Don’t Ever Help the Local Teens When You’re Traveling on a Foreign Bus


Oh my.  I am seriously crying over here.  I was reminded yesterday that my sister, the MOST helpful woman you will ever meet, was inspired on our recent trip to Italy (#sisterchick style) to help the local teenage boys out…on the bus…at the top of her voice.

Here is how the story goes…

We were on the Pisa city bus just, very apparently, not making our way to the Leaning Tower…So there we were.  Hanging out.  Watching the city pass us by, while the locals hopped on and off.  Pushing stop buttons when wanting to exit and stamping tickets when boarding.

We knew we had to get back to the train station—so, you know, we had to basically ride the loop out.

This gave us OODLES of time to get really really really like super really bus savvy.  I mean, we were riding it for like an hour—so we did have it figured out.

Stop button meant people wanted off.  Tickets punched meant people would be riding.

The thing is…the bus was so busy that we were all scattered throughout.  From front to back—dragging our ridiculously heavy suitcases with us—carry-on luggage—and lots and lots of sweat from our over-stuffed train ride to get to Pisa from Florence (but that’s another story).

And in the midst of the bus chaos and complete separation we hear from somewhere in the middle a LOUD and TALL REDHEAD shouting in her best Italian #@$&%!

The bustling, overcrowded, LOUD bus comes to a complete moment of silence===and we, the traveling #sisterchicks, all look towards Darby (my sister) and stare.  Mouths open.

What did she just yell?????

Whatever it was, it brought Italy to a standstill.

No one…foreign or otherwise…knew what to do.

And then we hear her, “I am just trying to help stop the bus.”

All of us, however, came to the conclusion that whatever word the teenage boys were shouting on the bus was probably, very likely, absolutely without a doubt, we are sure of it…not the word STOP!

What word was it?

Well, considering it was teenage boys yelling it…let’s just say it was probably a very naughty word that my sister would most likely punish her own teenagers for saying 😉

Yes, here she was, in a foreign country, yelling it at the top of her lungs!


Needless to say—the bus did stop.

Talking that is.

Not in motion.

It kept rolling…

Much like our laughter to this day.

Oh, dear friends, wherever you go, if there are teenage boys shouting, keep this in mind…

Don’t repeat what they are saying…ESPECIALLY if it is in a foreign language.

And on a bus!


photo credit:  Laura Hocknell; photo caption:  Perspective;  photo subject:  DARBY the bus yeller!!!!!


With 3 kids, which kid gets lost in the midst?


It tears my heart to pieces to say it—but with three kids the MIDDLE does get lost in the midst.

And this is a MIDDLE child speaking!

I swore I would NEVER forget the middle…Until I had the older one in school and one million activities that required much attention.  Don’t forget the fact that she goes to school fully submersed in a foreign language (a language some declare the MOST difficult language in the world—others rank it in the Top 7 most difficult languages in the world)—POLISH!  Don’t forget that I make her do oodles of English work at home.  Don’t forget she is gifted.  She reads a ton.  She can sit and write a book in one day and would like for me to then plop myself down and illustrate it for her.  Don’t forget SHE WAS an only child for 6 and 1/2 years.

The Middle…Break my heart for my middle.

My Baby—my little Max in the Middle was only 11 months old when I got pregnant with Belly Josephine!  I immediately started spotting.  Cramping.  And then bleeding.  Which meant that Max in the Middle got put down, tossed crackers for lunch, and left behind.

I could hardly function—much less take care of a wee toddler.

Then the pregnancy, Belly Josephine, got really bad.  Like she decided at 30 weeks my belly was not 5 Star and she wanted out of there.  Which really put me on my back.  Feet up.  Staying still.

The Middle.  Break my heart for my middle.

Of course we made it to the end—HALLELUJAH!  But that meant the new baby was here.

Oldest has to have attention.  She has school, and assignments, and sports.

Baby has to have attention.  She needs extreme protection and sleep and food.

The MIDDLE can live off of crackers and Elmo.

And still seems to…

Ah the middle.  You would have thought that because my middle is the one that has had to fight the hardest in life to live that I would pay MOST attention to him.

But I seem to be the very stereotypical Momma.  I realize that the oldest achieve much because of the attention that they have always garnered from the start…

I see that the youngest get so much loving because we don’t want the baby phase to ever end…

And I see my middle on his favorite chair watching Elmo.

Over and over and over again.

Then I wonder why he throws a fit when I turn off the TV.

Poor Middles…

Now I better understand Me!