My 5 year old niece has more energy than any other child I have ever met. I know children are huge bundles of energy; I spent almost every minute I could babysitting from the age of 14 on. But this kid is different. She runs instead of walks, never naps, the imagination station in her brain is mindblowing and she loves having fun. The last evening she was here the two of us (just us, no baby) walked to one of the local drug stores. I had her pick out a frame that she liked but did not tell her what it was for. When we got home, she put a picture of her and Sweet One in it. She asked me if it'd be ok if she took it home for her and after telling her that it was a present for her so she can remember this visit for a long time, she looked at me as if I had just given her the best thing in the world. She held it, looked at it and carried it around.
After Sweet One had gotten used to having two more people in the house it was so wonderful to watch her laughing with her cousin. I do feel sad that she will not be able to spend time with family on a regular basis but that is simply part of this life I have chosen. I do hope that eventually we will be able to get back into Canada. I doubt we'd get any closer west but getting rid of the border crossing would make flying easier.
A big relief to me was the lack of friciton between my mom and I compared to her last visit. I've been struggling with our relationship for awhile. My mom retired from teaching to go into part-time ministry and I feel like ever since she has done this I don't recognize her anymore. Her entire personality has been swallowed up by it and there are times when I'm not sure if it is my mom that I am talking to. The high pitched, swooning voice is hard to take seriously. The way she expresses her spirituality doesn't seem genuine to me. Some of the things she says just makes me shake my head in bewilderment - "who actually says that?" is one response my counselor has said when I repeat some of these phrases. But for the first time in a while I was a little sad to say goodbye and I think that is a good thing.
I get angry when people do not accept me for who I am. When they expect me to do and be something other than what I am. I hate it when people expect everything to fit into a small little box. Sometimes I wonder if it is a defense mechanism because I am constantly afraid of being criticized. But if I am honest I know I do the same thing. I have my own box that I expect people to fit into. This is my hypocrisy. I hope I can work through it. Family visits may become easier if I can!
So it has been a wonderful whirlwind of a week. Yesterday morning, Big Love was able to stay home for a little longer which enabled me to get the laundry out on the line and the main part of the house cleaned. The quiet order in my house was bittersweet as it meant that I no longer had my niece to mess things up!
With one whirlwind down we have two larger ones to go. Once the 25th arrives we will only be home for 5 days out of 27. It will be an adventure for us all and I hope Sweet One will be alright.