Monday, July 28, 2008

What We've Been Doing - Part One

It's been a while. Sorry about that. Here is what we have been doing (hence, the first half of the title).

Making Friends

One Sunday, close to the beginning of June, we went to church and I noticed another American couple attending. Now, you would think that since there are only about 30 people each week in our little congregation I could have made my way over to introduce myself. Nope. Not me. I'm kind of a loser that way. Luckily for me Mr. Smith had fewer kids circling him and has better manners. He met the very nice, very young couple on the left and invited them to lunch...and to stay in our guest room for the next for the next 2 months. This is the part of the story where I started to panic. I silently listed all the things we would have to stop doing, and all of the things we would have to pretend we always did, while we had company. It was an embarrassingly long list. But I got over my hermit ways and created a guest room for Mr. and Mrs. Jones. (Smith and Jones, get it?) Boy am I ever glad I did! What a blessing they turned out to be. Mrs. Jones works everyday with the World Health Organization and in the mornings Mr. Jones is teaching English to children at a local village school.

Mr. Jones and Number One Son got along so well that they were soon roaming the city together during the week. On the weekends the Jones' invited him to roam around the country with them as well. I was so relieved that he finally got to see many of the things he has wanted to see and I didn't have to drag all the rest of the kids around the country. More than the travel services they provide, it has been a lot of fun having Mr. and Mrs. Jones around. Now we are nearing the end of their stay and we are all going to miss them.


Towards the middle of June, Mr. Smith's father back in the US became ill and had to go into the hospital. While he was in the hospital, Mr. Smith's mother had a bad fall (thankfully she has been put back together again) and also went to the hospital. As the Indians would say, "What to do?" Mr. Smith caught the first flight out. Over the next 10 days, while Mr. Smith and his brother were running back and forth between hospital rooms, I rescheduled our trip that was planned for September and encouraged Number One Son to pack his things as he was moving back the the states for good. Panic attack number 2 hit when I realized I was going to have to fly to the other side of the world with 7 kids. Breathe in...breathe

Armed with a well traveled 17 year old and lots of snack food in our carry-ons we set out. The first flight went well, mostly because we slept the whole way. Then came the real test, a seven hour lay over in Heathrow Airport. That's right. Seven hours, seven kids, and seven thousand witnesses to ensure that my kids would choose to do humiliating things that I would be powerless to stop. But what is this? Some beautifully ingenious person (I say person, but I feel certain it was a woman) decided to put play areas in the airport! I don't mean some lame mats thrown around with germ covered broken toys either, this was an actual play area. Dennis The Menace was in his element. He played hard for seven hours straight. At one point a Norwegian family joined us. As fate would have it they had a young boy that was equally as active. Dennis and his Norwegian counterpart had tons of fun with only one small hick-up. Our new young friend brought out a small, squishy, soccer ball and threw it into the ring the two of them were playing in. "Want to play football?" he asked, dreaming of David Beckham. "Yah!" Dennis answered, promptly picking up the ball and firing off a beautiful spiral way over the boys head. Then they just stared at each other. One wondering why his friend would throw the ball, the other wondering why his friend didn't try to catch it. That was the end of the "football" game.

This is running longer than I intended, so I think I will post the rest in a couple of days (hence, the second half of the title).


SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Aaack! A cliffhanger!

What's up with your oldest? Is he starting college already?

Aunt Carol said...

Oh thank you I needed my Smith fix. Mr. Smith's mom and dad are sharing a room. I wonder who gets control of the channel changer?

Can't wait for the "part 2"

Mrs. Smith said...

An epic battle to sure!

Toni said...

Yay! I can breathe again because you have written. I'm only sorry that I didn't read sooner. Hmmm, it could be that I haven't turned my laptop on for two weeks, which two months ago I thought would have killed me to not see it ten times a day.

What a cute couple Mr. and Mrs. Jones are, almost as cute and youthful as myself and Nacho! (Hey, I hear snickering!)