Thursday, November 6, 2014

This Week

Eug and I share a file on our computers called "this week". Every week on Wednesday, we talk about how the previous week went, and our schedule for the next week. We also discuss what we should pray for, for the kids and for ourselves. Recently we've been taking the praying part more seriously, perhaps because we're in this uniquely change-filled time, where so much is out of our hands.

We're working on the kitchen and I've started to work a few more hours for an HIV/maternal health study in Gugulethu, as well as a couple of other migrant health projects. I feel tremendously grateful because I'm continuing to learn and do research, while being able to spend the bulk of my time doing stuff related to our home (spending time with the kids and cooking, mainly). I also feel torn between different parts of my life-- they're quite different and this is a very busy season of our lives-- which I reckon is probably something that many of us share. Not having a car is a big pain right now, but who knows, perhaps it's also a relief- there's not a lot we need to do with a car, but I know if we had one I'd be going to our plot in Noordhoek every couple of days. The bikes slow us down and I know I'm getting a lot of exercise, at least!

Surviving the floor, and the millionth coat of paint
When we think of the week ahead, it's easy to get caught up in the mechanics of it all. When we pray for the week, we pray for things like how to spend our time, for our health, for Noah and Eli to have good days and weeks. Sometimes money. We've bought and sold our house more or less based on a few minutes' discussion on a Wednesday night. I love that. The main power in praying for the week ahead, and for the kids, has been in taking some of the pressure of being my sons' role model away. When it's my job to grow them into awesome men, I get furious when they're not (and since they're 2 and 4, there's no guessing their trajectory). When that's in God's hands, I still freak out sometimes but I'm also able to hang out and participate in their generous, ridiculous and sincere moments of joy, anger and pain.

If you have signed up for Eug's newsletter (if you haven't, do! He won't spam you and what could be better than amazing kids' books), you'd know that Noah is super into the Magic Treehouse books. So home at the moment consists of the kids playing (fighting), a lot of reading (this week: Dr Seuss, Magic Treehouse, Winnie the Witch, Richard Scarrey), and a lot of drawing and painting (and origami, partly inspired by Noah's cousins, several times removed, who started this awesome NGO), and a surprising amount of Youtube episodes of Postman Pat, since we returned from Korea and haven't figured out how to make it through the day without it. We're starting to get back to the beach, this year by train. And we added a pizza day (as in, going to a restaurant and buying and eating pizza together) to try to add traditions to the kids' somewhat unpredictable lives- and to have a meal taken care of while our kitchen is in our living room, and we can't get to the sink. Aargh.

This past week, my dad and I also planted moringa seeds in the rain, while Noah and Eli played in the shacks currently on the property. While there is so much that is uncertain and tentative about our move, the plot where we'll build feels hopeful and full of life. There's nothing more exciting than going there once a week and planting something or hacking away a branch here or there. Meeting a neighbor or giving  grass to the next-door lamb. For now, we're playing at farming and are inevitably quite naive, but I'm loath to lose the naivete, because with it comes huge hopefulness. I will keep you posted!