Monday, January 31, 2011

Flying solo - day 5 of Um Tulip's 8 day trip to America

So, I'm drinking coffee and the only sound to be heard is the ice machine in my parent's fridge.  No need to yell at Oliver and Teddy Bear for sword fighting on the couch, no Linus begging for Spongebob, no vegetable sellers in the streets, or any other familiar sounds.  I flew back five days ago to meet my new nephew, now five weeks old.  As I joked with my sisters, this was the first time they beat me at something, I became an aunt for the first time, while they've all been aunts for seven years now!  In reality, the new mom has beat me with her humility, my next sis has beat me with her generosity, and my youngest sis has beat me with her honesty.  I have an incredible family.

Flying solo is was a totally new experience.  I'm an expert at airports; packing and going through security with three little ones is now quite easy.  Wandering through Heathrow for four hours with nothing to do is very strange, though.  And what side of the walkways are you supposed to walk on in that airport, anyway?  The airplanes were a third full, so I had a row to myself.  I read, watched movies, and didn't have any juice or food spilled on me, not even once.  No evil glances as my children screamed, no daring attempts to change a diaper during turbulence.  When our plane got diverted from D.C. to Chicago due to snow, I managed the news with only a slight groan, and was able to hop on a different plane home, landing just five minutes later than my original itinerary.  I'm working on a deeper understanding of the phrase "peace and quiet". 

The new one is adorable, and while technically a "lazy sucker" is gaining weight and I had the joy of being present at his baptism yesterday.  This was followed by a gathering at my sister and her husband's house with extended family.  I hadn't seen my aunts, uncles, and cousins in 18 months, so I felt the reunion was just as much for me as for the newest member of our family. 

One story I must share involves the adorable daughters of my cousin.  After ordering girl scout cookies from the eldest, I showed her my local money.  She asked me about the writing and pictures.  As the currency shows our esteemed king, her mom shared, "They have a king and queen.  What does our country have that they don't have?"  She answered without skipping a beat, "freedom!"  We all laughed, of course, but given recent events in Lebanon, Tunisia, and now most intensely in Egypt, the concept of freedom is on the forefront of my mind.  I'm so thankful I was raised in a family that taught me Christian values, and also gave me the choice to embrace my faith as my own.  I'm also thankful my adopted country does allow many freedoms nearby countries do not.

I'm missing my beautiful children, and my amazing husband, but relishing in the fact I have nothing to do but enjoy time with family and gaze at the snow.  Thankful.....  ~ Um Tulip

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

It was a blessing to have you here. I miss you but am so amazed at all you have built up for you and your family and at all you are doing. I love you lots and lots.