Wednesday, September 24, 2008

God's generosity

I am sitting in our air-conditioned hotel room in Bangkok (it's blistering hot outside, so we're thankful for AC), while our precious baby naps next to me in his little cot... he is such a good boy!  Such a trooper while traveling, and an absolute hit with all the Thai people.  He stops traffic!  They all love to stop and smile at him and call him "da'ee" (cute), and ask "boy? lady?" and "how many mun?"  The receptionists downstairs have learned his name-- "Wil-lee-yum"-- and love to shake his hand or tug his little, chubby foot when we push him by in his stroller.  It'd adorable!  Even cuter is his response: he squinches up his face in his cheesy "Aren't I cute?  So...whaddaya gonna give me?" smile, and milks it for all it's worth.  I hate to think what life will be like in another few months when he figures out the concept of manipulation! 

We arrived safely in Bangkok on Saturday night, having already seen God's generosity at work.  We asked the Thai Airways desk in Auckland whether we could have aisle and window seats (leaving a seat in between), but she said it was a really full flight and there weren't any window seats left.  So, I resigned myself to 11 hrs 40 min in a middle seat with a 24lb 10-month-old on my lap, James on one side and a stranger on the other.  ::sigh::  But then, when we got to our gate and were waiting to board, the desk attendant came over to us with 3 new boarding passes in her hand and said, "Broughton?  I have a seat change for you-- 45 A and C."  My hopes began to rise, but we weren't sure what that mean until we got on the plane and found ourselves sitting in...aisle and window seats, with a seat in between!  We held our breath while everyone else boarded the plane-- and no one else sat down!!  What a gift.  So, Will got two good catnaps and a 4-5 hr sleep on his own seat, and James and I got to sit next to each other in our own private movie theater!  (Jealous yet?  Well, long overnight flights do have a few perks-- not many, but a few.)  

When we arrived in the Bangkok airport, at 2:30am our time, here's our son in perfectly happy spirits, smiling away and making friends with the 5 Thai cleaning ladies next to our baggage carousel.  He let them take turns holding him, pinch his chubby legs, exclaim over how cute he was, and take pictures of his squinchy smile on their cell phones.  (Yes, apparently even Thai cleaning ladies have cell phones.  I think every Thai has a cell phone, actually.  It's the 21st century, after all.)  What a little "mish kid"!  "Who cares what time it is or how much sleep I've had-- there's people around!  Let's party!"  This little guy is amazing.  He definitely was made to be in our family.

All in all, a very successful beginning to this big trip.  Thank you Lord!  And thank you to everyone who prayed for that extra seat... God said yes!  

Friday, September 19, 2008

peace, mommy-world & Will's latest tricks

I have surprising peace about this trip.  People must be praying (thank you, people!).  I feel it's coming at the right time, God has organized the easiest possible route, I have people to help me sort our stuff in Asia, Will is still at a fairly easy age to travel (i.e., not very mobile yet, still breastfeeding)... lots of positives.  I'm pretty well sorted with my packing, and was surprised how much room was left in mine/Will's shared suitcase after I took out his bed! (Thanks for the tip, Mom!)  It's only a small 2kg travel bed, but it does take up a third of the room and I was worried for a while I'd have to wear every single piece of clothing I wanted to bring!  I'm not feeling nearly as stressed out as I normally would be the day before a 3-week+ trip, which is amazing... and can only be attributed to God.  :)

I had a thought today as I was pushing Will down to the shops in his buggy... I was reading a college friend's blog last night.  She's a mom of 3 kids under 4, immersed in bedtime routines, sippy cups, preschool, every-day catastrophes, and generally the mundane-ness of life with small kids.  While reading her description of the preciousness of hearing two cute "I wuve you, Mommy"s at bedtime (instead of the normal "I have to go pee-pee" or "I need a dwink"), I had this thought: I still remember what it was like to be a small kid myself, and here I am parenting one?  I am part of the "young-mom" club.  How did this happen? (Ok, no snide comments, peanut gallery...)  I feel like I've plunged into a completely new perspective of being a mom and having a small child, but I can clearly remember what it felt like to be a child myself!  I hardly feel old enough to have one of my own!  I had one of those weird perspective moments where you look at yourself as if through someone else's eyes: from the outside it all appears perfectly normal, and with a shock you realize you're inside your own skin and it's your life you're seeing!

