Well, it is time for summer to begin. School ends on June 13. This summer, Ross agreed for me to fly home a little early with 2 of the girls. He'll follow me 2 weeks later with the other 2 girls.
I always start to get mixed emotions this time of year. Perhaps you can identify, but it is like when you are working a very stressful job all week and you keep thinking, "If I could just make it to the weekend." There is this wonderful delicious feeling all week anticipating your weekend plans (or even better, lack thereof), and as the day approaches, you begin to think of it more and more often. But then Friday afternoon comes, and you also begin to think, "Saturday is almost here, that means Saturday is almost over." Just at the moment you should be enjoying maximum realization that you have made it, you are also dreading that the weekend is going to be over again.
I have always loved my jobs and never really longed for weekends like I am sure some people do. But I do long for my summers. During the summer, I leave so many things that are hard...like struggling at the grocery store just to ask where an item is; escaping a culture that is fascinating, yet so very different from mine that it can be exhausting just to function here; and missing the comforts of home. And then also I gain so many things when I arrive back in the USA...some of my favorites are the worship at my home fellowship; walmart/target/walgreens and the ease of shopping there; delicious restaurants with variety and menus in English; and the most treasured, time with family that we have left. So I am just on the verge of getting all that, but I also know that as soon as it begins, it will quickly pass and we will leave again. No deep theological point here, just one of those weird feelings I get this time of year. It has gotten easier to leave, but I doubt I'll ever call it 'easy'.
Annika, Eva and I will leave on Wednesday morning to begin the 24 hour journey home. I so wish I weren't leaving my other kids. I have the laundry caught up and meals in the freezer and their summer clothes packed for them, but how do I leave my heart behind for them should they need it? Phone calling...emailing...a little treasure from Mom to open each morning...still, I'll be glad when we are reunited.