Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A day in the city

The boys and I woke up last Saturday knowing we needed to get out of the house.  Jeff and some guys were hanging drywall in the basement all day.  Dust, noise, and tools that Ian couldn't play with got us out by nine.  We were going to go to Luray again.  Dressed for a bike ride and creek trekking.  An hour later we ended up at the Vienna metro station with new plans to go to the D.C. zoo.  A trip that involved two shuttle buses, four metro trains, and two long walks to stations.  
I am happy I have a husband who laughs at our adventures and doesn't worry that I am the adult in charge when he is not there.  Grateful that Luke always remembers where we park our van, even in the metro garage ten hours later.  SO thankful that Ian can still fall asleep in a small umbrella stroller.  One that is  propped up on a chair while we eat a Lo mien noodle dinner in front of a sinking sun.  I am still smiling thinking about the look on Levi's face through out the day.  His pink cheeked grin that spreads to each of us.
Jeff grinned too when we came in smelling like the ape house and telling stories of our day.  I was kind of surprised that my creek and forest bred boys can make it in the city. They hopped off buses, and onto trains, and escalators with ease.  The plans changed at least ten times that day and no one ever complained.  We didn't think to, we were having too much fun living it to worry about what was next.  Except for food, we did start to worry just before we found the little Chinese place by the last metro stop.  

I didn't extensively prep them with metro maps and how to be safe in the city.  I didn't tell Ian he would get to ride on a carousel, or Luke that he could fit in T-Rex skull, or Levi that he would learn a massive amount about animal poop to share with his friends.  I didn't tell them because I didn't plan it.  I could never have planned a day like that.

 The day was a gift.  A crazy, wild gift that we unwrapped slowly wondering what would happen next. On the metro ride home I asked the boys if they could imagine doing this in Basque,Spain. With every sign written and  every person speaking in Spanish or Euskara.  They didn't yell no and I didn't get sweaty palms thinking about it.  We just smiled goofy grins at each other while holding onto the metro pole.  On that metro it really did feel possible. 

I really think days like that will prepare the boys for Spain as much as any Rosetta stone lesson or book about cultural adjustment.  To live each day with expectant hope, flexible and ready.  To trust a God that knows the plan.  A God that helps us live out His crazy love story even on the days with too much homework or long grocery store trips, oh those wretched grocery store trips.

I am trying to teach them as I learn.  To not let the mundane eat away at our wonder.  Not let routine erode our delight in God.  Luke still whispers that he is not sure he wants to go to Spain.  I still whisper that it is okay.  God is bigger than our wants or fears.  We are small and our hearts and minds so feeble.  Our sight is so limited but His is not.  So we will stumble through trusting a very big and good God together.  We may even start to have some fun in the process.      

"The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand."  

Psalm 37:23&24


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