We signed the kids up for three weeks of summer day camp at a school nearby; (it's really only day care, but calling it "summer camp" makes it sound way more fun, right?) We are hoping it will bump their Spanish skills up a notch as well as allow us to meet some local families.
So yesterday Joshua and I sat at the dinner table talking over the dirty dishes; Malachai and Selma had already gotten down from the table, but Josu lingered on a bit longer with us. At a break in our conversation, he spoke up:
"I met a kid today"
Joshua and I paused. "oh?"
"Yeah. I went over to play with him even though he didn't invite me, and it was fine with him."
Then Josu got down from the table. He was done; he just wanted to let us know.
My heart was thumping; I had a knot in my throat;
Joshua's eyes met mine.
That had been an act of courage for our boy.
(sigh) . . . our tender, courageous boy.
Posted by naomi at 8:04 AM
I have a really great downstairs neighbor - she asks good questions, she listens carefully in our conversations, she says yes to last minute dinner invites when I run into her at the park . . .
She checked in on me when we got home from our trip last week. "How was it?" she asked me over a cup of tea. So we talked. I told her how beautiful it had been - about the friends we spent time with, the conversations we had, about my family and our time at the river house.
And I told her about that heart-ache that I get every time I leave a visit with my friends and family in another country - because there is never enough time; there are always conversations that are left incomplete (and those are better than the ones that were not even started), always nieces or nephews that I didn't get enough time to snuggle with . . . always coffees that had to end too soon.
(She gets it. My neighbor has friends all over the world; she has to say goodbye a lot too)
Then, in the course of our conversation, I remembered:
This is why my heart longs for eternity.
It won't always be this way.
Posted by naomi at 9:08 AM
Will you indulge me a moment - just a moment - to brag about my boy?
(did you say yes? I think you said yes . . . )
I took Malachai to the orthodontist last week; before we left home he slipped his English copy of Pippi Longstocking into my bag; he likes to read during the down times in the dentist chair. When he went in to see his dentist, he took his book with him; he was in there for a bit and then, from the waiting room, I could hear him chuckling; he said to his dentist (in Spanish, of course)
"ha! you have got to hear this!"
she stopped polishing his new retainer and said "awesome; let's hear it!" (she's good that way)
So Malachai went on to translate a paragraph of Pippi's clever antics.
Boom. just like that! it was smooth and seamless and accurate;
and it made me glow a little. I spent the next half hour in the waiting room with a goofy, dreamy smile on my face.
I'm proud of my boy;
but mostly, I'm really thankful. I'm thankful for the opportunity my kids have to be exposed to another language; I wonder what ways their future will be shaped by this skill set. I wonder if it will open up unique job opportunities, or if they will be more likely to live in a non-english speaking country . . .
And I pray. I pray for the way that speaking another language will shape their relationships. I pray that speaking another language will give them unique opportunities to defend those who are being treated unjustly. I pray that it will allow them to sing and laugh and share life deeply with people who come from other countries. I pray that they will be more free to speak about the beauty of Jesus no matter where they end up.
p.s. Pippi Longstocking is probably not my favorite - but my kiddos sure do love it. what are you all reading this summer?
Posted by naomi at 1:17 PM
When Joshua and I found out that we would travel through Texas this summer for some conferences/training with ReachGlobal, we scrambled to contact family and plan some sort of get together.
and so we did what all Texans do for vacation - we mooched a river-house off of a generous, kind river-house owning friend,* and filled 2.5 days with all the essentials:
8 cousins sleeping in a 10x12 room? (yep)
their parents all sharing the room next door? (sure now)
pingpong, bocci ball, and board games? (of course)
minnow hunting and constant fishing? (you bet)
ladies in the kitchen at the break of dawn flipping 5 dozen pancakes? (that too)
Dads throwing slime balls and spinning kids silly in inner tubes? (oh yeah)
mope a little about the siblings and the cousins who couldn't make it? (uh-huh)
bike rides, grasshopper hunts, fire ants, knitting, snuggles, hammock injuries, puzzles, quilting, and the world's most gigantic marshmallows? (did you even have to ask?)
maybe the reason my suitcases are still sitting in my guest room - only halfway unpacked - is because I'm not quite ready to admit that it had to end.
* Thank you Chandler family! you blessed us!
Posted by naomi at 9:55 AM
We've been traveling for a few weeks; we arrived home on Sunday, and I went yesterday to the grocery store so that my family would have something to eat other than rice on top of tostadas.
(not that there is anything wrong with that, right?)
I came home, my arms loaded with fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese (basically, all things perishable) to find Joshua arguing with some guy sent from the electrical company. Their conversation went something like this:
electricity man: we're cutting your electricity
Joshua: but we've been paying our bills
man: yes, but the people who lived here before you left two years of unpaid bills
Joshua: let's find a solution; The owner of the building is responsible for paying that bill, but I can go pay it right now and have him pay me back.
man: let's talk in private for just a second . . . I can hold off for a day if you make it worth my while
Joshua: wait - are you asking for money?
man: uuuuuh nope; I never said that.
Joshua: you said you could hold off for a day, so just let me go pay the bill and don't cut my electricity.
man: snip. snip.
We didn't pay the bribe
and we were without electricity until the next day.
That's not the end of the world, I know, but I'm still kind of fuming that my chicken went bad and that my strawberries are all moldy.
Joshua and I have our minds and hearts spinning - asking ourselves if we made the right choice - asking ourselves if this was corruption or if it was just a clash between two cultures - asking ourselves how God's love for truth and honesty is directly applied to a situation like this.
what would you have done?
Posted by naomi at 9:21 PM