I will FIND that sunny side in every situation and point it out to you. Cheerily. Abundantly. As you can imagine, lots of people LOVE that about me.
So a few weeks ago when Aunt Marilyn met one of my insane "I think we can make all this work" plans with something along the lines of, "Yeah, Stacey, you could do all of that if you were somewhere easier, maybe! But remember where you are...life here is hard!", I immediately thought, Oh, yes, but it's good, and that's what makes us grow, and His power is perfected in weakness, and lots of people have it harder, and it could always be worse and all those other Stacey Sunshines.
But today--during hour 2 of a dozen neighborhood kids here to play and 13 people in my house and trying to make lunch quickly, from scratch, as always, and still have 20 things to do in the office before we can leave because everyone knows we're leaving and so the list keeps growing, and Nora teething up a grouchy storm and people sweetly stopping in all day to say goodbye or to make shopping-in-America requests and 100 degree weather with 94% humidity and someone was graciously trying to help by informing me again that allowing Nora to suck her thumb will most definitely cause a severe learning disability--I started thinking.
I thought about how Friday morning we will wake up, suddenly on a different planet, without thinking ONCE about where in the world that electricity was coming from. It will just BE THERE. It will be quiet without open windows and dogs barking and roosters and motos and dust clouds and burning trash. It will be cool. Somehow. Cool.
And when we leave the house, to walk on a paved road, to drive on a smooth road with NO goats, no crowds, no wheelbarrows to maneuver, we will walk down the road and NO. ONE. WILL. NOTICE. US.
no one. No one will ask for anything. Or stare. Or come touch us. Or come try to hold Nora. No one will tell us anything. No one will see us at all. We will suddenly be doing normal things, that are not normal AT ALL.
We will suddenly be stopping at places that have TOILETS. AND toilet paper! AND running water. Free toilet paper, like, like it doesn't even matter!
There will be ice, unnecessary extravagant ice, and there will be places where you can stop, and ask for something, in an easy language, and in a few minutes for a few dollars, they will GIVE it to you. Like DINNER. In a FEW MINUTES. For EVERYBODY.
There will be BREAD, bread someone else made and there will be traffic lights and there will be extravagant, unnecessary things my girls find delightful and interesting. Like playgrounds. Like air conditioning. Like stairs...stores...tvs... places with books... carseats...vans and cars...waterfountains...ANY kind of fountains...elevators...escalators... parking lots...carpeting. Oh, how they LOVE to roll and play on carpeting. I can say, "go play on that carpet" and it'll be a 30 minute game. They will literally be making carpet-angels of an eternity.
You can see a place that says "ice cream" and go in. And they will HAVE ice cream, right then, and it will HAVE flavors, and they will get it for you. Right now.
They are all little things. They are things we rarely even miss or think of, things that don't really matter, things that the girls would never call normal. And they don't mean that America is easy!
But they are "normal" for Matt and I, and I must say..."normal" will be nice for a few weeks. Getting to see many of you, just like it's NORMAL, that will be so nice. Being able to take my children to the trained pediatrician like it's normal, being able to get a quick meal, being able to drive on a smooth road, NOT sweating, wearing PANTS like it's normal, visiting family like it's normal...having places to go. Lit roads. Getting coffee with friends. Taking Lily to see the Statue of Liberty. Seeing my nieces, and then seeing them again tomorrow.
We're going to be normal for a few weeks. Well, I am. It will not be normal for the girls...and...well, you've me
And "normal" is going to feel weird.
And in some ways, a little bit easier. And for once, Madame suck-it-up thinks that's probably ok.
***all of these pictures I took our first two weeks in Haiti...back when today's normal didn't look so normal!***