Life is full of firsts and lasts and yesterday we rode the train to the small town of Koenigswinter, nestled in the first of the low, cool mountains along the Rhine as you enter the Eifel range. He will be spending two nights away from home with his First Communion class, the boys and girls from the Third year at his school. It is quite an adventure for him and he nearly missed it. He caught a stomach bug over the weekend and it was very doubtful he would make it. He missed the bus ride up with his classmates, but we joined them in time for lunch on the first day and that made him happy, as happy as I have ever seen him.
And I was happy for him, that he was able to participate in this rite of passage, the slow moving away, another step in his growing up. He must have been ok last night, the bug must have left him, because I didn’t get a call and I was dreading it. I wanted him to have this experience, to share it with the children he has known now for the last three years, a significant swath of time in the life of an 8-year-old. They were happy to see him and cheered when he walked into the lunch room yesterday and took a seat at the table with his pals. And I got back in the cab and then the train and came home, to this very quiet place.