Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hootie and Tootsie

Tuesday 10/15

Hootsie and Tootsie are two owls named by Kysa. Hootsie is being worn on a necklace around her neck, Toostie around mine. We've vowed to wear them close to our hearts during our time apart, and if we're missing each other we'll just touch the owl and know we're thinking about each other. Fredrik sent me a text saying when Kysa woke Monday morning she immediately remembered I was gone, and her first words were, "I need to hold my owl, Papa." 

It took until I arrived at the departure gate for the lump in my throat to soften. Seeing all the beautiful Ethiopian families reminded me of the country I fell in love with months before, and I began to breathe a little easier, even though I was feeling oddly unbalanced minus the physical and mental weight of needing to constantly hold or track two small children. I couldn't shake the sensation I was leaving something or someone. Apparently, like a phantom limb, you can't just turn off your mommy senses when your kids aren't there to need them. 

I plopped down on the floor near the gate. It was a full flight and all the seats in the waiting area were taken. Several men jumped up to offer me their seats, which is so charmingly Ethiopian. I politely refused preferring to stretch a bit before the long flight. Before I had a chance to start missing my kids again, or obsessively start checking my bag one last time for my passport, chapstick, or whatever object I wanted to momentarily freak out about, a little Ethiopian girl about Kysa's age approached me with twinkling and curious eyes wanting to touch my owl necklace. Well played, Universe…well played.

The flight was graciously uneventful. I read parenting books and watched movies, still not processing the surreal fact I was headed to Ethiopia alone. It's not even the going to Ethiopia part that seems strange to me, but the alone part was taking some getting used to. I've spent the last three years aligning myself physically, mentally, and emotionally to my children for almost every moment of every day. To be only responsible for only me felt unsettling and unbalanced, especially knowing my husband's responsibility had doubled and he was most likely reeling too.

One of the movies I watched on the plane was Eat, Pray, Love. I usually don't like to watch movies more than once, and I'm not a big chick flick fan, so it was an odd choice for me. But Ketut's parting words to Liz were intended for my ears on that flight, I have no doubt:

(read it with an Indonesian accent, sounding a bit like Yoda for fullest effect) 
To loose balance for Love is part of living balance in Life. 

Here's to loosing balance for Love. 
The journey begins.

No comments:

Post a Comment