27 June 2007 Missing Home and Forces of Will
Writing requires FOCUS
We met Sasha 17 days ago and that amount of time seems both so short and incredibly long. Our world was monumentally rocked when we first met him in the hall outside the director’s office. There he was, standing with one of the doctors, having a little conversation with Masha and I distinctly remember locking eyes with Steve, raising an eyebrow and smiling. He smiled in agreement. This young man stole our hearts in a matter of two minutes (or less).
SMAK (soon to be SMAKS) in Mexico . . .
Now 17 days later he has become a part of us and as we looked at a calendar we realized we will have only seven more days with him before we go home. Yet we are thrilled to be able to see our girls in a mere seven days. I believe it is a unique aspect of being human—to be happy in one place while longing actively to be in another. We are divided in our hearts and minds and emotions are closer to the surface.
Kats and Anni on the Beach
We miss Katia and Annika in so many ways. Those small things kids do that seem inconsequential in a daily context are now huge sources of nostalgia for us. Katia’s ability to sneak reading material to the kitchen table and surreptitiously read while the rest of us eat and talk—a habit that is moderately annoying in regular life—is missed a great deal over here. Annika’s hugs that melt her on to you like warm butter on a pancake are also sorely missed. Katia’s little voice reading aloud with such expression, Anni picking out a tune on the piano, their ridiculously messy playroom, finding either girl reading in any location (including the wagon), the sweaty sweet smell of them after a bike ride, excited reports on the new happs in Club Penguin (a new disco floor for the igloo!) . . . I think I even miss their bickering . . . maybe not that much, just a little.
Pepper—Queen of Everything
We also miss the fur faces. Not one cat has ordered us around since we have been here. No dog has alerted me at exactly 4:00 each day that it is time to eat. Every once in awhile we wonder how we can keep our days organized with no pets keeping us on schedules surrounding their lives. All of this homesickness is part of this process, but it is still surprising the hole left in our lives with no Anni, Kats, Pepper or Fletcher to keep us on our toes. If any of you see our girls in the next few days, give them a big hug from us. If you see Fletch you don’t have to hug him because we know he is probably a little stinky, but you could pat his head.
Fletch . . . not looking stinky at all
Back to our lives here . . . today’s highlights involved bubbles, a huge truck and forces of will. Sasha is revealing himself to be just stubborn enough to qualify as a Kozachok. Each day we spend with him more of his personality emerges and we know that he is bright, funny, quick to help others (or take his toys away from them) and strong willed.
Case in point—the new toy today was bubbles. Bubbles are hard to manage—there’s the wand-circle thing, the bubble juice, the slippery container, the coordination of actually blowing rather than spitting, holding the wand at the proper angle and distance so a bubble could actually appear. Seriously it is a wonder that anyone can blow bubbles at all. So he worked with them, getting 92% of the bubble juice on me because I stubbornly would not let him hold the slippery container. He would make a bubble every fourth try, which was fine—and even exciting.
Bubbles are Exciting!
This was all fine until we tried to take the bubbles away so he could swing and we could blow bubbles at him. Oddly our explaining this plan in English did not communicate the fun it would be—so he melted down. Masha tried to help console him, but he is two and someone took his bubbles so there was not a lot of consolation. He got out of the swing, took his bubbles and headed for the open road. We stopped him from leaving campus, and I watched as he opened the bubbles, dipped the wand in twice, then tried to hit a bug with the hand that was holding the bubble juice, and Surprise! It all spilled! The great part was that he looked at the container, then the wand, then me and said, “Ne kok,” which means “I can’t.” “Da,” was the only response—Da, I feel your pain buddy.
HUGE Truck, small child
The next battle of wills involved a HUGE truck. He had tried to get into a machina early in the day (he catches on to patterns fast—car trip yesterday = car trip today, of course!) but that machina was nothing compared to this truck. We looked at it and talked about it a long time, continuing to say he couldn’t actually get in the truck because it wasn’t ours. He was fixated and the spell could not be broken, until his Papa asked the truck driver if Sasha could get in. Super hero Papa! He sat in the truck for about two minutes, then the truck driver said he had to go, and did Sasha want to leave his Mama and Papa behind. To his credit he did answer “Nyet” but we are pretty sure that somewhere in his mind he was thinking why can’t we all go in the big truck together?
I can almost get in by myself . . . almost
Heaven—sitting in a super HUGE Truck
Eating Goldfish with Mama
It was a good day, and while we really miss home, this adventure and finding Sasha are definitely worth it. Until tomorrow ~ Cheers!