Sleep and the art of getting your kid to stop talking to you.

Once upon a time, there was a child whom we adoringly refer to as “the boy”. He was a quiet fellow who would stare at you and silently judge you while eating his saltines and “nanners”. Because…well that’s what you do when you’re two: develop hyper-focused eating habits and judge everyone you meet. Anyway, this kid was perfect. He played by himself and was able to use his imagination to play boxing or wrestling for hours with his stuffed toys. He allowed his mother to get work done or cook or clean when she was ever inclined to do so….

24 hours in Abu Dhabi: Pt. 1

This is a rant. I’m just gonna put that out there first. The TripAdvisor review will come later. I’m hot and stinky and really really tired, so this is what you get right now. We begin our journey landing in Abu Dhabi Airport at 2:30AM. We left Narita Airport at 9PM, so I really don’t know what time my body thought it was by the time we landed. I didn’t sleep well, but the boy remarked that he “slept like a baby”. So I was already irked. We landed 2 hours ahead of schedule, therefore we had to wait for the…

Making space

Last night, I called the sitter and went to see Janet Jackson in concert. I’m glad I did. At one point I had to sit down and take it all in. Give myself permission to be an adult for the night. I feel like moving here put me back in the place when I was first navigating being a single parent. Figuring out how to find the balance between giving the boy what he needs and also taking time for myself. It was a difficult transition and it’s challenging to be back in that space where I’m struggling to figure…

First day. 

In spite of the delirium and exhaustion of jet lag, the boy and I began our first days at school. We walked to my school and rode the bus over to his together. He is getting older and even to get a picture was a struggle. But in the end, he smiled and posed with me. Although I’m still nervous and second guessing myself every other minute, I know he’s okay and doing well. I’m excited about this new experience for the both of us and I look forward to seeing how well he thrives here in Tokyo.

The boy is alright.

It has been a busy few weeks. I had to return to Philly to file for our visas at the Japanese Consulate in New York; which basically cancelled the “adios tour” that I originally planned  to visit family and friends and say our goodbyes. In the last few weeks we’ve hustled to find a temporary place to live, I put him in camp to make life for him seem as usual, even if it wasn’t. As the last few days wind down, I’m trying to saturate his life with the things that he loves about the city. I know that…

That time the boy left his comfort zone and zip lined across the Zambezi River.

I’ve always been a daredevil. Well…a safe one. My motto is “YOLO, but don’t die”. The boy, on the other hand, has always proceeded with caution and lived vicariously through me. When I skydived, he was supportive and even expressed interest in doing it one day, but then was nervous about jumping from the top ladder on a climber at the park. He has aspirations but rarely leaps before fully assessing all possible risks. When we traveled to Southern Africa for spring break this year, we visited Victoria Falls and I told him that I was thinking of jumping off the bridge….

My heart is 30,000 feet in the air.

For the first time in his 8 years of travel experience, the boy boarded his first flight as an unaccompanied minor to fly to Kansas to spend part of the summer with my mother. I freaked out a little bit on the inside. But I didn’t cry. I did good. He, on the other hand, was awesome. I’m constantly blown away at his bravery and resilience. Flying alone for an eight-year-old can be a scary thing. Especially when you’re used to flying with someone at all times. I know he is and will be fine. He’s a pro at this…