Rounding the corner into our neighborhood brought two surprises–both of them good. We had taken a trip to Texas to spend time with Steve’s family (the last visit had been a full year earlier since we didn’t travel over the holidays) and celebrating his dad’s 6oth birthday!
We love our life here and most of the time feel quite content. However when we get back to life the way we used to know it or spend a weekend somewhere “nice,” sometimes I have a harder time coming back. I deal with more fears when I’m away from home then when I’m several blocks from the action. It’s when I’m away that I realize how easy it is not to be so aware of the boys’ whereabouts all the time, to keep my eyes wide open while driving at night, to mentally release my things over and over, to wonder-always wonder-if I’m being careful enough. (I tend toward not worrying, but I don’t want to be naive.)
This time I had something of a culture shock leaving–some things so nice. So very nice. The quiet. The effect of greenness and space and big blue skies and sunsets. Funny, we so rarely see sunsets Ian didn’t know what they were. The first time he saw the big red sun to drop below the horizon he pointed it out to me, “Look, Mom! A sun-moon!”
Ian was also intrigued with the garage at Grandpa’s house. “Why do they keep the van in this room?” he wondered. :)
It was so comfortable in Texas, and so nice to be surrounded by friends every day. In fact, there wasn’t enough time to see everyone. I realize now how rich I really am. The day before coming home I was dreading the return and how the realities hit me sometimes. We had a great trip home, and exiting the interstate a few minutes from our house a happy familiarity reminded me that we were home. What a gift it was to ease back into life more easily than I was expecting!
An even better was the surprise when we pulled into our driveway–we have new neighbors! The house next to us has been vacant for a few months, and I miss having someone there.
The new neighbors have children, so Zachary and I were especially thrilled. He was happy because he might have some new playmates, and I because children are so much easier to befriend. The next evening I got to chat with one of their sons while I was out walking. He seemed so respectful.
The other children plus our other two little neighbors showed up when they saw Zachary on the front porch with corn on the cob. :) Steve’s mom had sent some home with us because she knows Zachary and I are kind of crazy about sweet corn. She had given us a lot, so I quickly husked and cooked some more for the other children. They LOVED it, and hung around for awhile afterward. Sitting there on our little front porch with seven little people–loving them–well, sometimes God fulfills the dreams of my heart and that was one of them.
You know the funny thing is how I picture these moments compared to reality. In my dreams it’s a happy day, the house is clean, the children are playing, and I invite them to come to our house for games and Bible stories and freshly-baked cookies. :) I wouldn’t have expected that sweet corn would be a key or that it would come when I was half sick and had half the unpacking left and a fussy baby…or that banging on the window and repeatedly ringing the doorbell(waking two little ones) would all be part of it. Four days later…and I’m realizing as I write this that none of that matters anyway. Paxton and I are both feeling better. The suitcases and their contents are back in their spots, and we have good memories and the beginning of friendships. That is what I really wanted anyway.