We’ve had quite a lot of memorable and interesting experiences on this adventure. We’ve travelled to beautiful and culturally important places, seen beautiful art, had unusual experiences, faced challenges and met many, many kind and lovely people. I love taking pictures of these moments. Looking back at them always brings a smile to my face, and looking back at them as a collected set is pretty stunning. Still, most of the time, when I’m taking a picture, I’m simply capturing the moment, not thinking of the greater impact it will have when viewed later. Sometimes, though, while memorializing those moments, I’m aware of what it will be like to look back on it later — how it will feel as a part of our familial history.
Last Friday, Dan’s work had their annual company party. It was a nice one. We’ve attended many work functions over the years (in several different industries) but we’ve never managed to get to one of these IAEA-wide events before (one year, I think we were in Paris, and the other time, I think one of us was sick). Some work parties are more indulgent than others, some are more formal, some are a chore, a few, over the years, have been genuinely fun. This was one of the best we’ve had the chance to attend. Families were welcomed, there was live music plus a good DJ, there were (free) drinks and lots of good food (to buy). There was socializing and dancing. The party went from 3 in the afternoon until 10 at night, and the employees were encouraged to attend during work hours. It was a real treat, for all of us, and everyone else there seemed to be enjoying themselves, as well. Dan joined the party in the afternoon, but the kids and I didn’t arrive until later, after nap time. We had dinner, chatted with friends, the boys had ice cream, and Dan and I even got in a few dances. It was a good time.
But this is the IAEA, so the party was held in the central courtyard of the UN. This might have just been Dan’s summer work party, but it was also a party at the UN. And taking pictures of the boys dancing under the circle of flags, I was very aware that this is one of those cool things we’ve gotten to do. It was fun while we were doing it, but I think it will always feel just a little bit unreal when we look back on it.