Hi. I know it’s been a hot minute. I don’t even know how or why this post wrote itself or got itself posted. I’m still scratching my head. But I’m pleasantly surprised. I’ve come to terms with my 3 little ones coming first in this fleeting season of life, and so if that means the blog doesn’t stay too active, I’m OK with that. I have to be. (And I’m still not giving up on this little online space either.) And…every now and then when one of these posts sneaks by, well, cool beans!
At day’s end yesterday, I had a clearer than usual awareness of the magical moments that co-existed amongst the challenges (on a day when the challenges felt heavier than usual too). Though the day couldn’t be summed up as “easy”, yet there are so many small moments throughout that make me so aware of how full to overflowing life is. I’m not sure why I feel compelled to capture this particular day in the life, because it’s a fairly typical representation of life and not something necessarily special. But it is neat to jot down “typical days” over time, because they’ll change so much and so quickly as the kids continue growing up.
A typical-ish day, 8-17-17:
But first, to debunk the Instagram reality:
Those shining beautiful Mother’s Day photos from the kids school celebration last week are NOT our daily reality (or my photography, PC: Good Kids Preschool).
Our school-day reality the past 4 weeks is Emerson waking up crying he does not want to go to school. Death-gripping my neck as I pry him off of me at school, and that’s after I have to yank the car door open with force from his holding it shut. Tearful goodbyes from two kids, coupled with former haunts that play out in my head from our year at the other preschool has made me feel “on the brink” many days this past month. Yesterday was one of such days.
I’ve had to really get down to business and quiet my mind and soul and listen for guidance. And I still feel the temporary discomfort will be worth it long-term. Pray for our family as we adjust to another attempt to dig deeper into Thai culture, yes? So grateful for the nurturing staff at Good Kids, who talk ME down from the ledges too.
Moving on to the rest of the day:
Jude and I had a mommy/son date….to immigration! Where he won many hearts and I got my re-entry permit for an upcoming trip I’ll be taking to Myanmar. Where he grunted and held his arms up to the dog’s owner (Thai women are his sweet spot) until she held him and took him to her dog. One-on-one time with my JuJu is rare. and sweet.
Whereupon I come home to 6 men starting to chip away the concrete in our driveway, unbeknownst to me, in order to install some pipes underneath the ground for some drainage issues of our neighbors. Knowing these projects can be left unfinished for indefinite times, and not particularly wanting a sewage grate on my driveway for little feet to get caught in, I became quite flustered and had zero ability to speak Thai, other than to say “kriat maak” which means “I’m very stressed” (and more because of the kids and school drop-off than the current situation). One of the workers laughed out loud and repeated what I said, obviously surprised that this white lady who had no Thai words knew how to say “kriat maak”. (Hello, I have 3 young children, anyone?) I was not offended in the least (no sarcasm–I really wasn’t). It IS funny how language can just escape you. (Real funny.)
In the 15 minutes they waited (in the drizzle) for Brenden to scramble home (because this was one of those situations that warranted it, and I’m proud, I’ll have you know, that I haven’t had to call him for emergent situations since our first whirlwind year here), the workers decided that they didn’t need to drill after all(?). So that by the time B arrived home, there was nothing for him to mediate. Nonetheless he talked with the workers in his easy way, slapping their shoulders and laughing with them, and he put us all at ease. It’s a good partnership, him and me.
I told Nong Nat the workers were probably thinking “These stupid Farangs (white people)!” She said no, that they spoke to each other in Karen (which is her mother tongue, so she understood them). The workers said to each other that if they knew English, they would have wanted to explain more to me in English. Wow, such good people, because I’d say I was an embarrassing representation of foreigners in that moment, standing there in the rain with 6 Thai men around me saying “please, no do not drill. Can you wait until my husband arrives?”
(Also, most servicemen who come to our house look at Nat similarly! 😉
We did some rain-playing before nap time, Nat and I got to enjoy a rare sit-down lunch together (and it was not peanut butter and jelly, for once), and I was able to sit in a quiet house with torrential rains pouring til dinnertime, and re-center my affections heavenward.
After school, we took one more batch of pics of the kids in their uniforms (because #socute and #whynot), and Jude in his (or rather Maja’s) Duke shirt (and people regularly think he’s a girl b/c he IS so beautiful).
Quick, on-the-fly videos to send across the oceans to favorite cousins who are celebrating birthdays…
Then pep-talks and processes and prayers at the kids’ bedtime regarding the difficulties and realities of going to school. “If you cry in the morning, then what?” “I’ll still have to go to school.” “And what are some reasons we go to school?” “To learn. To have fun. To make friends.” “Yep.” “And where are there kids who can’t go to school?” “In Burma.” “Why?” “Because they don’t have money for uniforms.” “Because they don’t have teachers.” “So what do you think we can say to God about school?” “Thank You that we get to go to school.” “Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too.” (There’s also lots of hugs and empathy for the tears, but the conversation was as much for Mama’s resolve as it was for the kids’.)
And Emerson, at least, didn’t shed a single tear either before school or at drop-off today.
Baby steps. And brave steps. For all of us.