Okay, What did you do with my Daughter (PART 5)
After a long day, my thoughts turned back to Brooke as we finished our ride in the cab. Was it a mistake to leave her while I visited the Drop in Center? I mean, I trust my team- my colleagues- but this is India.
I started to wonder how she was doing without me. After seeing girls her age… babies, just babies and how they were raised. No protection. No protection from the pains of this world. No protection of their innoncence…..
I felt deep within my gut a strong desire just to hold my girl, as if my arms would somehow protect her in that moment, to offer her what I could not offer these girls… shelter.
Shelter. Shelter from this world.
I said my goodbyes to John as the cab arrived at my hostel, making plans to lunch with him and his wife upon my return.
Oh yes, dear sisters, I haven’t even left and I already am longing to return. It’ shard to explain except to say it’s like when you walk into a place and feel you can take a deep breath, that you are somehow home, even if it’s not your permanent home. That is how I felt when I visited Ethiopia and South Sudan in 2013 and I felt it again here. I like it here. I really do. Sometimes I feel out of place in Pasadena, but not here.
Definitely, not here.
My body moved slowly up the stairs to the hostel. I ached, but it was a good kind of ache, like a day well spent. A day very well spent. I began to nurse my aching within to hug my girl, when I heard my name…. “Mom!”
I turned just in time to see my girl coming through the door with the rest of our gang. She was grinning from ear to ear as she quickly moved towards me.
Was I caught off guard, this exuberant girl bouncing and smiling and laughing, Ummm, yeah…. Yeah, you could say that.
Okay, who is this and what did you do with my daughter that was not, I mean NOT, happy to be here, not happy with me and counting the days until we left.
We hugged tight. She told me all about her adventures, the Taj Hotel, Starbucks, some really cool caves, a boat ride, her eyes dancing as she talked so fast I could barely keep up. She loved it all.
Oh, dear sisters, there is something about watching your child, be uncomfortable and forced to stretch and grow, but there is such beauty when the work it out. It’s like they are testing out there wings and they begin to fly a little.
It has been a few days since then and this girl this happy adventurous, boisterous girl, has stayed.
Yes, we have our moments. It’s dirty. It’s hot. No, not hot. Hot is too nice of a word. Sticky. Muggy…. like, do not touch me,hot.
But beyond all that we have laughed together. Had way too many near-death taxi adventures to count. We play hangman together before we go to bed and continue to talk about the poor and what she sees.
Even now as I type this, I sit across watching her and Lauren (one of my dear friends) laughing and talking- sharing stories.
I love this. And this is just the beginning!
My team… no, our team has made Brooke feel so special.
You see, dear sisters, sometimes we just need a change of scenery. We needed that break from each other to come back and get fresh eyes, thankful eyes for those we love.
I wonder when we lose it, like totally lose it, making everyone around us miserable (including ourselves), I wonder what would happen made time for a change of scenery.
A weekend away. A day away. Heck… 15 minute locked in your bathroom if that is all you can get.
Schedule time away, dear sisters, schedule time away. It’s how we care for ourselves. It’s how we care for those around us. New eyes. A fresh pair of eyes.