Thursday, May 21, 2009

My travels

I've been in eastern Europe for several days now, and I've been in this particular city enough to be appreciative of small changes and improvements to the quality of life. Even in a global recession this country has shown growth, because it still has so very very far to go.

The weather here is beautiful, the people have been gracious, and the trip is going well. I didn't sleep at all last night worrying about how my family is getting by without me. Despite some bumps in the road, they seem to be doing fine. Just like when our son was a baby, I have to step back and let my husband parent his own way. It's harder now, since I am the "primary" parent who is home every day---it's hard to let go.

I still have a few more days here, which I will spend with children who are deeply disadvantaged in this world. Abandoned children, children with physical and intellectual disabilties (in a world with few options for them other than institutionalization and marginalization) children of crushing poverty living in an alcohol and drug-saturated world . . . .to say it's heartbreaking is trite, stale, and uninforming. How fortunate my own family is.

I will do what I can, and then I will leave. I leave them my meager offerings---vitamins, hand sanitizer, school supplies, clothes, and frisbees (easy to pack, and fun to play with.) Each time I leave I am afraid for them. Who will be gone the next time I come?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Mine was spent with the baltimore orioles, and they commemorated the occasion by losing to the Yankees. I can't speak with much authority on the quality of the baseball played, but I can tell you that they make a nice margarita---just the right amount of salt.

Slowly, but I think surely, I am learning to like baltimore. I'm looking forward to going to some summer games and enjoying the city.---learning the local haunts and getting comfortable. I'll keep you posted . . .


Thursday, May 7, 2009


So many things happening in my little life-----things that keep me way too busy.

Work on my house continues---onward to my bedroom, which will hopefully have built-in shelving/cabinetry soon. I have many many books, and I like it that way, but I need more shelf space!

While planning this next step with the carpenter who will do the work, we had the usual polite exchange----you know, the "how's work; are you busy" kind of small talk one has. I said I was busy, but that I know that work s a privilege, and that being busy is a good thing. He stopped completely what he was doing and gave me a hard look.

"Parenting" he said sternly "is a privilege. Your job is not a privilege, it's a necessity. Parenting is the greatest privilege you'll ever have. Pay attention to that."
And then he went back to work.


Then later in the week at Chinese class, Ma Lao Shi told me that she and her husband have suspended all travel for the year because they need to be home and available to their children, who are all right around the age of mine. She too looked at me sternly and told me to focus on parenting. Wo hen mang, I told her. She didn't smile.

So, as I plan a week-long business trip to Eastern Europe, I am torn. Perhaps I should put a moratorium on my travel. It is a lot. Perhaps the universe is telling me to focus on what's really important in my life.