I haven’t posted here in nearly a year, and scrolling through the archives, I feel a little sad that I’ve neglected to document the shenanigans of the last season. Even my most recent entries have been more informational and less candid. If nothing else, I hope for my little corner of the internet to be an heirloom of remembrance for my children, and their children’s children. So, let’s catch up a bit.
We’re still living in Kathmandu. Most days we can’t fathom being anywhere else, but if you want raw honesty, there have been times in the last year that the thought of moving away more than crossed our minds. After visiting both the UK and Cypress this year, comforts of the developed world beckoned. And it would have been far easier to navigate the struggles of one of the kids had we been in the context of our own culture and with access to familiar resources. But, as we are continually reminded, ease and comfort aren’t the most important things in life. Tis the season of needing to truly believe that! The end of monsoon causes paint chips eroded by moisture and mold to fall from the walls in one of our upstairs rooms. As winter approaches, our concrete abode begins its conversion into an ice box and the mornings without hot water are (for me) insufferable. I love Thanksgiving, and advent season, and celebrating Christmas with family and community… but I strongly dislike being cold. My electric blanket has already made its annual debut, and our utility bills are about to increase exponentially because most of us are wimps and can’t function for more than a few minutes without heaters pointed directly on us while we are simultaneously bundled in sweaters and fleece blankets that we’ve drug half way across the world. We are blessed with a fairly modern home and happen to have a large closet in our room that I converted to a proper walk-in, and I might put a heater in there to warm it up in the mornings so that stepping out of the shower and getting dressed is more bearable. As I type, my thoughts are distracted by the chanting that is echoing from the speakers in the temple behind our house. It’s 8:36 am.
The younger girls are unbothered by the cold and running around half dressed carrying their pet bunnies from room to room leaving behind trails of tiny balls of poop. Two of the teenagers are still nestled beneath their blankets where they would remain for half the day if we let them. One is starting his day at the international school we enrolled him in this year. We have a meeting at the school in a couple of hours to discuss with a few of his teaches how he’s been adjusting to the new rhythms and dynamics of an in-person school. Despite my corrections, the other kids refer to his current circumstance as “real school,” as if what I had dedicated 13+ years of my life to was all pretend.
As the end of the year approaches, so does the launch of another eighteen-year-old. I was recently asked if I felt like this time would be easier. Plainly put; no. I want them to spread their wings and to follow Jesus into all good things, but it is incredibly difficult to convince my heart that doing that from across the ocean is ok. This also tempts me to think about leaving Nepal. On one hand, Stephen and I dream about the adventures we’ll finally have when #raisingeight is behind us (or when I’ll be able to write a paragraph without twenty interruptions), but on the other, I can’t stand to think about how every two years someone will be leaving the nest; leaving our covering, becoming responsible for their own everything, unavailable for conversations about all the things, too far away for hugs and snuggles, not accounted for in family photos and unable to attend family outings. Be still my heart.
My phone just chimed and the one in “real” school is asking me to bring him a water bottle when we come for the meeting. I’m sure that someday… in the distant future I’ll miss gathering all the forgotten things, arguing about “nice” clothes and brushed hair, shuffling kids from here to there, negotiating bedtimes and dishing out consequences for unfinished homework. I know I’ll miss my daily involvement in their lives. Surly, one day, they’ll remember to brush their teeth on their own though, right?