As we’re getting closer to leaving Canada I’m finding myself trapped in that place between home and home. Canada is and will always be home for me. My parents still live in the same house that they owned when I was born. There are streets named after my family here. I have roots. It’s been such a treat for me to share this with my little family. Healing actually.
When Chris and I first got married I actually grieved the fact that we would never be in Armstrong long enough for my kids to learn about why I loved it so much. Based on our regularly planned vacations we would never be here for more than a couple weeks at a time, and that wasn’t enough to do all the things I loved as a kid. We would only be here for two seasons – summer and winter. It’s been such an unexpected blessing for me to have been able to share the Okanagan with Chris and Olivia and to share it in all seasons. I feel like I’m not grieving that any more.
I’m slowly starting to sort and pack the remainder of our stuff and it feels a bit overwhelming simply because I need to make sure I remember to gather all the day to day stuff and not day to day stuff that needs to go back to Haiti with us. Since we’ve been here twice for long periods there were certain things we left last time that we need to take back this time. And there are things we’ve brought that have moved around the house and need to be rounded up. And then there is the constant ooze of other things that I’m sure my Mom is going to be happy to see be put away in a place where it won’t emerge from for about a year. It kind of feels like a tornado keeps moving through the house on a daily basis, and I guess when you have a three year old that’s exactly what it is. They don’t call her “ti syklon” for nothing.
We’re trying to make sure we get all those last appointments and visits in as well. I had to say good-bye to my Dad the other day as he was going up north for work and wouldn’t be coming back before we left. I’ll admit to having a good cry over that one. When we left last time it was with the knowledge that we would be back in a short period of time. This time because this is our year to spend Christmas down in the US and because of my Dad’s new job and not knowing exactly when they’ll be able to make a trip into Haiti the good-byes mean indefinite plans for next visits. Now that we have kids in the picture that’s so much harder. I think about what my parents missed in Olivia’s first year with us and it’s hard to know that they won’t get to see either kid for a while. But, it is what it is and it’s part of what we’ve been called into and I know that God will meet us all in the midst of that and heal those places in our hearts. And, he has this crazy ability to make time fly.
Alex is growing like a weed. He gained 8oz in 5 days last week. We have a doctors appointment on Monday and I’m eager to see how much more he’s gained because he just feels bigger and well, looks bigger. Please be praying too. He has a lump on the side of his neck. We had an ultrasound done on Wednesday and the doc we saw last week thinks it’s just a cyst, but w won’t know for sure until Monday. We’re obviously praying it’s nothing and something that can be removed quickly before we leave. It’s seeming to cause him a bit of discomfort and we’re worried it’s going to get bigger.
On a fun note, Alex started smiling this week. No, it’s not gas. It’s genuine, intentional smiling. Olivia started right around 6 weeks, and he’s just over 4, so it’s an early treat for us. This morning after giving his Daddy a hard time when he was trying to give him a bottle he was all sneaky smiles for me when I went to nurse him, like he knew exactly what he’d been up to. Stinker.
Olivia is adjusting well to having a little brother. I know I’ve probably said that already, but I also know people have continued to ask. She likes to make up funny little “he said” things, like “he said ‘No! I don’t want kisses right now.'” We’re trying to do as many fun things as possible with her before we leave. This week we introduced her to screamers – slushy and soft serve ice cream – served up at the local corner store where I spent many quarters as a kid. We’ve watched her do the monkey bars all by herself at the school where I went to K-3, and she’s visited the library and water park her in town. We had a shopping day with Nanna yesterday and tomorrow I think we’re going to plan a picnic somewhere where she can play hard. She’s having fun, but I know she’s also going to enjoy going home and being back in her place.
For me, now that we’re getting closer and I’m packing my brain and heart are definitely switching modes. This is good and healthy. Like I said, until we have the tickets booked I have a hard time with it. Now that we’re in the “home stretch” I’m feeling more ready. I’m feeling like while I might be sad to be saying good-bye, I’m also looking forward to the small things of being back home. Sleeping in our own bed. Falling back into our routine at the mission, and in this case, learning a new one with Alex. I’m looking forward to seeing our friends and workers there, and introducing Alex. I like just being in our own space, where things have their place and I can easily put things away. It’s hard being in other peoples homes and feeling like we’re always oozing, like I said.
So, we’re leaving home, to go home soon. Please pray that our hearts and minds will be ready.