The Vacation is Over

We accepted the school positions last December.

We told the boys Christmas Day. There were tears.

We 'prepared' ourselves for seven months.

We departed the USA July 28. There were tears.

We arrived in Shanghai, China, July 29.

Yesterday was hard.

Yes, yesterday. Why? Ugh, who knows. Ironically, we were in the happiest place on this side of the earth, Shanghai Disneyland. But I woke up Sunday morning wanting to cry. I missed home for the first time. I missed my people. I missed my comforts. I missed my familiarity. I missed it all. I rode the Pirates of the Caribbean the day before and it was all in Chinese. I took Jones to see a ride with his favorite character, Stitch, and it was all in Chinese and he couldn't understand a word of it. He was bummed. I was tired of being watched. I was tired of being a curiosity. I felt like an animal at the zoo at times.

This emotion certainly didn't come out of the blue, I knew it was going to happen. And truth be told, I know it isn't the last time. We'll all experience this several more times. As a matter of fact, it hit me again this morning. First day of school/work, and I needed to get there early to make sure I was prepared. Janice was here with the boys and the ayi (our amazingly kind housekeeper/aunty) was going to be here any minute. For the first time in my dadding, I wasn't going with the boys to school. I always have. Instead, ayi was going to get them on the bus after Janice had left and they would be arriving on their own. Well, at about the time they should have been heading this way, Harrison texts me that he isn't sure what bus to get on and Jones ran back up stairs to get his ID card. What?!? By this time, Janice was already at work, starting her new position. Panic began to settle in. Would they make it to school? Would Jones be in an anxiety panic because he might miss the bus? Will Harrison make it to school or be sold off into slavery?!?

Needless to say, they made it.

This is hard. Really hard. I've only felt this out of control once before and that's when we moved to NYC. But at least there, I spoke the language. Well, most of it. There were some colorful phrases I never quite got the hang of.

But I also know it's good. Both Harrison and Jones had a great day at school today and my classes went well. Janice's counseling partner is a very intuitive person who helped peel her off the ceiling after a meltdown and put her mom's heart to ease. The school is full of people who are very happy to help and a ton of other first years who are as bewildered as we are. We're in good company.

And through it all, there's our faith. He's got us and He never misses a beat. Nothing surprises Him. He's not having a panic attack. He's not wringing His hands. When I get up, He's there. When I lay down at night, He's there. When I'm calling out to Him and when I'm not, He's there.

This is now and will be good. But it'll also be tough. Good doesn't equal easy. If life was supposed to be easy, then even Jesus missed the boat.

I'll get back at you with more up beat thoughts soon, but this was the monkey on my back.

Later.

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