I just put the Golden Child on a plane.  My heart hurts.  I hate this part of living here.  We did have an absolutely wonderful visit, filled with gorgeous weather, lots of laughter, some yelling, sibling rivalry and amazing amounts of shopping.  Not so much me, but Soren.  He has inherited a love of shopping from his Oma and dad.

Last night he packed his suitcases (he had to borrow one of ours), and filled both with chocolate, candy, a couple shirts and a big beer stein for his tea at work.  I “knew” it would be overweight, and sure enough, at the counter this morning, it clocked in well over the allowed.  That boy flashed his grin, said he was military visiting his dad, and got the fees waived. That. Boy.

I’ve got more in my Personal Notes below…

He is 23. He has a job.  He works beyond hard. He frequently puts in extra hours, even on weekends. In fact, I think he works too hard.  He’s worked a whole year to save up exactly 1-week of vacation, something that has all my German friends dropping their jaws and going “Waaaaaas?”.  And then?  Then he takes that 1-week he worked so hard for and comes home.

Of course, home is currently Germany.  It is not that big a sacrifice on his part, it really isn’t.  Plus, we love him! And we spoil him, even if he is 23 with a job.  This year I dragged him all over Stuttgart, that panorama photo was taken at the home offices of the “chicken guy” (Göckelesmaier, turn speakers off before clicking!).  I had to go pay for the Frühlingsfest (Spring Fest) tickets.  Since the tent is only open during fest, and fest is not till April, I had to go to their home office.  Um.  I want a job there! Soren wants a job there!  What an amazing view.

We also went to Rubble Mountain, sometimes known as Birkenkopf, or Monte Scherbelino.  It is a permanent reminder of the devastation of war, and a memorial to the victims.  There is a great article in the Stars & Stripes by David Rogers that offers a little more history. It is a little sobering to think of the not-so-pleasant history of our new home, it is so at odds with our actual life here today.

Soren and I both enjoyed the beauty in the contrast between the old, the rubble, and the new of Stuttgart now.  He has my old Canon Rebel and we both spent time taking photographs.  I love when he loves what I love.  Of course, I still love to photograph my children the most.  Even if they are 10-ft taller than me.

I miss him so much already.