Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thurdays afternoons: at our place

Pablo comes over on Thursdays. I've told you that before, I think.
School finishes up at 4:30, and Pablo, who lives just one door down from us, walks home with us.
When we get home we snack together
(I hear out about what happened on the playground);
out comes the playmobile,
or the matchbox cars,
or the armory,
and then Joshua comes home and takes over; he's is a master with these boys
he pulls out the chessboard; sometimes he has them play only with a few select pieces, or sometimes he has them team up together to play against him; he has them fully engaged.
The loveliest thing happened not too long ago during one of Pablo's Thursday visits:
I was washing dishes, and Joshua was with Malachai and Pablo, playing chess at the table behind me.
I heard Joshua explain a move.
"look!" he said "the pawn attacked the bishop - - and won - - just like when David killed Goliath!"

Pablo had no idea what Joshua was talking about.
So in a heartbeat Joshua and Malachai were down from the table;
Malachai as David,
Joshua as Goliath
(and narrator),

and that is how Pablo heard about one of the greatest battles of all time

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Barcelona, suddenly

The night before we drove Mercy and Miah to the Bilbao airport, we got an email from Barcelona - - inviting us to a conference centered on the topic of house churches in Spain; the conference was that approaching weekend.
(apparently, Victor thought that Miguel had invited us,
and Miguel thought that Victor had invited us,
so we never got the original invite).
I didn't really want to go; I had already penned my mental weekend to-do list; and it was long.

But we couldn't miss it - - we have so few opportunities to engage with Spaniards risking themselves to break away from Spanish Christian tradition as they have always known it;
we knew we had to be there;
we know we had to go.

I spent the next twenty four hours washing all the clothes I had stuffed in my hamper and ignored for the ten days that Mercy and Miah were here (I had more important things to do than wash clothes!)

and so 36 hours after we received that first email, we, and our clean clothes, were packed into the car - - driving down to Barcelona.

and Barcelona? well, we had a good time.
we listened,
we talked,
we questioned,
we tried to get other daring conference members to share meals with our crazy, lovely family.
we took our kids down to the Mediteranian sea one night; Joshua and Malachai ran down in the freezing dark to touch it; Josu prefered to stay back from the roaring, black water and opted for sifting through the sand; he found a baby sea turtle shell (although Joshua thinks it was an apricot pit, but, whatever).
we saw a running club run by and I payed my kids ten cents each to cheer them on (I'm totally into supporting local runners, you know?)
I'm glad we went,
(and now I'm glad to be home)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

letters to a mother

dear mom,
we dropped Mercy and Jeremiah off at the airport this afternoon, and got news from the London family that they have arrived safely.
Also, I just thought you might like to know that Mercy was in my kitchen every day - - helping with the cooking before the meals and the clean up after;
I didn't even have to ask her to,
and she was always so cheerful about it!
and every time that Selma would call Miah (ven, ven, ven, she would say, and beckon with her whole hand - - just like the Spaniards do) to play ball in the hallway with her, he would go right away . . .
we like your kids!

Friday, January 01, 2010

welcome, 2010!

we stayed up late,
we ate 12 grapes - - one on each stroke of the clock,
we drank champagne, poured over lemon sorbet
(and felt very Spanish)

but I left the mess to clean up the morning after
(that's not Spanish at all!)