Our table was a mess of creativity, paper, pencils, markers, and scissors covering every surface area. The kids had their “adventure books” open and we were working on them. Our adventure books are how I am trying to help our kids know who they are (since they have lived so many places). It is where we journal feelings, emotions and do activities such as maps of where we’ve lived and pictures of favorite places and people.
We were working on the page marked “Who am I” and “my family” and I moved around the table chatting with each child helping them fill in the blanks. “What do we do well as a family?” I asked. I am sure you can imagine what things I was hoping they’d say. We host a lot, or we play games, or we are silly, or we like to camp or rock climb. However; as I moved around the table each child in utter confidence proclaimed, “We ride airplanes well…”
There you have it folks. Our family’s skill in life. We ride airplanes well.
I really, really, really wish at least one child had chosen a different answer after all what mom wants to be able to proclaim that her legacy is her children can sit in a metal tube for hours on end. I really don’t want my claim to fame to be that my kids can navigate metal detectors with ease or that they really can rock pushing through jet lag.
At one point this week I watched as my six year old (D-man-) filled his book with airplanes. My oldest decided one page of memories should be devoted to airplane memories and I just sighed.
I guess that is life though, whether you find yourself nomadic (as we have) or a bit more secure in your surroundings we don’t get to choose the stories that are written about us. We like to think we can, that we can dictate memories our children cherish, or things they cling to. I certainly wish that I could dictate what things didn’t stay with them or what they would say when prompted, “what are we good at?”.
But we aren’t authors of our stories so there are days where I have to just sit back, laugh and proclaim, you know what we are really skilled at as a family? Riding Airplanes. I can think of all the places that means we can travel, the cultures and people that will shape our understandings. I can rejoice at how flexible my children are, or how they view the world a bit closer to its vastness and diversity then most. But the reality is whether I’m thrilled or disappointed with it part of our family culture and skill is riding airplanes. I can fight it, or embrace it but it is a part of who we are. I like to think I am the author of our story but the reality is I am not and so I’ve decided to sit back and enjoy the ride embracing the unknown and God as the ultimate author that has decided to write in my children’s hearts this skillset of airplane riding. So bring on the jet-lag, the long metal tubes and the airports that indicate we are at home as a family living in between worlds and seeking God in a life of transition.
We seek to empower our children, our teammates and our Sudanese friends to love and know more of who God is through acts of loving service and biblical teaching.