Close friends always joke that I overrate the details, and they’re right, though it’s not my intention. Little things have a big impact on Stacey. It’s not hard for me to find beautiful things, I tend to think every new moment is the BEST one, and I’m always trying to take a normal moment and make it meaningful. My family will even say, "Ok, but was it REALLY a gorgeous place? Or was that just YOU?"
A lot of it boils down to the fact that I’m not very hard to please, and Haiti has only brought that more out of me.
I remember my mom being just blissfully happy on family vacations, even when we were in the VAN driving 12 hours, even though looking back on them now, we mostly holed up in a little cabin and free-hiked. A LOT.
But I realize now that she wasn’t insanely happy and cheerful on vacations because the food was good or the places we stayed were nice or because the sites we saw were exceptional. For mom, it was all about the fact that we were TOGETHER. And couldn’t get away. We were all hers, and she was going to enjoy every moment.
So yeah, the last three days, if I were totally black and white and boring about it, were “good.” The drive was tiring and 8 of the 12 of us get carsick and the border was crazy and we had to get fingerprinted and photographed. I was in the very very back seat, just staring at everyone so thankful to be getting away and trying to get everyone to turn off their music and talk about their feelings and memories and hopes and dreams while clapping spontaneously for vacation.
The food was ok. I was busy taking pictures of the tables in golden sunlight while celebrating the fact that someone ELSE was making the food and bringing it TO ME. If I could get our order right in Spanish and if they had it and if we didn’t mind waiting over an hour and even if it DID make Matt throw up all night one night and Emily incredibly sick one afternoon.
We’ve been there before, so we had to get creative. There were fun things to do. Like, “Look at that mountain. We should climb it in our flip-flops.” and “I wonder where that dirt road goes…we should follow it and check stuff out!” But in Stacey world? It was the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen, right before the sweetest hike with my oldest to the most amazing view from the top, and it was so fun looking for shells with bag-lady Sofie, who adored playing quicksand with Ethan and collecting broken shells in a shower cap, otherwise known as her “wind-protector”.
We hiked through prickle-bushes just in time to miss the sunset. The girls collected lots of "sea glass" that looked an awful lot more like broken beer bottles. We played Farkle and watched a movie and laughed a LOT.
And sometimes there was some internet. And the room had air-conditioning! And there was kind of a place to buy some dish soap and sugared cereal before we came back.
Maybe I have low standards. Maybe I’m easy to please. Maybe my mom’s positive attitude and Haiti have made me see things with rose-colored glasses.
I’m ok with that.
Because three days somewhere else with our dear neighbors and my working-less husband and with my three amazing and quickly growing little girls, three days of lots of quiet and watching the girls swim and play and laugh and grow, three days of no cooking and no dishes, three days of the beauty of His raw creation, three days to meditate on who He is and what He’s doing and what He’s done with a far quieter heart than normal…
It didn’t have to be Disney or Italy or a cruise or gourmet or fancy or far or English or Ben and Jerry’s.
Our girls were happy, I was with them, we were with dear friends, and God made so much beauty. It was just what it was, and that was magnificent.
So we conga and thank the Lord.