Sometimes we will do anything for love. There are songs about it... climb mountains, swim through rivers, travel great distances, endure great hardships. I merely flew by myself with three kids, but it seemed at moments like an incredible sacrifice. Regardless, as Pa Ingalls likes to say at the end of every death-defying Prairie-almost-burnt-down-our-house-and-the-natives-stole-my-cornmeal-circumstance, "all's well that ends well." And outside of wrestling my head-strong toddler for hours on end in a confined area (that we are so blessed to be able to afford and access!), the trip was all kinds of wonderful.
We stayed with some wonderful people who have a special gift of hospitality (you know who you are and I love you!) and I come away learning a lot about inviting others into your home by watching them. My children received some some serious Daddy-time which they soaked up and he seemed to as well. They also were blessed by our hosts who are like automatic grandparents... they just seem to know how to naturally love on and connect with kids. There were chores and books, baking and treats, balloons and little trips. It was so sweet and special for my kids who miss their grandparents sorely and it was one more way we were made to feel right at home.
Then there was the Backstreet. You can spend a lot of time there if you want when you stay at this house in Beijing. It's just a line of little restaurants, lining up their charcoal grills every night to start cooking up chuars (meat on a stick) and other authentic goodies. We found a little muslim place at the end of the line that served delicious meat, grilled bread, noodles, and simple veggies, and we ate there several nights. This little girl was playing quietly with her chopsticks after dinner on our way home, happy to look imploringly at me as I snapped her photo and showed her the result.
When we returned home last night, Skills announced that his dream house would have a backyard and a pool inside (neither of which this house had, but we did go swimming, and they do have a patio area in the back instead of a 20 foot drop off like at our apartment).
We all miss Daddy again. My inspiration seems to have left me and my patience might have gone with it. Could that have something to do with my sweet little thing looking like THIS a lot lately?