So this is how it begins. We arrive on a redeye to Mexico City at 7am for a five hour layover to catch our plane to Cancun. The kids have slept three hours in uncomfortable seats rocked from one side by someone who got up frequently in the night and on the other by someone who kept his light on. All this after a five hour bus ride from Seattle to Vancouver to catch the cheap airfare to Mexico.

They are troopers. They are tired, but also excited, determined, and aware of what it is that we’re doing. Or at least, what it is that they are doing, which is undoubtably a world of its own.

Yet this is not the start of our worldschooling adventure, not really. We are only here in Mexico for a week over the kids’ mid-winter school break to enjoy some beach and sun. But it’s more than that. It’s a test of the packs and equipment we’re bringing. Of whether they are too heavy or qualify as carry-on. Of how I really must pack the portable printer where it’s accessible so that it can be pulled out in a pinch to go through the x-ray machine on its own. And of the work and quiet coordination it takes to pull everything together it takes to travel with three children between the ages of 8 and 10. Even if it’s only for a week.

Janet has done a majestic job of getting them to pack their own bags and of preparing enough snacks to last us 24 hours. She won’t be joining us here in Mexico for another couple of days, but already I feel her love accutely with every opening and closing of the bags. I am grateful that I don’t have to do this alone.

But I remind myself, even now, that I am not doing this on my own. My children are here with me. They are carrying the own weight, shouldering the day’s exhaustion gracefully, and taking care to make sure I haven’t left passports behind at the last stop. They are ready for this.