Sometimes when a day starts, you never quite know what it will hold. Like when you are going to a Chinese New Year something-or-other with friends (sometimes things get lost in translation) and you think it will be a big red dragon parade and instead you get rain, a variety of dragons, loud drums, a very creepy dancing paper mache statue, your husband gets invited to dance on a stage, and there are some LOUD fireworks that make your eyes burn.
But it’s fun because you’re with friends who are also new parents and you end up eating chicken sate later!
Sometimes you wake up to find a very big mystery has been solved. The perpetrator forgot to leave the scene…now you know what creature has been ruining your seat cushions on the terrace as well as what could possibly have been leaving that much gunk on your wall. Giant snails make giant messes. It never crossed my mind that snails could poop.
Every day we’re here, I’m thankful for the fruit, even the weird ones. Dragon fruit is one of my favorites right now. It comes from a cactus looking plant. I always wish I didn’t have to share.
Sometimes Finn makes this face, even if he likes stuff. But when he makes this face, I am tempted to eat all of his dragon fruit. Maybe it’s because it’s a girly color?
Anyway…back to surprises….So, I did well on my language evaluation. I exceeded expectations. For like a half of a day I wrestled with wanting to be proud of myself and trying to shove the feeling under a rug. Then, reality struck and left me with the correct perspective–thank you Holy Spirit. This language eval was truly just a blip on the radar in the scheme of things, plus, we’re like barely halfway done with this language! And to remind me of how far I still had to go, a recent adventure came to mind.
Our neighbors invited Finn and I to go visit some family with them about 2 hours away. For me, that’s a crazy thought, putting my now mobile child in a car for that long and then venturing into the unknown with any number of possible scenarios as well as non-stop language for hours. But, I love my neighbors and they love us (mostly Finn though ;D), so I figured it was the best case scenario for venturing out of my comfort zone. When they asked me, they kind of asked indirectly via Finn first, like “Does Finn want to go to the rice fields? Does he want to see buffalo and ducks and baby Toby?” I just assumed I got it. Plus I knew that we were going to visit the new grandbaby–everyone was meeting up at a family members house. So I packed for the day and got what I thought I would need for venturing out to see buffalos and ducks. That day, rainy season had left me with only one pair of dry jeans, the ones that had a small hole from when I fell off my motorbike and scuffed my knee. Everyone dresses a little fancier when they go out, so I grabbed some earings on the way out.
Finn did great on the drive there. He loves being with his friends. Upon arrival, I saw there was something going on, with a big tent, but that’s like the most common thing to see here. I thought we were going around the back to get somewhere else. Nope. Turns out, this was a 1000 day service to remember the father-in-law who had died and we were going to sneak in the back. Everyone is dressed to the hilt. I am not. I am a ginormous white lady with a backpack and a baby who is beginning to swelter in the heat. I was very keenly aware that I had small hole in my jeans at that moment. Finn is whisked away. The service is in full swing. I tried to follow along but it was mostly in Javanese, so I was mostly just contemplating my next move. My thoughts went something like this.
On a scale of one to ten, how hungry is Finn and how long should I wait before going to find him before he melts down because he’s in a loud place with new people who want to pinch his cheeks? Where are the buffalos and the ducks? Why did I bring my backpack in? Ahhh!! someone’s leaning over to ask me a question while a choir is singing! Whew, she just used the old school word for baby. She’s asking me about Finn. I can do this. Crisis averted. I only had to ask her to repeat it once. Why are they passing out food? Do I pass it on or eat it? Grace! Don’t use your left hand! Yep, that’s a hot dog and velveeta inside that deep fried thing you just bit into.
So, basically, we just hung out and chilled in the back after that. I tried to shovel food into Finn in between all of the selfies and fun, but he wasn’t really interested. He was overstimulated and was a bit crazy, but my friends worked their magic and he got in a decent nap. Besides the first bit sending me for a loop, the rest of the day just had your average family reunion feel to it. Everyone crashes in the garage afterwards and eats leftover snacks after the guests leave. The garage had a nice view of a rice field. Apparently in the evening the buffalo and the ducks come out. Oh…
I loved the trip. I wasn’t really that tired afterward because everyone helped with Finn and they made me feel like family. They even sent us home with a very cool blessing box of leftovers (puts a styrofoam clamshell to shame, right?)! Finn just cuddled up next to our neighbor and slept most of the way home. We all had a good laugh about how I thought we were going hiking through rice fields to see ducks and buffalo.
Sometimes life is full of good surprises!