Some days I wonder if we’re making a big mistake. When “life as missionaries” just consisted of Chris and I things were much simpler. Then we added a kid to the mix. And now another. I think any parent often wonders if the decisions they make for the family will be good, or just end up screwing everyone up.
As we travelled Wednesday and Thursday people were amazed that we were traveling with a 7 week old baby. When they found out we were going to Haiti, where we lived, I’m pretty sure most of them thought we were crazy even though they hid it really well.
There were moments during the trip where I did too.
They were just those small moments in my head where I would think, “Are we nuts for doing this, for living like this?”
It’s easy to question our life here because let’s face it, normal hardly blips on the radar. I had a friend back in my college days who always said, “My mom says normal is only a setting on the dryer.” Chris and I have seen how much we can handle and maneuver through, but how do we do that with kids? How do we do it well? Are they going to hate us later for making them live this life style? We’ve had opportunity to talk to MK’s and parents of MK’s and have been encouraged by their insight, experiences and wisdom.
It is possible to do this well. And, I feel like we’re on the right track. Today as I was unpacking Olivia walked into our room and said, “Mom, I’m happy to be here.”
Out of the mouths of babes. We chatted a bit more about how she was feeling about being back and then went on our way with what we were both doing. It really stuck with me though because if you want honesty, talk to a three year old. I guess life isn’t so bad here after all.
In fact, being back feels like riding a bike. You never really forget how to do it, though you might be a bit rusty if you haven’t done it in a while. The last 24 hours have been all about me getting my bearings. Remembering where things are, trying to fall back into our routine, and figuring out what we need to do life here.
I feel like I accomplished a lot today. I got my family fed and watered this morning, then started attacking the luggage. I’m happy to report that by the time I hop into bed tonight all 7 of the duffle bags will be unpacked and mostly put away save the toiletries. Most of that was baby stuff, and for anyone that was at my shower, I got it all in! Oh yes I did. The kids room is all neat and tidy and put away and Alex will not be going naked or diaperless for at least a year. And Olivia will not be without pull ups until she’s in college, and hopefully by then she won’ t need them anymore.
Now that we’re back and falling into our rhythm here I’m remembering some of the wonderful things about living here. Things like the assault to your senses that Haiti is. It’s the burning grass or garbage or charcoal pit. The roosters crowing (you should have seen Alex this morning when the rooster in the work yard started going off). The dogs barking. The ocean waves. The stickiness of layers of sweat and body goo. The feeling of dirt gathering on the bottoms of your feet. The way a good breeze can bring back your sanity.
The fruit. Mmmm, the fruit. And veggies. I’ll be honest, I’m not a big stickler for organic food, but here we eat organic because people can’t afford pesticides. Tonight I made a salad that was so yummy I had two big helpings. I usually don’t do seconds on salad. Why was it so yummy? It’s avocado season. I’m sorry California, but compared to the softball size, sweet tasting avocados we get in Haiti your avocados are tasteless and puny. And for those of you that think I’m exaggerating about the size, I’m not. They literally are the size of a softball. I only used half of one that was perfectly ripe in the salad, and it was amazing. The best part is we get another couple of months of this… :)
Alex seems to be settling in well too. He was hot yesterday, and today I decided to put him in a Onesie because it felt less hot than doing skin to skin with him in just a diaper. Tonight he had his bath right before bed and he did not want to get out of the tub. He loved being able to swish around and rinse off all that sweat. Child after my own heart.
Have I mentioned that it’s hot? It’s sweaty hot. Soupy hot. Today it threatened to rain, but didn’t. That sucks. I hate being teased.
Okay, this post is starting to turn into a method of procrastinating, and if I want to fall into bed any time soon then I better get my butt in gear and finish unloading my clothes and put them away. Did I mention that with the unpacking came the reorganizing of the closet, the linen closet, the storage room and parts of the kitchen? Yes, it did. Because I needed to make room.
Now I’m really signing off. Good night blog world.