While He’s Away

I feel like God has been giving me lots of practice for those long trips Tom will be making in the next two years.  Now, it’s just for three days up to maybe a week, but  it will be two weeks or more when he makes trips back to Thailand.  I’m thankful for how we’ve been able to find routines on our own, and also for those trips when Tom is able to take my little rascal along with him (mini-Tom is always glad for a train trip). This time, Tom went on his own to Laos for a few days to check out a possible Bible school for our friend Lan.  We always end up doing things in much more of a structured routine while he’s away- mostly for my sanity. I’d much rather do early showers and read aloud  in bed than do everything fast and frustrated at the last minute before bedtime.  The girls are a great help too- they clean out the drainer, clear the table, read to Si,  and help out in lots of little ways.  My biggest frustration is when they fight- as if they should only fight when Tom is home and it’s not fair to gang up on me when he’s away!  I always feel like these trips help me take Tom less for granted too! When he’s gone I realize how much he does for us and how much I depend on talking to him and being together. I’m always so relieved when he’s back and sleep so much better too.

Eliza and I have been using art to talk about our feelings about the move.  Eliza is a turtle, in much the same way Tom is…she processes inwardly and shuts down when she’s feeling emotional. Claire is the opposite- she needs to talk about feelings. So, I worry some that Eliza will bottle up what she’s going through and we won’t be able to help her because we won’t know what she’s experiencing. Art seems to help her really understand and clarify her thoughts and feelings…and to express them to me. This week, we sat down with some paint and I told her to paint the colors and shapes that come to mind when she thinks about the move. She was able to express some of her “tangled up” feelings in a fresh way that helped me understand (I won’t go into detail for her privacy) and it was a breakthrough for her and Claire too. Claire was able to share that she had been feeling blocked out of Eliza’s feelings and that she was scared they were losing their closeness. I sent them outside to talk and they came back with teary and happy faces, looking much more connected.  I just love when we can break through a silence and figure out what’s going on.  The dynamic between the two of them often reminds me of Tom and I….best friends with very different personalities, trying to figure each other out.  It’s very much on my heart right now that we don’t “leave anyone alone” in how they are feeling about the transition.

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Silas drew a complicated “map” on the whiteboard today and said it was for Daddy’s train trip. “Daddy’s Map.” (one of his favorite things to draw are maps. He drew another one today of  “America and Delaware and Mexico and Thailand and South Asia”. ) We all miss you, honey! I get so excited when my phone does that special ring that says it’s Tom or I hear a text coming in.

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I like how he lined up his alligator and his tuk tuk before his lessons today.

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He gave me a bouquet of found feathers which I put in a cup. A few days ago, he proudly brought me me a new one and I love seeing them on the kitchen counter.

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A freak rainstorm in the middle of hot season gave Silas some pretty great mud puddles to play in!  He’s been into digging up the front yard too with his new long-handled shovel.

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Rhonda took the girls out for lunch today at Ikea (for the awesomely affordable hot dogs and ice cream), Auntie Anne’s for pretzels, Toys R. Us for browsing and she got them a Roald Dahl book.  We are treasuring our last months with big sister/sitter/friend Rhonda and I know the kids will miss her so much.   I enjoyed my quieter afternoon with Si (even though he refused to take a nap and got into his sisters’ treasure boxes instead). He’s wearing his apron and busily counting his money and making me vegetables right now. A good garlicky smell just floated over from our neighbors house. Silas said, “Wow, what I’m cooking smells really good!”  He’s one to give himself credit for most things.

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We’ve started the long, slow process of sorting and packing for the move.  Recently, Tom has attacked our seven bookshelves full of books and this is the result…empty shelves!  Which the girls immediately put to use as a doll bunkbed. They have also been giving away dolls and narrowing it down a bit, so the dolls they have left are the ones they really love. These are hard decisions!

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We made an Easter egg garland this afternoon – fun with washi tape + glitter and double sided tape.  Silas is looooooving opening the Resurrection eggs each night (such excitement and gasps over finding a tiny donkey and silver coins!). Grandma Mast- it’s a big hit every single year!

Only one more night! We’re having homeschool this morning and looking forward to our pizza and movie night and  to seeing Tom in the morning.

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5 thoughts on “While He’s Away

  1. Betsy says:

    C and E! I really like the doll bunkbed idea. They look very cozy and content.

  2. Eve says:

    Hey Candice! I’m really impressed with how thoughtful and creative you and Tom are being in helping your kids and yourselves get through this transition. Your kids will do better because of it.

    Your discussion about Tom taking trips back to Thailand makes me curious about your plans for the next couple years. Looking forward to hearing more sometime.

    Hope you are doing well overall and looking forward to seeing you again soon. When will you be returning to OH exactly?

    Happy Easter!
    Eve

  3. Delores Mast says:

    Love the post. You are doing such a good job as a Mother. Praying for you all with the transition. And I love Silas in the puddles!

  4. C says:

    Glad Tom is coming back soon. It looks like you and the kids are doing well and i’m glad eliza was able to express some of her feelings through art. i love you candice and think that you are doing such a great job walking with the kids through this transition. Carmen

  5. Brittany says:

    I loved hearing the story of Claire and Eliza and how they were able to talk things out and grow closer through it. They are growing up! The picture of Silas in his undies in the rain was cracking me up as well 🙂

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