Month: April 2017

Just Wave Your Arms

So…this isn’t really a traveling miss-hap, I just thought it was really funny.

I usually take my phone into the bathroom with me…I think this has become a pretty common practice for most parents these days as the bathroom is a great place to hide away. Today I was in the restroom just reading away on my phone when the lights go out in the bathroom and it is pitch black in there. At first I thought it was the power. Then I realized my kids were probably just playing a prank on me.

“Ok, who turned off the lights?”

Silence.

“Hello? Who turned off the lights? You can turn them on now!”

That’s when I hear my 12-year-old calmly say, “Oh mom, you just have to wave your hands up in the air for a while and they’ll come back on.”

“Wait, it happened to you too?”

“Yeah, it happens all the time to me in that bathroom.”

That’s when it clicked. The lights in the bathroom have motion sensors. No, I didn’t get pranked by my kids. The bathroom just thought I was on the toilet for too long. So, now I know, if I’m on the crapper for too long and the lights go out, all I have to do is wave my arms up in the air and the lights will come back on.

Musterings of the Nomad Mom

Henri Nouwen once said, “The greatest gift one can give to their children is a safe place for them to find their own lonely way.” This is something we have really taken to heart in the last year or so as we continue stumbling through this journey called Life. I believe that all of us have our own journey to walk–and anyone who’s walked it will agree with me in saying that yes, it is lonely.

We are responsible for our own actions no matter what others have done or do. This is something we are continuing to remind our children as they stumble through their own lonely journey. As they stumble, make mistakes, fall and get hurt, get angry, grieve; also as they rejoice, make progress, win, create, or just be, we want our home to be the place where they feel safe enough to feel and express those feelings.

Sure, there are healthier ways to express some feelings than others. I don’t expect our children to know those ways right off the bat, for they are children. I am the one that needs to remember that and show them grace through the heated and volatile moments. I also need to remember that I, as an adult, am still learning better ways to deal with my own feelings and emotions.

Life-changing and pivotal moments come when we, as parents, choose to calmly and lovingly allow our children to express their feelings in the way they know how. If things are heated and volatile, (only when after things have calmed down on both ends), we choose to speak to our child about the healthier ways to express the feelings they had. They key is to do this without bashing them or shaming them and telling them that their feelings were wrong.

These pivotal moments can only come if that child feels safe. A child can only feel safe if there has been a real and honest effort by the parent to nurture that relationship. By real and honest, I mean admitting to the times we have failed in our own reactions, apologizing, and truly listening to the hearts of our children as we hear them express their feelings. Our children have a tendency to mimic us in how we express our feelings. If they see and know that we are still learning how to express our feelings in a healthy way, they tend to show us more grace. I’m realizing how much an apology for an overreaction means to our children–after all, our children tend to show us more grace than we deserve.

Pune

When I think about India, I think about lots and lots of people, crazy drivers, heat, smog, incredibly spicy food, and Indiana Jones. Now, I really wanted to have an Indiana Jones experience–jungles, wild animals, trees…but Pune is not like that—ok, it is no where near that.

Flying–well, I don’t think I will ever feel unsafe on an American plane again. Strange noises coming from the propellers (by strange, I mean loud grinding noises like someone-left-a-screwdriver-and-it-is-being-eaten-up-by-the-propeller-loud), turbulence, the plane dipping as you’re actually supposed to be going up, and feeling the plane slow down and then speed up constantly throughout the flight–no one seemed the least bit fazed.

Driving–well, there are no lanes and everyone honks to make sure you know they are there. Lanes that were designed for 3 cars wide end up fitting 5 cars, 3 rickshaws and 10 motorcycles with whole families piled wherever there is an empty space. And did I mention the honking?

Living–well, you have the poorest of the poor living among towering skyscrapers and luxury hotels. You have half-built apartments and garbage among beautiful trees filled with orange and yellow flowers.

The people–I have never felt so welcomed into a country. The people here are absolutely lovely! Everyone seems to go out of their way to see if they can help you.

The clothing–Beautiful! I love the bright colors and loud prints worn by both men and women. The conversations I’ve had with my children regarding what the red dots on the forehead mean and why some women cover just their heads and others cover their whole faces have been fascinating! Google, again, has been our best friend here, as we have been able to learn about the different religions that are represented around us.

The currency–I’m still learning. The Indian currency is called a Rupee. One dollar is worth about 65 Rupees—so for me, doing the math in my head is difficult–especially when I’m trying to figure out tips! I was trying to be generous in my tipping for lunch and afterward, realized my “generosity” resulted in the equivalence of a $2.50 tip. No wonder the guy looked disappointed as he left. Next time I’ll know that I need to tip more than 150 Rupees.

The distance–India is far away. It takes about 7 hours to fly from London to India…which is the same amount of time it will take us to fly from London to Boston in June. It is about a 3.5 hour time difference from central European time, so the jet-lag is real.

The economy-India is making a name for itself in the IT world. From programmers to consultants, India has been very good at creating a name for itself in the IT industry!