I jogged across a new bridge in my old town today and noticed places and things I never have before along the way.
And it’s Christmas time and Donald Trump is president and my baby sister is days away from her wedding day and I’m here with no house figuring out how to be at home.
My life is disarray but my soul is anchored in peace.
I’m remembering the key to everything is showing up. I’ve lost some ground and gained some too. The way forward and through is running toward and not away from things that scare me most.
I called a counselor cause I need help with stuff and I’ll keep showing up at my 4:30 Crossfit class ’cause I want to be strong again and there is nothing that bonds better than doing hard things together.
Opportunity isn’t about opened doors but deepened character. Every day it matters less to me where I am as long as I keep becoming who I am.
I’m determined that Indonesia will not be our best days, that today and tomorrow and the day after that can be too.
The whole wide world is beautiful and broken and brimming with loneliness. We make it better by making friends.
I told God I’d come home but had no interest in coming and going backwards.
It is the kindness and mystery of God that here in the familiar life can be brand new.
My special adventure to Komodo and Labuan Bajo islands with my dad was uber awesome.
First we went to the hotel. The rooms were small but the breakfast was awesome.
I swam and ate then we saw the town. There we were looking for a tour so we could see the dragons, mantas and turtles. Finally after three full tours we found one called Wicked Diving, but I did not dive.
On the boat it was two hours to Komodo.There we saw dragons
and went to a short mountain.
I felt small when I was near them.
Next we took the boat 45 minutes to Manta Point.There we snorkeled with mantas.
There was one doing tight circles around me they were only a 1½ feet away it was awesome!
Last we snorkeled at Turtle City and our driver ran into 80 years of coral.
I felt sad because coral grows slowly and we hit a lot of it.
Though it was called Turtle City I saw zero turtles then we got on the boat for home.
I’ll never forget my day with Dad, dragons and diving with manta rays!
It’s possible I’m obsessed. Likely, even. I don’t know if there was a time when my obsession began, or if it’s always been there (even if seemingly dormant, at times). I love learning. I don’t always love schooling, but I love to learn.
And I love teaching. Again, not necessarily schooling… but teaching. I crave all of the little teachable moments that swarm our lives as parents. It thrills me when the boyz latch onto a concept. Seeing their wheels turn. Hearing them apply some new thing in their new way.
And not just my boyz. When I visit with children in various areas of Indonesia, most of whom don’t speak much/any English… my limited Bahasa skills are just barely enough for me to teach them some English. Which is awesome, because that’s my happy place. Get a word right, get a high five… it’s the best part of their day, and of mine.
Levi is an avid reader. Oh, dear goodness, that kid devours anything about nature. He can tell you everything about any animal, alive or dead. But he didn’t start out that way. He just reminded me yesterday about the time when he was just a little bugger and he spent like a month to read this really long Dr. Seuss book, Are You My Mother?, all by himself, because I promised to pay him some money as a reward. That was a bit of a rough month… like 2 pages per day, sitting together, sounding out every word until he got it just right. Rough, but so very sweet. Because that victory propelled him immediately into the reader he is today (seriously, like the next week he was reading like crazy on his own), and it is a shared victory. Something that we will both always remember and cherish.
I want to be a part of hundreds, thousands of such shared victories. Those little sparks of recognition and understanding. They only learn each thing once, after all… why let some random teacher have all the fun? 🙂
When we took our RV trip around the country, us parents were desperate for conversation topics to keep the boyz from crawling out of their skin on our long drives between campgrounds. At some point, maybe a month into our trip, I started asking them math questions. Dear heck, they loved it (and so did I)! By the end of the trip, my little 5 and 7 year-olds could do simple multiplication and division.
Our biology dictates that we learn. Children are little sponges… they will learn! They may not love school, they may not want to learn whatever it is that they are ‘supposed’ to learn… but they soak up knowledge of some sort at every turn. I think our job, as educators, is to figure out what motivates each kid. How do they learn best? What do they love to learn? What will make them crave learning the ‘right’ things?
This year in Bali we are home-schooling. And it seems to be going fabulously, so far. We are letting the boyz go as fast as they want, and they keep saying ‘give me more!’ As of today, October 6, Levi is 74% done with his 4th grade math. Jaxon and Luke have both finished their Typing courses for the year. October 6!
Again, learning is not just about schoolwork. Right now, for instance, our boyz are obsessed with learning how to play video games. YouTube. It’s really weird to me, and even weirder because they don’t even have most of the games that they watch video tutorials about. Even they can’t explain why they like this stuff. I’m not exactly a fan of the video game videos, but it has made me aware that they have a capacity to learn even more than the knowledge fire-hose we’ve got aimed at them… it’s just got to be fabulously interesting to them.