Saturday, April 04, 2009

Are we there yet?

What a long strange week it has been.

I came to DC to promote the voting rights of Americans living abroad. In the course of five days I met with congressmen and staffers, NGOs and bureaucrats, activists and interest groups. Although we all agree that citizens need to be able to vote, how you get there can be VERY different. In fact, it is going to take a few weeks to process everything.

Naturally, Murphy did have a good laugh at my expense at least once. On Wednesday, I left the place that I am staying early in the morning. I was in my brand new gray dress (which is very Michelle Obama and I LOVE it) and black heels. It was going to busy day. Along with my meetings I was supposed to give some remarks at a reception. Naturally, as I walked to the bus, I noticed that a run had started in my hose.

My first meeting was downtown and luckily there was a CVS across the street. The receptionist was nice and let me use the restroom to change. Unfortunately, the lock on the stall kept popping open. As I struggled with my hose, I had to keep pushing the door shut. The more I pushed, the further it popped open. With my dress around my waist and my hose around my knees I shoved hard and the door flew the other way. I teetered and like a tree being chopped, I fell out of the stall.

Thankfully no one witnessed my fall from grace and after about ten minutes I was able to get my self together. Naturally, I did not need the extra hose that I had bought and of course it poured rain the entire afternoon and my umbrella was in . . . . Naturally.

Overall it has been a successful trip, and now I am READY TO GO HOME! DC is like a universe unto itself. The German was frustrated that I did not have access to a land line so that we could chat. “Doesn’t anyone have a phone??” “No, sweetie, they all have Blackberries.” He now calls it Blackberry-City.

Being away has helped me come to a very important conclusion:

I am very happy with my life at the moment.

I have been in a funk, a fog for awhile. There was something itching, and I could not figure out what. Using my political science training again has given me a new sense of purpose. But nine days away from my boys makes me realize that they are the backbone of my life. They give me strength and energy and immeasurable amounts of love. When I reflect upon all that I gave up for my life in, I realize that I would not want to be anywhere else.


The German said...

Good morning Blackberry-City. Germany is awake. Good weather, good mood and good coffee. Might be a good day-Wait you are coming back- great day. Let´s get up little Dude, I have to tell him Mama´s story.
The German

kim said...

that conclusion makes me happy :)

Snooker said...

As they say, if you want to appreciate your home, just go away for a while.

I personally would love to hear more about your visit and purpose in Blackberry city.

Anonymous said...


From your previous post it sounds like you have joined the ranks of parents around the world. Congratualtions to you and the German from a friend in Indiana! Hint: poli sci faculty member at Wabash College. Cheers!

jen said...

Very sweet. I'm sure the German is delighted to hear it.
call when jet lag is gone.

Carrie said...

You know you'll be missing hanburgers, real mexican food and blackberries soon enough ;) Don't forget- 2 weeks in OBX...

Laura said...

Hi Claire,
found your blog, love your stories and had to say hello! We're not far from you, writing from ludwigsburg, germany about life with kids in germany & europe. Come by when you have a chance!