Friday, October 12, 2007

Marion, Massachusetts

Our first full day home, so to speak. Time to catch our breath? Not quite. We’re spending as much focused time with the children as possible, which makes it hard to fit in anything else. They seem to be parched for their uncle’s attention, and I regret that we’ve (read I’ve) deprived them of his presence for a full year. I feel like I’m repeating the patterns of my own childhood with them, the amazing female figures in Thailand who zoomed in and out of my life, creating in me a fear of, and a longing for, flux.

I regret becoming one of those figures myself, a kind of exotic aunt who waltzes in bearing gifts and stories, and then disappears again into the ether, without having to suffer through the vagaries of consistency or discipline. I feel I have no choice. I guess we could buy a house in Wareham and settle down to ordinary lives, but I’ve always believed that my parents did what was best for me by following their own dreams and being their own whole people. Could I be happy in a house in Wareham? Probably. But I feel the life we’re living is the life to which I’ve been called. God did ask Abraham to put Isaac on the altar, after all. We have to trust that what we’re asked to sacrifice is for the good of everyone concerned. And I always hope that by breezing in and out we’re at least having some kind of impact on their lives. We’re teaching them that anything’s possible, that they can do anything and everything they want, that they can follow their dreams no matter where they take them. All those clichés that are constantly spouted and are never quite lived. At least it’s better than having no impact at all.

Of course, I’m always hoping that someone will take seriously my suggestion to let us take one or both of the kids for a summer or an extended break--heck, I’d even home school. Somehow no one’s willing to part with their children and entrust them to our capable hands. Who would have guessed it? In fact, I think everyone’s nervous enough that I’ve spirited away their Karl to parts dangerous and unknown.

We still visited everyone we could think of while the kids were at school and after they were in bed: our good friends who work at the Marion West Marine and kindly let us use their fax machine, Karl’s friend with the cranberries, who was welding together the frame of a hot rod in his garage, friends who had been reading the blog who were shocked to see us show up at their doorstep (saying, “Wait!! You’re supposed to be in the Bahamas!”), others who dropped everything to meet us when we made unexpected phone calls. It’s great to be here. I feel like we’ve confirmed the purpose of our visit: reconnecting with our old friends and our family. We need that kind of emotional food.

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