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Sunday, March 13, 2011

UP, DOWN, UP, DOWN



As I watched Spencer and his ‘girl’ cousins on the swing set at the city park in Chiangmai this week… up down, up, down… it felt almost surreal.  Having my sister, brother-in-law and their kids here and seeing how the five children have all interacted with each other (after eight months without contact) has been very uplifting.  What precious memories they are making and what a blessing it is to have these three weeks together.
As I watched Dave carefully bounced the ball… up, down, up, down… I smiled at how focussed he’d suddenly become.
He was participating in a half-time basketball shoot-out at last weekend’s Varsity grand final match, at Grace International School.        
Eye on the ring, he methodically took his shots, making each one and winning!  Our children were so proud of their daddy.             
What a great moment of adoration, excitement and praise as the three of them raced up to him at the conclusion him hugging, high-fiving him and helping him collect his prize.  Of course, I was beaming too - my face hidden behind the camera!
As I watched Tobi saying goodbye to his friends after school on Friday, I felt  my stomach twinge with sadness.
Tobi’s class had just finished taking turns bouncing on a small trampoline and then jumping…up, down, up, down… in to a make shift swimming pool set up in their school yard yesterday as part of an afternoon of fun.  The reason behind the water activities though, was to farewell two of his classmates who are leaving next week and moving on… a roller-coaster of emotions; saying goodbye to friends so dear and yet so temporary.
Ups and downs are a part of life.  Right?
Highs and lows, births and deaths, rejoicing and sorrow, 
summers and winters.
I remember that feeling of returning to work after being on holidays. The first few days would sometimes leave me feeling ‘down’ after being away on an exciting adventure.   But soon enough, I’d find myself back in the swing of things again and I knew that I wouldn’t ever avoid going on a holiday just because the thought of returning to work was hard.
You know…
It’s hard to watch my children playing so beautifully with their precious cousins, knowing that in a couple of weeks they’ll have to say goodbye again.
It’s hard realizing that the late-night chats, the continual laughter and the sharing of my deepest thoughts with my sister are not a ‘given’ any more, they’re a gift.
It’s hard seeing my little five-year-old son continually saying goodbye.  To see a dozen classmates moving away in just as many months, knowing he’ll most likely never see them again.
It’s also hard seeing how much my nieces have grown and changed in the past year knowing that I haven’t had much part in it.
It’s hard!
But despite these ups and downs.  Despite these highs and lows.
I wanna choose to hold on. 
Choose to cherish each wonderful moment and replay them again and again in my mind.
Choose to keep these memories alive in the minds of my children despite the pain.
Choose to look forward to the next visit, the next trip home, the next new friend, and the next late night chat.
Choose all of this rather than missing out on experiencing the ‘ups’ because I can’t bear to face the ‘downs’. 
Andie





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