Sunday, September 16, 2007

Corinth, Greece



Leaving the heat and crowds in Athens, we traveled to Corinth, Greece, an hour train ride south west from Athens, on the bay of Corinth. We stayed at Basil and Linda’s Janavaras’, flat, just a few blocks from the beach. It was beautiful and relaxing.

Our week in Corinth was spent doing exactly what we wanted to do, which was mostly nothing at all – apart from eating too many gyros and fried calamari, drinking too much vino at lunch, lazing on the beach, and trying but failing to learn some Greek.

Basil’s family (Paul and Lia) met us at the train station and took good care of us with gifts of wine, pistachios, and ouzo. They helped us throughout the week and we shared a nice dinner with them in Loutraki. Lovely people.

I spent much of my week policing my kids, trying to make sure they didn’t wreck anything in the Janavaras beautiful condo. What is it about staying at a friend’s home that brings out the chimpanzee in teenagers? At one point I intercepted Charlie with a knife in one hand and the fireplace lighter in the other, just “walking around looking for stuff”.

Homesick set in about mid week. School started back home on Thursday, and my kids read excited emails from friends about the start of the year with subjects like “You can’t believe who I got for a homeroom teacher!” and “What am I going to wear on the first day?” It was hard for them to be missing out on all of the back to school buzz.

It was also the first time that I really questioned myself and the wisdom of this decision to take them away from their home and friends for five months. I heard that voice in the back of my mind saying “What are you doing? Get home and give your kids a NORMAL life with friends and activities and school”.

But of course, that is the voice of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the unusual, fear of not following the status quo. And it has been my experience that any decision based in fear turns out to be a bad decision.

I know that even when we are tired, frustrated and fighting, when it feels like I’m just “spinning my wheels” and when my kids say things like “I don’t care that it is thousands of years old, I just want to play a computer game!” That this is the right decision for us and that this experience will change all of our lives in ways we don’t even know yet.

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