Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Notes from life: And how my family will make you feel better about yours.

The days pass so quickly; I can't believe the colors of fall surround me already.  I love living in the country again.  Everywhere I look there is beauty.  The leaves are turning and as our back yard is next to fields of sheep and horses which are at the base of the wooded hills of a state park, the brilliance and turn of the season astounds me daily.

Some notes of my days--

I often very keenly miss Africa.  I most of all miss Congo.  The daily life of living there. I miss the sounds of birds.  I miss the flowers.  I miss the glory of the rainy season and the struggle of the dry.  I miss the thunder storms that left me rattled and awed.   I miss walking in the streets, taking crazy cabs, talking in my broken mixed up french.  I miss driving to the orphanage and hugging and loving little ones who loved me back.  There is hurt in my heart, when I realize that they probably never understood why I stopped coming, when I used to come and visit so regularly.

I miss the people of Congo, people I love.

I miss Africa.  I miss Rwanda, and the tremendous difference one finds upon crossing the borders.  I miss visiting Kigali.  I always felt like I was visiting the U.S. when I was in Kigali.  That is how foreign it felt compared to my life in DRC.  I remember the looks people gave us when we told them where we lived.  The looks of incredulity, like no one really understood us.

I miss the people of Africa.

I miss Africa.  I miss our travels around the continent and the people we met.  I miss our fairly yearly trips to Kenya.  I remember my fear of Nairobi that eventually turned into a yearning to visit and a love of the city.

I miss the people of Africa.

I also miss things that are a bit unexpected.  I miss border crossings and the people who were all crossing into and out of DRC at the same time.  I miss the constant feeling of knowing how much the water I drank was a gift.  Because there was dry season and water was rarer and harder to find every year.   I miss the joy we all felt when the power came on full strength and we left the constant "mood lighting" to actually being able to see each other.  Now, I simply leave lights on and forget what it felt like to be grateful for any electricity I received, let alone full strength power.  I miss being a minority.  I miss being reminded of how so many people live around the world.  I miss the unease, the doubt, the anger about injustice.  Now, I fight complacency daily.

I miss my friends.  Oh, how I miss my friends.

There are other notes from my life I could share.

The kids are getting big, and so fast.  Natalie has been very entertaining lately.  She is 5 3/4 years.  She is tall and loves to climb trees.  She is also very intense and often angry that life is not perfect or the way she wants it all the time.  A more recent story, she fell off her bike and started yelling and screaming, then yelled at me, "Why did Adam and Eve have to eat that stupid apple anyway??!!".  Why, indeed?

Isla is 3 3/4.  She is still the princess.  No more so than in the middle of the night.  She wakes up nightly yelling, "come down here and put my covers back on."  She never tries to put them on herself.  She just lays there, frozen and cold, yelling for us to come and cover her back up.  She will not tire of yelling for us and will do it all night.

Mia and Isla

Ellie and Mia are almost 3 years old.  Wow that was fast.  Mia is just as sassy as ever and is only quiet when sleeping.  She can tell off most anyone and has no fear about it.  She continues to be able to get into anything and everything and is the one that most often is making us pull out our hair.  We hope she makes it in one piece to adulthood.  She is also very cute (which probably helps her get away with so much sass).  Ellie is strong and observant.  She notices details that we all overlook.  Her memory is amazing and she surprises me by what she will recall and tell me about.  She is very coordinated and has mastered most bikes/scooters put in her path.  I think her goal is to get to the tree climbing ability of Natalie.  They are still not potty trained.  Don't ask.

Ellie and Mia

As a final note, I will say that I realized today that I have become "that family".  You know the one, right?  The family that makes you feel better about yours?  Well, that's us.  Without fail, when I am out with all four kids (three of whom are basically 3 year old triplets, and the other is a 5 year old) I get told two things:

"Wow, you have your hands full!"


"And I thought my life was crazy!"

There you have it.  Maybe I should hire us out.  You know, I could come over and the kids could yell, I might yell, they will spill things, climb on things, probably break things, and then we will leave.  Or, even better, you could come to my house.  You could see all undone laundry, the clothes everywhere, the pots that are never clean in the sink, the boxes I still haven't unpacked, the general lack of cleanliness.  Or you could go to the park with us.  You could watch me try to stop one of the twins from running into the parking lot, while the other is eating weeks old food from the car floor, while the 3 year old is refusing to even get out of the car and won't stop repeating in a drone like voice "I want a huggy, I want a huggy, I want a huggy, I just peed all over myself", while the almost 6 year old is screaming at me to go over to the big monkey bars.

Then you will go home and and you will think, "wow, and I thought my life was crazy."  Yup, that's us, my family will make you feel better about yours.  

And you know what, that's okay with me.


Anonymous said...

gosh i miss you people - both the big and little ones. - rebecca

Anonymous said...

lol this is hilarious, I mean in a good way :) And brought tears to my eyes your missing of Africa. You have some fabulous stories to tell of your girls! Kristy

Colern said...

Beautiful, Holls.