a new view

August 2, 2015

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Wow. I’m tired … This transitioning business is intense. How could I forget, in just three years since my last new-country transition, how draining it is to be a newbie in the world. Ok, fair enough-I’m not exactly a newbie in the world :-) But I might as well be, seeing as how my world is all new right now: home, work, community, language … Even “family,” shortly, once our boarding house “children” arrive this week. And that part, in fact, I am super excited about. Somehow, settling into a large house with beds made up for students has left me eagerly anticipating the youngsters, in a way that comes as a surprise. My customary reaction to change involves either fearing or feeling numb about that which is to come – only after having some sort of experience, some frame of reference for excitement, do I look forward to something.
Marriage, for instance: before my wedding, I would quite truthfully answer “no” when asked if I was excited. How could I feel excited about something that was unknown to me?, I wondered. So why would you be willing to do anything new, you ask? I should clarify that my lack of excitement does not indicate an expectation that something will be negative: He has proven to be faithful in bringing good gifts with each step I have taken, oftentimes overwhelming me with the goodness of it all. So from experience I know that it is right to walk forward into the unknown, even if I do so fearfully, anticipating the things I will have to give up, and the hardships that are to come. I can use that experience, then, to remind myself and to coax myself forward past the fear … And into the goodness (which married life definitely proved to be overflowing with!)
Back to the present [or to the future? ;-)]. All that to say, I find it curious that I’m looking forward to the arrival of our students, since I have not yet experienced the role of dorm parent. Maybe the fact that I have experienced dorm life serves as some frame of reference …a possibly deceptive frame, now that I think about it, considering the fact that I was not in the primary parent role before! Then again, this time around I have a husband who will also be primarily filling that role :-)
Here we are–a couple of parenting newbies stumbling our way along this transitioning road: making errors left and right [primarily those of the “left” variety, being 2 lefties in a culture where the use of our left hands generally indicates the intent to be offensive ]; trying to have patience with each other as we do so; praying for grace, for each other, and for ourselves!

*one of my potential goofs involved the taking of this photo. I had happily happened upon a view over the city, from the university’s botanical gardens while running. I stopped to take a picture and, as I did, heard a voice behind me asking if I was taking a picture of “his garden.” Uh oh, I thought. My response was simply to stammer “Um . . . yes-it’s beautiful!” Hopefully not too bad of a goof, but it did make me inclined to be a bit more cautious in my photo-taking :-)

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