I’m eating day-old channa masala with basmati rice and buttered naan because yesterday was Sunday and Sunday is channa masala day.
I've been reading my sangria cookbook to Clem to help her fall asleep for naps each day for weeks. Who doesn't love a good sangria?
All three of my children are napping and I think I'll join them myself today. Most days the heat and the simplest tasks that sustain our home draw me closer to discovering my first grey hair and extreme dehydration.
I used to wonder when people aged and the circumstances surrounding it. Does it happen like with children while you sleep? Or all at once in a stressful six month period. I feel perpetually eighteen, but most days in the past six months I feel well over what I imagined 35 to feel like. I'm a newborn baby with the wonder of this place each day and a thousand years old from the heat, exhaustion and the heartbreak that I can't help pile on my back as I pass it by on the streets.
Today is the first day of summer vacation and as our trip back to the United States draws ever closer I find myself becoming terrified of the self deprecation that waistbands and American media bring. The pressures that I’ve been relieved to have lived without for the past six months, without the crazy months I seem to have lived through. Can balance not be achieved in this place? I find myself teetering back and forth with India on one side of the teeter totter and my emotional well being on the other. He’s up, I’m down. I’m up, he’s down. I’m kicking my legs and jumping like a bullfrog to get him to stay down, but he just laughs at me and jumps off, sending me flying back to the ground. Sand in my shoes, bum hitting the ground harder than is necessary in a place most tourists consider their playground. "We are not tourists!"I find myself constantly wanting to scream and "This isn't your playground! These are people's real lives! This is our life!" Constantly reminded how much we have, how lucky we are, until we don't want any material possessions at all, but we can't seem to get rid of them.
We're making water balloons every day until we leave. Filling them with dirty tap water and smashing them on the hot ground each afternoon. It's fun for the kids and therapeutic for me.
I'm already making plans for our return, remembering the key to a long and happy life is having things to look forward to. I'm already longing to get back out onto the streets to be where I can better understand.
I've been dreaming about photographing the entire night sky of stars on the blackest night so that I can look at it when I don’t believe it is still possible that all that beauty exists when the lights are back on.
I want to drink in all the cleanliness and beauty of home and spit back all the negativity and fear that comes along with it. I want to drink in all the fresh water that America The Beautiful has to offer and not forget with each beautiful gulp that people here go without.
I want to seer the images of majestic mountains and seas of tall green trees into my eyes like colored contacts made with photographic negatives and wear them day and night without ever changing them out.
I already miss my husband and I haven’t even left yet. I’m longing for his even keel in the storms of parenthood and the deep and unfailing sleep that being near his sleeping body affords.
I am both exhausted and exuberant with the idea of a solo trip with three kids around the world. One day I’m sure I can do it and another I’m sure I can’t. I'm as prepared as I can be and they are, too.
"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny." - CS Lewis
Let's hope he's right.
My mom is stocking blueberries and my dad painting bathrooms for our arrival. Their mutual retirements and our return will surely ring in a crescendo of well deserved down time and decompression for us all.
Five days until we leave, five weeks until Paul arrives.