Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On the move at Christmas

Sunset over the Wasatch Range alongside Salt Lake City.  both the lake and the city are buries beneath a layer of low clouds, lapping against the foothills.  Really a beautiful evening.

We’re all on the move this season.  I’m off from Cambridge to Boulder, visiting my parents for a long weekend ahead of heading back to Seattle for two weeks.  Shopping is high on the list, both for Christmas gifts and reprovisioning.  My battle gear is getting badly worn, from my suit to my shoulder bag, from the watch lost at Schiphol security to the MP3 player flooded at Dover.  Reading glasses, med refills, a few books and spices requested by friends: the bag will be going back full.

William KabulMy son is moving this Christmas as well.  He was deployed to Afghanistan where he’ll be flying aerial recon assignments in support of coalition ground troops.  His wife and their puppy stay behind in Alaska; our hope is that 10,000 feet provides sufficient buffer to keep him save for the next 8 months.  He’s excited about the assignment, doing great work and optimistic about where it leads.

I saw ex-National Security Advisor Rice being asked how she felt about the sacrifice in lives and injuries over the past ten years after she jumped us into a war on mistaken pretense.  She smiled broadly and said that nothing worthwhile comes without sacrifice.


My daughter is coming back from college for a couple of weeks of work at Nordstrom before returning to finish her last semester.  She’s exploring a European rotation at one of the fashion houses alongside possibilities here in the States.  It’s not an area that I can help with (except for providing an apartment), but she seems to have it all well in hand: knowledgeable, motivated, optimistic.

Couldn’t ask for more, from either of them.

A lot of families cluster close all year around, not just at Christmas.  Mine scatters across the globe year- around, gathering improbably at reunions and Christmas.  Some folks ask whether that is a failure in our parenting, but I’ve always believed that the goal is to raise happy, confident, independent adults.

Not without a few bumps, to be sure, but they’ve both turned out as we hoped.

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