Yesterday I took the girls to get their passport photos taken. I hadn't planned the errand. Some days I don't have the mental bandwidth to take two kids to the grocery store, let alone out of the country, so I'm not sure where the urge came from. The last time I traveled internationally was on our honeymoon (my passport is both expired and in my maiden name) and I have been consumed by tremendous wanderlust lately, so perhaps that played a part. But mostly we were in between morning camp and an afternoon playdate, and it was a ten-minute appointment that included air conditioning on a 100-degree day. In short, I had the time and so I did it.
It's funny to think about children's passports. Genevieve's snap won't much resemble her after five months, let alone when the passport expires in five years. So then: a deadline? I guess I made the stop and am going forward with the paperwork because I would like to think we will all travel far away as a foursome sometime within the next five years. To see something different, settle in somewhere new, witness diversity. Exposure, exposure, exposure. So I suppose I was just setting the stage to set a goal.
And then there we were, post-camp, post-passport photo, and post-playdate. I was prepping dinner and my phone lit up with news of yet another horror, this time in Europe.
There is a French phrase: la douleur exquise. Translated exactly, it means "the exquisite pain." Taken from the medical term that defines a pain which morphine cannot dull, it is used to describe that indescribable pain of being hurt by the one you love. And these past two weeks have been especially hurtful. The close-minded way our country is thinking right now hurts. To witness Europe absorbing the shocks of more death, destruction and hate, hurts. Not one of the events of the last two weeks were personal, of course, but for whatever reason I've had an especially hard time not internalizing them on a very personal level. It. Just. All. Hurts.
There is another phrase I remember from high school French. To say "birds of a feather flock together": qui se ressemble, s'assemble. Literally translated, "those who resemble each other, assemble together." Let's be loving to attract love, let's be good to bring forth goodness. So on we march. There is beauty, real goodness out there. Of that, I'm sure. And I am determined to show it to my girls.