We are home. The kids are at the table playing with play doh. Jeff is online picking out a new computer. We’re having coffee and just got an email from David Henry asking about La Terraza. We are home.
The last week in Malawi was a blur. Errands, playdates for the kids, donation and visit to Queen’s Hospital, packing and farewell dinner. The night before we left I laid in bed thinking how much I love that bed. In the morning I was struck by the light and how clear and beautiful it is; really, the sunlight is different. And I looked around the house that I have come to love and feel so comfortable in. But I didn’t cry when we left. Although it was difficlut to look each person in the eyes as we hugged because they each seemed to silently ask, “are you really coming back?”
The trip was relatively easy. I quickly lose my patience with a four-year-old, his volume and energy in a public place. But as Jeff continues to point out to me, he wasn’t doing anything wrong. And Carter LOVED flying. It’s as if he had no memories of our flight last July. There were lots of “wow”s and “oh”s. He loved take off and the hard breaking of landing.
And both of the kids were amazing on the long flight, sleeping at least 8 of the 15 hours. They watched movies, ate well and were delightful. Claire Marin sat across the aisle from the three of us and the other passengers probably couldn’t tell she was with us. She loved the independence and quiet time.
Our welcome at BNA was spectacular. Brad, Lesa, Alyssa, Herb, Sue, Ned, Allison, Madison, Noah, Harrison, Ciona, Lanecia, Heather, Mozelle and Marie Claire were all there to welcome us with open arms, prayer, Fido gift cards, flowers and big smiles. Both Carter and Claire were literally shaking on the plane so anxious to see their friends. It was a beautiful reunion. And Allison and I both commented that it felt like no time had passed as soon as we were together. And the kids! They played for hours yesterday, picking up right where they left off.
And the Gray House! The house itself has a unique peace and hospitality about it that was only enhanced by the fresh flowers in every room, a stocked kitchen, toys for Carter and nail polish and bubble bath for Claire Marin. wow!
In the afteroon I left the kids playing a game with Allison and took a shower after 30+ hours. The temperature of the water was readily and easily adjusted, the pressure was perfect, the shampoo quality and there was yummy shower gel and lotion left from our last stay. As I stepped out of the shower I was overcome with the ease of it all – good friends, happy kids, predictable water supply and comfort. I nearly cried. Not just because of my good fortune and access to these luxuries but because just a plane ride away the people I love can only imagine this life.
Everyone arriving at the airport in their own cars, communicating together in a shared first language, the ease of long friendships, beautiful weather, cell phone conversations without delay, pizza in 15 minutes. It’s all familiar and comfortable but no longer expected or demanded, but wondrous and delightful.