A phrase I first noticed in the journal of Charles Dodgson — better known as Lewis Carroll — has stuck in my mind. He wrote, “I mark this day most specially with a white stone.”
A bit of research revealed that “days marked with a white stone” are days of pleasure, or days to be remembered with special gratification. The phrase comes from the Romans, who used a white stone to mark lucky days on their calendar.
I love this idea of marking a special day. Perhaps this is a way to use my newly adopted blue-bird-of-happiness motif.
Certainly the day I returned from my trip was a day to mark with a blue bird. It was nice to be away, but it was bliss to be back—to cuddle my two girls on my lap and to wake up next to the Big Man in the morning.
The reunion with the Big Girl and the Little Girl was bittersweet, though, because we’re leaving again in a few days for India, for a wedding. It will be exciting and wonderful, but I’d feel a lot better about leaving if I hadn’t just been away.
It’s not that I’m worried about the girls—I know they’ll be fine—but I feel sad about being away for so long. I don’t like the thought of missing so much, especially with the Little Girl, who, at nineteen months, is changing so quickly that I know she’ll be in an entirely new stage by the time we return.
But instead of dwelling on the downside, I’m trying to focus my attention on how lucky I am to be able to go on this trip, and to see a real Indian wedding, and to have a holiday alone with the Big Man.
Also, although it’s a long trip, and a lot of logistics, I know that no matter what happens, no matter how many flight delays or traffic jams we suffer, I’ll be able to comfort myself by thinking—at least I’m not traveling with two small children.
In the meantime, I’m trying to appreciate the pleasure of being with the Big Girl and the Little Girl — a pleasure it’s so easy to take for granted, until I know I’m going to be away from home. And I can look forward to the next day to mark with a blue bird: the day we come back.