Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Little Goofballs in the Greek Isles

Oh yes, traveling with your kids through Europe offers some unique perspective into the idea of sustained parenting/living abroad… especially when you’ve got such goofball kids as me.
Call them whatever you want, pumpkins, lemon-drops, mudd-puppies, goobers, happy boogers, monkeys, honey-pies… you name it, but my daughters take the cake.
Rebekah is a total riot. Everywhere we go, waiters, ship’s captains, museum guards, market sellers, everybody teasers her for still sucking her thumb. It’s kind of a universal experience, getting your middle kid to stop acting like a baby and embrace their inner 6 year old… but who’s rushing it. Rebekah has the gift of humor as a defense mechanism, pulling out a little Descartes when she says, “I don’t THINK you!” And shuffles away, leaving everyone just biting our lips with her cuteness. Keep rocking, my little darling. You save me every day.
Big sister Xian has a lot on her mind. This age difference between her and her sisters will not be much in a couple of years, but now, the two-year gap sets her apart in many ways. She is constantly seeking to hang out with older kids, talk about mature ideas, learn things from the “bigger girls” while leaving her little sisters in the lurch. Not much can be done about it, she’s a big girl with determination, but getting a second-grader to begin mastering her emotions, when every day she seems to be experiences a totally new emotion, is tough. Dad is holding steady though, and my oldest daughter is doing fine.
Kinu blows my mind. She will always say the opposite of what is true. She points to the sky and says, "Isn't the road bumpy?" Then she points to an ice cream and says, "Daddy, build me a castle." I can still pick her up with one arm... how long will that last? Such a smile, too... huh?
Rebekah is really into coloring sea-scapes: jellyfish, sharks, starfish, and funny turtles with detailed shells. Mermaids too, that is until we saw dolphins swimming on the side of the ship. Now she says church steeples are better. Go figure.
My girls need their space, they need their own experience, but I do my best following them around scrapbooking in my own way. Collecting memories for them, keeping them giggling and laughing when life gets confusing. They save me too, these little goofballs. Such love, I never knew existed.

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