In other news... Will's latest tricks are: pointing, rolling over onto his tummy in bed and getting stuck under his covers, almost-waving (but never on-command), trying out his squinchy "please/thank-you" smile to get what he wants, yelling/arching his back/scratching out at Mom or Dad when displeased (not so thrilled with that one), waking himself up in the middle of the night the past three nights for no apparent reason other than that he decided he was missing the action and wanted to be awake.  Great.  New phase?  Hope not.  Wonderful timing, huh?-- right before we fly around the world.  Here comes our 12-hour flight to Bangkok tomorrow... anybody know of any herbal sleep remedies-that-are-not-drugs-but-have-the-same-effect?

(Sorry no photos-- hope to buy a new camera soon...)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

collecting my thoughts

I feel really out of practice.  Apart from the fact that I don't think anyone is actually reading this blog (aside from perhaps my Mom), I'm discouraged by the fact I haven't actually composed anything for anyone else to read in a long time.  College days are dimly in the past, and my journalling is mostly for survival with a chance creative phrase thrown in... I definitely don't feel educated or literate or articulate anymore.  Well, no time like the present to start practicing again-- and practice makes, as they say... 

Another problem is the fact that my perfectionism wants this blog to look perfect before I start really using it, but I can't seem to find the time to figure out how to make it look the way I want-- and who cares, anyway?  I don't want this to turn into a pity party for a witless person who hasn't spent the time to get to know cyber space-- and yet I do feel a bit forlorn at the thought of all the catching up I have to do-- at the tender age of 26!  Why do I already feel the technological age has left me far behind?  I have only vague ideas of how to use youtube or myspace or that other thing-- facebook-- and I'm not actually making the time to learn more.  What am I doing with my time?  Not emailing as many people as I'd like, that's for sure... not making phone calls to people I've neglected... not even spending as much time with my sweet little boy as I'd like... where does my time go?  Into reading Elizabeth Goudge novels?  Isn't that a terrible waste?  Am I really that desperate to escape from my own reality?  

This is supposed to be a family blog.  What am I doing?  Ranting just to rant, to feel I've done something with my evening, I've contributed something to the cyber world of updates... and this isn't even really an update.  ::sigh::  

Ok, so the Family Update is: The Broughtons are taking a trip.  A seemingly crazy but supposedly necessary trip.  And hopefully enjoyable as well.  We are leaving (if all goes well with visa applications) next Saturday, flying halfway around the world with our 9 month old, and then I'm going to tackle 40 boxes of Stuff by myself-- get rid of half of it (hopefully), send some of it "home" to New Zealand, and send the rest across the border to our new home.  (Home.  Gee, what a relative word.  That's a whole post by itself. )  

Am I nervous about the trip?  Yes, if I think too much.  Am I scared?  Yes, well, sort of-- actually, not anymore.  Do I think I can do this?  Yes, if God helps me every step of the way.  No, if I haven't slept well the night before or if it's very late at night.  Am I just being modest and deep down I know I'm a capable person who will love to rise to the challenge?  Well, yes, actually.  So why don't I just be honest about that?  Well, because it doesn't feel right for a woman to feel ok about taking a trip halfway around the world with her 9 month old in tow to sort a bunch of boxes and say goodbye all by herself... but why doesn't it feel right?  It most certainly is ok, if the woman is relying on Jesus and not herself.  The proverbial bottom line.

Hmmm.  Not a lot of thought collecting here... a lot of external processing, though.  If anyone is actually reading this still, I think there will be more to come, and hopefully practice will make-- if not perfect, at least improved.