10 Years and Counting

26 June 2009

Today we celebrate 10 years of wedded, imperfect, beautiful bliss.



19 June 2009

I just spent the last few minutes reading through the first few blogs of this now 1 year old blog. My first thought was, "Wow, I used to be a really good writer." My second thought was, "I'm so glad I had a place put some of this stuff, emotions, thoughts, ideas, silliness." My third thought was: while there is a LOT of a hard stuff (sometimes overwhelming, all-consuming, truly terrifying hard stuff), I love Ireland and I love what we do. The hard stuff (hopefully) comes and goes, but I do love it here.

Thanks for joining me on this journey so far. I hope there's much more to come...

Anything Praiseworthy

16 June 2009

Because the last two weeks have been so horrible and I often have a much easier time reflecting on all the horrible happenings, I'm going to take a lesson from Philippians and reflect on all the awesome and/or praiseworthy things that happened in the last two weeks:

  1. Jackson lost his first tooth, which was totally awesome because a) I didn't have to be there or pull it out for him, and b) he is SO brave.
  2. Got to have coffee/tea/diet coke with a couple of good friends, talking through some stuff and remembering that I am so blessed to have good friendships here.
  3. Had 2 great doctor's appointments. Baby is doing really well and it is so cool to hear Ella giggle every time she hears the heartbeat.
  4. Weather has been, for the most part, totally beautiful. I even have a bit of a suntan!
  5. I'm at that point where people will offer me their seats on the train. So nice.
  6. We got government approval (like a visa, but more like an ID card) to stay for another year in Ireland.
  7. Got some shopping done for the baby and for the hospital (a big relief to not feel totally unprepared).
  8. Got to go into Dublin twice in 2 weeks, which is a very rare treat.
  9. Went out for drinks with a new friend, a fellow book club goer and Alias fan. And by drinks, I mean 7-up. She abstained on my behalf. Very thoughtful. :)
  10. Had one really good hair day! I don't remember which day it was, but I do remember looking in the mirror and thinking, "Wow, lookin' good, Mama!"


05 June 2009

So, this week has kinda sucked. It appears I have yet to master the art of Irish communication. At the end of the week I wonder, is there a grand conspiracy at work or am I just missing something...?

To start, this week the boy's school celebrated International Day. Two weeks ago we got a letter home about it, encouraging us to teach him a song or story from his homeland. The letter said there would be more communication coming forthwith about the whos and whats and a concert that we would be invited to. Cut to the actual day of the event, when we realized we never received anything else about the day. And trying to pry information out of a distracted 6-year-old never works in your favour. So, we dressed him up in his Royals jersey, gave him a quick refresher course in the Rock Chalk Jayhawk and sent him to school with a "My First KU Words" book to show his teacher. And I went about my day...

Cut to 1.45pm, when the boy arrives home from school asking, "Mom, why didn't you come to my concert?" Turns out there was an all-school assembly where the international students from each class performed their bits. "Were there other parents there?" "Yes, Mom." "Did you do anything special?" "I said the Rock Chalk and my teacher read my KU book." At this point I'm near tears. "I'm so sorry! Were you sad I wasn't there?" "No, but I missed you." Commence breakdown. My first clue that I may be missing something or may just be brain-dead. Or at least a cold-hearted sham of a mother.

Item #2. Last night we have a 6.40pm appointment with an immigration officer at the police station to renew our yearly visa to stay in country. This was actually our 2nd effort at doing this, as we originally went to the wrong precinct in the wrong county (even after being told by the officer that it would be fine, but that's another story...). Anyway, so we arrive at about 6.42, give our names and appointment time, and wait... and wait... and wait... till about 40 minutes later when the same officer who took our information informs us that the immigration officer has left the building. "Where you late?" she asks. "A couple of minutes." "Well he left for a meeting at 10 till 7." "We were here then." "Oh. Well, can you come back at 10?" As we had child minders back with the kids, the answer was no. We scheduled yet another appointment (our 3rd) for Sunday morning, and I'm thinking that now perhaps maybe God is trying to teach me something, or at least give me a cultural lesson I won't soon forget.

Finally, this morning. Boy dressed, ready for school, homework in bag, heads next door for his lift to school. 30 seconds later he comes back, "No school today." We had a sneaking suspicion this might in fact be the case, seeing as it's election Friday and the school is a polling place. But having not heard a peep from the school or hearing much from other parents, assumed normal activities would take place. "No, go back, there's school today. Your teacher didn't send a note home, so everything's the same today." Another 30 seconds, "There is no school today! Why won't you listen to me? It's voting day!" At this point I realize we've missed the most important cue of all: listening to our child. I head back over to the neighbour's and discover she got a text from school last week informing her of the cancellation. We received no such text. No letter home, no info on the website, no one answering the phone. No school. Our gut instincts were right, but not receiving official written confirmation (usually the final word in the States) figured we were wrong. 

Lesson to be learned? Well, I feel like not only have I failed the communication test, but I'm a bad mother for not taking my child seriously and not being there for him when he needed me. A bad neighbour for not seeking out friends to share valuable information with, as opposed to relying solely on the school. A bad cross-cultural worker for not catching those missed cultural cues, whatever they were... still searching for them, actually. And a bad Christian, for getting so impatient and unnerved and annoyed at these things that I thought I could control, but really can't. Clearly there is a lesson to be learned here... multiple lessons. Maybe that's what year 2 is for: to fix all the things you messed up on in year 1.