It’s been a long minute since I’ve written here.
I wasn’t sure how this space would shift once we became a family of three, and apparently silence here might be a big part of it. I am using many more words a day and find myself ending days craving alone time, rather than a public space.
But today, there were just a few moments I don’t want to forget, more for the mundanity of it than anything else. This is what life is now: community and family very messily rolled into one.
We woke early and heard the motorbike show up outside, announcing their wares. They come every day, so Oak knows the words and goes running.
The Reinforcers came to prepare for church; the Flour ladies came to sort weekly finances.
I took Oak outside to ride his balance bike. The weather was beautiful, and he visited the neighborhood pig that we currently visit many, many times a day. Unfortunately, this is also where a few men had gathered before going to work for early morning shots, and I was left trying to convince my pajama-clad two-year-old we’d visit the pig another time. It was a dance of cultures and ages, while I tried to casually drag a two-year-old wearing slip on shoes with a balance bike through the mud away from his favorite pig.
My life is very much a dance, and I am no dancer.
We went to church today, with our car loaded with kids. Some of them shared snacks on the way and other shared snacks during church. Some of them are in very difficult places in life: one family of kids is watching their grandmother (and primary caregiver) slowly die from cancer. Another little girl acting out in school due to some challenges at home. Another little girl just removed from one home and pushed into another due to family drama.
Our church got a new LED board today, which now sits on stage with prayer requests glowing and flashing. I really have no words for this, but it is my life.
As we sang, Oak spotted Yaminoo, and began wriggling and jumping to go see her. So we sang songs over near her, as he tugged on her shirt and danced. He ran to her after the service and sat next to her at lunch. And somehow, despite only seeing her once or twice a week, it’s as though he can sense how much we love her.
And I watched her sing along to songs she now knows among a community that is loving her so well, holding my son; and a mile-long list of tear-jerking gratitude wells up in my soul.
This afternoon as Oak slept, we forfeited our usually restful Sunday afternoons to sit alongside our younger sister, Phway Phway. She hopes to attend university later this year, and just received a letter last week inviting her to register. She registers next week to study a major they decided for her and must pay an amount they haven’t told her yet. So we are working through the plans and options for her. We talked over numbers and estimates, we crossed many cultural messes, and tried to consider our options.
She’s the first in her family to graduate high school, even to make it past sixth grade. And if we can somehow manage it, we’d love to see her be the first to graduate university.
We ambled through family photos that a friend oh-so-graciously took for us this week. A whole slew of photos of the three of us, a family.
After Oak woke up, he and I went for a bike ride while daddy played guitar. I listened to my audiobook in one ear while he commented on the airport as we went by—“Grandpa!” since it’s where we picked up grandpa a few weeks ago–and held up his toy plane. He pointed out cement trucks and goats and chickens and ducks and elephant [statues] and suitcases—all of his favorites–in a mix of Burmese & English. And maybe some Thai, since I’m not sure! And I’m really pushing those colors, so we talked the blue skies and the green grass and how we’d wait at this red light until it turned green.
We had dinner as a family at our little table while we listened to street dogs fighting outside, trying to assuage this new fear.
And then we watched our weekly Mister Rogers, cuddled on the couch on Sunday nights before bed. Oak leaned against his dad and gave kisses every few minutes, because he loves this part of every week.
And now I’m left just mulling over the day: the mundanity of it.
But also the miracles buried within it. The miracles buried in Yaminoo and in Oak. The miracles buried in Oak’s bumbling words. The miracles buried in a family photo shoot. The miracles buried in a car (that runs!) and drives a carload of kids to a church we love. The miracles buried in Phway’s graduation from high school, passing her matriculation; the miracles that just might be buried in her future at university. The miracles buried in a street with pigs and ducks and bicycle rides and sunshine.