Our daughter Elisabeth returns tomorrow morning after ten months in India. She’s had a wonderful experience, and it’s hard to believe that she’s finally coming home.
I keep thinking about when I returned to the United States after a year studying in France. I felt that I had grown so much during my time overseas, especially compared to my ‘home’, where nothing seemed to have changed. It was not an easy transition for me back to the ‘real world’.
I was a Euro brat when I returned thirty years ago, and so maybe I’m in for some of my own medicine.
We were in church last Sunday and I handed Timothy a board book. Simple enough, but then he started moving from side to side like a windshield wiper and I could just feel him gearing up to throw his board book at the nice young couple a few pews in front of us.
(As a sidenote, a board book is better suited for a toddler than a regular book except that it weighs as much as a Fiat and makes a loud ‘kaboom’ sound when it hits the floor, especially in a large church).
The ‘Timothy throwing’ phase reminds me of the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan talked about the United States one day being protected from Soviet missiles by ‘Star Wars’ technology, which would ‘catch’ the incoming missiles in mid air. Sadly, when the Soviet Union dissolved, ‘Star Wars’ disappeared. I say ‘sadly’, because the parents of toddler throwers everywhere need this technology now. Because a growing array of missiles — from sippy cups to mango slices – are being thrown about by our little red head. And we’re too dang old to catch that stuff — and too tired to clean it up off the floor.
Speaking of church, there is a religious feast called ‘Pentecost’, and it’s a tradition to wear red on that day. We are celebratory people and so we all wore red to mass last Sunday and looked very nice … except that Pentecost is this Sunday.
So we’re sitting there in church, and no one around us had a speck of red on. We just told people that we were practicing for Pentecost. Thanks to our ‘dry run’, we now know that we’ll be ready when Pentecost rolls around.
But our red wave stood out — I haven’t been stared at so much since I was in India.
We can’t wait to see Elisabeth.