I find it hard to believe, but as Jo mentioned in #51, we’ve recently reached a milestone –one year of writing our missives. Some have been personal and insightful, others more lighter even humorous, but I’m thankful for them all and the discipline of carrying on Monday Morning Emails in this way.
Yet if you’ve read MME, there is often a question that lingers, especially when people message me personally… that is, how are the boys? We conveyed their stories, and their struggles, openly and on this Monday, I can thankfully say… the kids are alright.
I write this morning from a once-prominent and imposing townhouse in the old town of Ljubljana, windows flung open to the lively, narrow cobbled street below. It’s the kind of European setting I love… grand buildings, a vibrant cafe and cultural scene, and dare I say the expansive choice of excellent local wines.
Since the end of my research sojourn in Malaysia, I’ve reunited with Bruce, enjoyed a gezellig visit in The Hague at Jo’s, then journeyed by train to Slovenia. There is an added benefit to being here as it’s the home of our eldest son.
We weren’t able to spend much time with him the first few days because of his work commitments, but I relished the opportunity to be a mom-on-the-ground and duly sent a care package… dinner, a fresh loaf of bread and desert from the bakery just a few doors down from our ‘home away from home’.
Luke, as an editor for global sustainability companies, and his girlfriend Trixie have more than thrived in their virtual nomadic lives. Wonderfully, it hasn’t only been work at a distance. Movie-producing collaborations, modelling, coaching and other experiences are exciting additions to their ever-growing resumes. They chose Slovenia to live and have truly ‘bloomed where they planted’ themselves.
Our middle son, Matt, is in Calgary, pursuing a career in the trades and, admittedly, there are still some challenges. But as the recent spell of quality time that Bruce enjoyed with him reinforced, as families our continued support makes a critical difference. I look forward to seeing him in a month’s time and I’m proud of his recent achievements.
Most of us are proud of our kids most of the time, but every so often an achievement can swell our hearts with a pride we couldn’t have imagined. Our youngest, Andrew, whose personal journey detailed in MME, would resonate deeply with any parent, is ‘in the neighbourhood’ right now.
Having completed his third year of Political Science at UBC, Andrew was selected for a summer internship with NATO. After an initial five weeks in Western Canada, he and a select group are now in Europe, immersed in NATO’s policy making and implementation in defence, international security and peace operations.
This renewed connection the Canadian Armed Forces is on different terms, introducing him to foreign policy makers and diplomats. He revels in this new arena of ‘sovereign states’ and ‘multilateral frameworks’, wrapped up in a dizzying itinerary that has taken him from Belgium to Italy and soon onwards to Latvia and Romania.
It’s a life-changing experience and when we received the photo of him (above) from Brussels this weekend, his joy and commitment for this opportunity shone through.
“It’s been great so far. Keeping us busy.” And an endearing, “The Italians have fed us well… can’t wait to tell you all about it!”
We’ll get it first-hand from him soon. When the internship concludes we will rendezvous in Croatia with him and his girlfriend Ayla, and I know how incredibly interested in how these past weeks developed we’ll be. Then, some time back here all together in Slovenia… though it will only be the six of us, we’ll be missing Matt.
Yet I know as a parent that even as they live their lives as adults, it’s all that we ask for – for the ‘kids’ to be alright…