I could write for hours about the adventures we had over the past week, and perhaps I’ll come back and add a bit later. For now though, my plan is to keep this short and clear out some things that are on my mind. (we’ll see how i do)
I didn’t take as many pictures this trip as usual. I spent this trip watching my kids consistently put smiles on my face, amaze me, play hard and live life like the adventure that it is.
I sat in a chair on the beach at the southern most tip of Ghana and watched Josie in a hammock with her Hello Kitty headphones on dancing and singing Michael Franti songs at the top of her lungs.
I sat on Busua beach and watched Maddox fall time and time again off the surf board only to get back on and try again. I watched him jog to the beach twice to swap boards and hustle back out with a look of determination on his face to get it right.
Later that same day I watched Maddox embrace and whisper with Zion, a local Rastafarian that we had just met, as he struggled through a headache from too much sun and then seem calm as Zion told him, and Robyn, that he was going to be fine.
I watched Josie snuggle with puppies like they were made just for her.
I watched Maddox run off down the beach racing Francis, the guide from our hike to Busua in October who had embraced us like old friends upon our return this week, to check out his fishing boat in the village.
I watched Josie take to the dance floor next to the beach after ten o’clock on New Year’s Eve like she was born to be there.
I watched both my kids make friends with Amos, a twenty something local kid, who took equal time to catch waves with Maddox and build sandcastles with Josie over several days.
I saw Maddox light up as he sat with the adults at the dinner table and listened to stories of our friends adventures and even got to tell a few of his own.
The cool thing about all of this is its normal to them. Just like little league and summer days at the neighborhood pool was for us. This is their childhood. Adventures I never dreamed of as a kid. Who am I kidding? Adventures I’d never dreamed of until recent years. I’m constantly grinning and shaking my head as I watch them and wonder what’s next.
I watched Maddox struggle with emotions as he had to leave Francis and then Amos as our travels continued. He’s always had a hard time with goodbyes.
I heard him loud and clear as he displayed his frustrations about not going to the States for the break to see his extended family and the snow that he is certain they are enjoying.
And that’s hard.
Things come crashing down from time to time. The rosy harmattan sunsets just look dusty and I question the choices we’ve made. But then the dust settles, and I’m sitting next to Maddox on his bed talking about the stories that he’s collecting and how he’ll be able to tell them when we go to the States this summer or the next time he’s sitting at the dinner table with friends. He helps me add to the list, reminding me of some of the adventures I’ve already forgotten. It feels like we understand each other and he settles in again, heading to the couch and asking Josie to snuggle with him to watch a movie. We have a fun family evening at home.
I guess these are things that every parent struggles with on some level or another. We’re all just trying to do what we think is best for our kids and sometimes its hard to tell if the master plan is working. But I’ve got a fantastic partner in Robyn, and she sticks with me and believes in the positivity of this adventure as much as I do. I’m thankful for her every day.
Then its bed time and of course things come crashing down again, but that’s a whole different kind of adventure…