My Village

Never is the expression “It takes a village” as true as when parents plan a trip alone together and need to arrange childcare. For me, the prospect is so daunting that it’s always been easier to stay home. Who else besides Tim and me would perform the million tasks a day that parenthood requires: the meals and lunch-packing, school drop-off and pick-up, the lessons/playtime/homework, the bath and bedtime routine? What trip could be worth disrupting that order for chaos? For the past eight years, the answer has been “none.”

But a few months ago, Tim was invited to lecture to a group of physicians in Croatia and Italy. If I wanted, I could go along, too. Tim forwarded me the invitation from his office with this subject line: “Childcare?”

Enter my youngest sister, Deanna. The mother of three girls—two teens and one almost—she lives in Boston and is fabulous with children. She adores Olivia and Mateo. When I told her about the opportunity, she didn’t hesitate. “You must go,” she said. “I’ll fly out to help.” With the support of her daughters and her husband, Deanna rearranged her schedule. My sister, Patrice, also offered to pitch in.

Thanks to them, I’m writing this in a hotel in Dubrovnik, overlooking the Adriatic Sea. As soon as Tim finishes his morning lecture, he and I will explore this spectacular walled city. I miss my children, but I know they’re in good hands.


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13 Responses to “My Village”

  1. cynthia rovero says:

    hi jessica,

    good for you to get a much needed fun vacation in with your hubby and kudos for having a wonderful sister to help with kids too. have the time of your life and have fun shopping for trinkets to bring home for olivia and mateo

  2. Jessica says:

    thanks, cynthia. my sisters are all so great. my brother, too. very lucky in that way. interesting to be somewhere that is not guatemala!

  3. Oh Jessica,
    How wonderful! Enjoy every minute. I’m hoping you’ll post photos of your journey. I went to Why There Are Words here in Sausalito with Sandy from our Squaw group. Let us know if you want to join us next time. It’s fantastic and we have dinner beforehand to catch up.
    Happy Travels!

  4. Jessica says:

    Cynthia: So good to hear from you! I would absolutely love to go to the next reading with you and Sandy. Please send me the details. Will be great to catch up with fellow Squaw alum. Our trip so far= fabulous. A beautiful country. Thanks for writing.

  5. cynthia rovero says:

    i see siblings who mesh wonderfully and wish that my daughter and son continue to enjoy their love of spending time together all through their life. yes it is a blessing for sure. cultural immersion is a beautiful thing too, as i often enjoy watching anthony bordain and zimmern on their food adventures all over the world. i hope you are enjoying some delightful goodies too on your trip.

  6. Jessica says:

    cynthia r: one of the reasons we have two children is our hope that they will be friends forever. wonderful that your two are so close. good to hear. as for enjoying delightful goodies on this trip: oh my gosh, yes. too much!! everything delicious and fresh.

  7. Jessica says:

    And I “hepped”.


  8. Lorrie says:

    Have the time of your life! I’m enjoying your travelogue, and I’m sure your kids are enjoying their aunts.

  9. Jessica says:

    Thanks, Lorrie. My sisters are brilliant at pampering our children, you’re right. Ice cream for dinner, anyone?

  10. Dilyara says:

    OMG, what a fabulous trip! You are so lucky to have the village that can help. For me romantic getaways with hubby are decades away due to the same issue – CHILDCARE.

  11. Jessica says:

    Dilyara: You are so right. The trip never would have been possible without my sisters Deanna and Patrice. Childcare = the never-ending challenge!

  12. David says:

    And the village is larger than we realize when we consider our friends who helped us out because Deanna was away. The village gets larger, but the world gets smaller.

  13. Jessica says:

    So true, David. What would we do without friends?

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