It’s Friday again. The kids are on Easter break this week and next. It’s nice for them to have some time off, some change in scenery so to speak. They have kept their social calendars pretty busy between movie nights, swimming at the rec center and Grama & Grampa’s, and sleepovers. It is nice for us to not to have to pick them up and drop them off at school, but we do still have the same Bible school schedule. So unfortuantely, not a whole lot of ‘sleeping in’ going on – that’s the kind of image I conjure up when I think of ‘break’. Sleeping in. As my family, and anyone else who knew me in my college days knows, I am not a morning person – at least by design. I am only a morning person by force. Once I am up and out of bed – even when it’s very early in the morning – I think how nice it is to be up early in the morning, before anyone else. It’s the waking up part that is so painful for me. That’s why I don’t take naps. I don’t like having to wake up again. It’s like I’m starting all over again in the morning, and why would I want to experience that two times in the same day? Am I a glutton for punishment? I think not!
It’s official. Tobi is growing up. The last 2 times we have been out and about and I’ve held his hand – he’s pulled it away. I don’t think it was even a conscious decision for him. We were walking down the street, I grabbed his hand, he let go. It’s happened twice. Did I mention that? Well, he is 8 now. The other night I was putting him to bed (he still likes to be tucked in) and I asked him if he liked going to school, or if he preferred the break time. Without hesitation he said, “I love being at home and I love school.” There you have it. He is a home body, but he is also very social. Every night when he goes to bed he verifies who is dropping off and picking up the next day. And will Tanika or Trae be with him. Then when he leaves in the morning his last words are always – “See you when I get home.” I’ve realized that that is his way of letting me know that he expects that I’ll be here when he gets home. He needs me to be here when he gets home. One particular day he came home and I was in the back (I’m usually at the desk, right by the front door). When he didn’t see me, I heard him start shouting what I can only describe as a terror filled shout. “Mom? MOOOMMM! MOOOOOOOOM!!!!” I walked out of the bedroom and he was fighting tears but when he saw me he looked at me sheepishly and tried to smile. When I asked what was wrong he couldn’t really put it into words. I just told him that if for some reason I wasn’t going to be around when he got home, that I would always tell him and that someone would be here. But he still reminds me every morning that he’ll ‘see me when he gets home.’
Tomorrow morning we are traveling to Cotonou, Benin. It’s anywhere between 13 and 16 hours, depending on who you ask. Of course we’re hoping for the 13 hour version. Several months ago, Neal was invited to speak at a conference a church there is having to celebrate their anniversary. It was the 2nd invitation he received from them. The first one he had to turn down. This time, we realized that it fell over the kids Easter break and that it would be a great opportunity to make it a family trip. (Yes, there will be a few sleeping in days!) The meetings start on Wednesday. About 2 hours from Cotonou (which happens to be a coastal country!), there is a place called Awale Plage – on the beach. That’s beach – ocean included. We get our fill of beach living in the desert, minus the water. That is where we will be staying. We will go to church on Easter, and from there, head for the beach! The schedule includes 4 speaking opportunities – Wed, Thur, Fri nights, and Sunday morning. Neal has asked me to speak for one of them. I agreed (in a weak moment) and he let the pastor know. Now, I’m not sure what I was thinking!? I’m going there for vacation – not to be stressed out! Neal, who is in his element when preaching before large crowds (we honestly have no idea whether there will be 50 people or 500), I, am not. I do enjoy it, but there is certainly a fair amount of stress and nervousness I feel. I have my message ready, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’ll be nervous until I finish next Friday night. I guess I can believe that those nerves will help me speak to the people exactly what and how the Lord will have me do it! We’re leaving at 5am – so much for sleeping in!
I’m trying to post a picture of my kids – taken on Tobi’s bday. If it works, I will write again and post a picture of Sido.