When the astronauts return to earth they have to make their way through that crazy hot layer of the atmosphere that I learned about one time in science class. Or at least I read about it one time in science class. Or maybe I really remember that from that awesome movie about the guys protecting the earth from a giant meteor. Anyway, I’m pretty sure when they do re-enter it probably feels a lot like Accra in their space ship. You see, while all you folks back home are hunkering down to survive the polar vortex and stocking up on milk and bread in preparation for the .23 inches of snow that will shut down schools for the next couple of days, I’m living in my own personal sauna. I change clothes twice a day and sometimes manage a third shower before the day is done. It’s hot here ya’ll. I’m pretty sure I already knew that and had possibly even come to terms with it, but I think the visit stateside and getting to wear a jacket for a bit kind of softened me up. Alright, I’ll quit whining. But for real, its hot.
The return hasn’t been as hard as I feared it might be if I’m honest about it. It is hot. Did I mention that? But it’s also been good to be back. I, we, have been exhausted over the past week or so, but it is always an adjustment going back to work after sleeping ridiculously late everyday. I mean Robyn and I both made it to 7:53 AM one day! I felt like Rip VanWinkle. I can’t remember when we’ve made it to the back side of 7:30 without a call to service. The kids have even been sleeping a lot. They may not go to bed early, Josie is staging her own mini protests at night lately, but they aren’t popping up in the mornings either. Maddox made me laugh yesterday when I went in to wake him up and he sat straight up and said, “What!” He’s going to be fun as a teenager.
Maddox has jumped right back into school. It makes me happy that he is so excited to be there now. He mentioned something to me the other day about how he had struggled at the beginning of the year. We were walking to the car and reflecting on the fact that we’ve been here for a full semester now when he brought up how he used to cry when we took him to his class in the mornings. It has been really cool to see him grow this year. He’s becoming quite an interesting kid. We’ve had some fascinating conversations about race and poverty in the car to and from school as he tries to process the things he sees and hears. It is a lot for his little brain to process and sometimes I’m glad we’re the only ones in the car, but I’m happy that he’s already exposed to it and trying to figure it out. Just to be clear, there is a lot for anybody’s brain to process out there. The 15 minute drive to school each morning is always different. There is so much to see in those couple of miles. It’s pretty fascinating.
Josie is growing in her own ways. She’s determined to read. Right now. Its funny and ridiculously frustrating all at the same time. She demands to have a turn reading books, then proceeds to either make up a story based on the pictures or ask what it says so she can repeat it. Of course there are a couple of books that she’s pretty much memorized so she reads those with no problem. Every afternoon when I get home she has on one of her princess dresses. In fact, she’s sleeping in one of them right now. Even though I’m not a big fan of the whole princess thing, it is pretty darn cute. Anyway, about the only princessy thing she does is wear the dress. She doesn’t pretend to be a princess in the fairy tale sort of way. Actually it’s kind of funny to watch her chasing or wrestling with Maddox with a big puffy dress on. Good stuff. She’s also decided she needs to learn how to swim, without her “purple floaty”. She’s jumping off the side of the pool to me and then yelling, “I’m trying! I’m trying!” as I help her back to the wall. Robyn signed her up for lessons today, so we’ll see how that one goes.
Maddox has started taking his football and soccer ball to school now. He’s determined to play some sports. He managed to talk Geoff (my principal) into throwing with him one afternoon this week. Apparently they played for quite a while. Maddox was excited about it and Geoff even came by and told me he had fun playing with him. Of course the next day when I threw with Maddox, he told me I was doing it wrong and that Geoff was better. Punk forgetting his roots. I threw the next one as hard as I could and made him chase it. Ha. Not really. I swear I didn’t. For real.
Josie has asked several times when she can have another birthday party. Either she really liked having her friends over or she really liked getting all the presents. It certainly wasn’t that she liked everyone singing to her. Not at all. I think she really liked having her friends over. The whole play date thing is a little harder to arrange over here. Unless someone lives in the same neighborhood it’s pretty hard to navigate the crazy traffic in the afternoons to make it work. We’ve had a few weekend playdates, but folks are busy. She’s gotten a few requests lined up here soon so that’s good. But I can tell you that she’s also pretty happy just hanging with her buddy Tina in the afternoons.