After a long day of travel, one can sleep anywhere and share a bed with anyone (at Cousin Amelia’s place with Ellington the cat)

    3. The staff of the Staten Island Ferry system are courteous but very concerned about potentially hazardous activities. (child on the shoulders, child attempting to eat life ring, child walking too close to the stairs, etc.)
    4. Zuccotti Park

      Zuccotti Park is just a stone’s throw from the site of the World Trade Center (where you are welcome to purchase commemorative items or drop $24 dollars to visit the museum.  The park sports a new-looking notice of things you are not welcome to do, seen at bottom right.)

    5. Cousin Oliver just happens to be living in New York right now! The minds meet for the first time and have much to talk about.
    6. DC with a toddler

      These birthright anchor babies care as much about traffic cones and sunglasses as the glories of their nation’s capitol.

    7. Unlike Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum uses the tragedy of the shoah as a point of departure for challenging all acts of genocide everywhere. (They are currently showing an exhibit on Cambodia, followed by a room of warning on Syria.)
    8. While cities get all the credit, there's nothing like a beautiful walk in the fall woods to lift the soul. (at Pendle Hill)

      While cities get all the credit, there’s nothing like a beautiful walk in the Eastern fall woods to lift the soul. (at Pendle Hill)

    9. Seeing friends and family with a toddler either inspires curious questions about parenthood or frequent exclamations about the impossibility of parenthood.
    10. Last but not least: We have an amazingly loving and supportive community across the US, who, along with God watching out for us, made for a really lovely send off into our new life in Italy!