Thursday, February 12, 2015

sand in the shorts

Yesterday, we went to the beach.  Nothing unusual in that.  Logan wore swim trunks; Ryan wore a pair of reversible Adidas shorts.  This pair, in fact:   

2015-02-12 09.17.14

Again, nothing unusual.  Ry doesn’t love wearing swim trunks.  After yesterday, though, he may change his tune.

As is their pattern, when we got to the beach, the boys immediately grabbed up their football and headed for the water and a game of catch.  They love trying to time it with the incoming waves.  After playing catch for a bit, they tried some bodysurfing.  It was fun, so they did it for a bit.  Ryan’s reversible shorts have a mesh side…and the waves forced sand between the layers!   We all laughed at the sand, and they settled back into playing on the shore.  This time, it included digging holes at the water’s edge, so every time a wave came in, it spread their piles of sand everywhere.  By the time they were ready to call it a day, it was apparent we had a minor problem: how to keep skinny Ryan IN his shorts for the walk home!

We managed.  Barely.  His normally confident stride was reduced to a step-step-hitch walk.  And, sand kept running down his legs, spreading lovely brownish colored streaks down the backs of both legs.  I’m sure we were quite a sight to behold.  Once we got into our neighborhood and into the alley behind the garage (I don’t let them come in the front door after the beach), he quit hitching up his shorts.  It’s probably a block from the end of the alley to our garage door, so by the time we got there he looked like one of those high school kids with shorts hanging down.  His shorts were barely hanging on, tucked neatly under his little butt cheeks. 

We left the shorts on the patio to dry, hoping than when they were dry we’d be able to get the sand out.  This morning I went out to see what we could do, but not before I put those suckers on my kitchen scale!    Weighed them, shook them out, then weighed them again.  There was ONE POUND of sand in between the layers of his shorts!  And that’s DRY sand.  Wet?  I can’t even begin to guess how much it weighed.  The pile is pretty good sized:

2015-02-12 09.16.54

His comment this morning? “ I think I’ll wear my swim trunks from now on, Mom.” 

Good plan, little man.  Good plan.

Monday, February 9, 2015

“Not wrong, just different”

Before we headed to China to adopt Ryan, one of us was required to attend a travel workshop put on by our agency.  (This was in place of the ‘parenting babies’ class they typically required of adoptive parents—with 4 biological children, we had pretty much mastered the parenting babies thing.)  The day was pretty much a waste, except one small nugget:  it’s ‘not wrong, just different.’  That phrase was well used while we were in China the first time, since there are many cultural differences that felt ‘wrong.’  Recognizing them as simply ‘different’ made the trip much smoother.  Since then, it has become a common refrain in our home.

That mantra is oft-repeated these days.  Taking reusable bags to the grocery store? Not wrong, just different.  Choosing the 2 loaves of bread for the double loaf pack at Costco? Not wrong, just different. Paying to put at book on ‘hold’ at the library?  Not wrong, just different.  Finding that many churches here start their Sunday morning service far later than we’re used to?  Not wrong, just different.  Iced drink stands on the patio instead of coffee carts in the lobby at church?  Not wrong, just different.  Small groups that meet on campus and all study the same thing?  Again, not wrong, just different.  No AWANA or Upward (sports for children) but mid-week Bible study for grads 3-6?  Not wrong, just different!   The ‘California culture’ is not what we’re used to.  It would be easy to focus on all that is ‘wrong’'’ but instead, I want to see them as opportunity for refinement.  For growth.  For maturity.  I want to be mold-able.  I want to go back home in 2 years changed on the inside.  I want to trust God more fully, seek Him more faithfully.  It won’t be easy.  It hasn’t been so far.  But He promises to never leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:9).   He promises new mercies every morning (Lamentations 3:22-24).  So…I will trust.  I will not be terrified or discouraged.  (HA!  Easier sad than done.)  And He’ll do the rest.

The only thing I can think of down here that is simply WRONG, not just different?  This:

2015-02-08 14.19.03

In my world, you’re not supposed to be able to play on the beach in February!!  This is what I’m used to:


And I miss it already.