Thursday, February 2, 2012
List Making and Midnight Milk Bones
I've developed a new talent in the past few weeks, one for making lists in my sleep. They're not all productive lists but my mind is working overtime and taking on a life of its own. Lists of things to do and people to see before an overseas trip may seem appropriate for the weeks leading into this next adventure, but honestly, the lists my mind is forming are strung together like a revolving diagram of a DNA strand. Each strand is connected to the next in a manner that I am sure only my bizarre thought process could produce. For example, the middle of the night string of thinking that has me wondering about how to store a portable basketball hoop that leads me to tear up with thoughts of saying goodbye to our amazing neighbourhood friends to wondering what type of personal hygiene products are available in the far reaches of Africa to wondering what are the far reaches of Africa and how do you know when you've reached it?
Do you see why I'm awake at 3:30 am? Not that I'm the only creature stirring, I can't sneak downstairs without my faithful sidekick stretching her way off the bed and padding down after me. She's never too tired to be hopeful for a midnight milk bone for her loyalty. Truthfully, the things that swim around in my mind these days can only be suppressed by few distractions. The boys are playing their final hockey games this weekend, Aidan's team has made the provincials and so tomorrow night is a big game for all the boys. I'm not sure how Aidan's feeling about it but I get pretty choked up when I think about these guys and their parents and not seeing them for a while. Aidan's class at school went to Quebec this week on an exchange and because of timing, he couldn't go. I know that it will be worth it in just a few weeks but right now, I wonder about that too. Then my train of thought leaves the station and I find myself thinking about Aidan seeing the monkeys at the place where we'll be staying and I start to really get excited for all the new things that Africa will bring us. I imagine the boys' faces as they see a zebra for the first time outside of a zoo and a home made of mud and cardboard and brick. I imagine them in the midst of a village of children and the laughter and wonder of being the centre of the attention of a loud and curious group of kids and I wonder where this trip will take them. I think of all the things that they will see and hear and feel and I begin to really earnestly dream about how all this is shaping who they are and who they will be.
Last weekend, Aidan's team was invited to play in a hockey tournament in a tiny town called Conquest about an hour outside of the city. He had a great time and came home with the player of the tournament trophy for his role in denying the opposing team a single goal in an overtime shootout. His coaches are great guys and asked the boys to please write a thank you note to the organizers of the tournament. I love this because I think great coaches care about developing these boys into great men, not just great hockey players and I like that they challenge our boys on and off the ice. As I proofread Aidan's letter, I was really proud of how he articulated his appreciation. I mean, I think he's an amazing kid and all, but sometimes it still catches me off guard when I see proof of his character when he's unaware that I'm looking.
As I read it, I realized that the boys will have things to say about this trip that will give insight into not only who they are, but what they are learning and how it's developing them. In that, we are going to have the boys share some of their thoughts on the blog as well. Many of you have been coaching us without even knowing that we were watching...but those of you around us - near and far - are pouring into our character development and that of our boys and I hope that it comes through in our writing that this isn't just our journal or our way to keep up with each of you, I hope it becomes our thank you letter for the chance to do what we're doing. So for now, let me state the obvious and say that we're so thankful for each of you - the way you've encouraged us by your words, your donations, your interest in our well being...thanks for coming along with us this way. We couldn't do it without you. Nor would we want to.