Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Trust in the Universe

Just back from six weeks of travel in the States. Jet lag pervades my thoughts. My husband will hopefully return tonight. I have had both a solo trip to and from the States. The kids returned to school yesterday morning for half days. They slept most of the night last night. They are much quicker to return to the beauty of sleep. I keep waking up in the middle of the night- both in the states & here in Japan.

I missed keeping my blog while away. I had lots of thoughts about traveling with kids. My kids are better equipped than I am for travel. I came up with some great ideas this summer which worked well. I bought them fleece sleeping bags that roll up in their backpacks. I brought them neck pillows which helped cushion uncomfortable airline seats and arm rest. I gave them melatonin for the first time which seemed to help my daughter in particular (she has a hard time going to sleep). I used headsets and ipods to keep them busy on the airplane. They also had pencils, pens, crayons, paper, origami, etc., but really it was the movies I downloaded to the ipods that helped the most. I took a lot more snacks this year since the kids never seem to like air line food or want to eat it when it is served. I should have brought small refillable cups with lids for drinks since I wore a fair amount of spilled water on my pants. All of those prefilled wide mouthed plastic cups full of water on the planes make me cringe- I hope the airlines recycle those cups. Anyway, the water just spills over the top with squirmy kids. At least I had a change of clothes for them. Just not for myself. I also had no ipod. I was able to knit on the domestic flights. For the long haul between Japan & the USA I opted for airline movies and sleep. I can suffer but my children don't suffer so well without a lot of whining.

Summer travels took us to Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, & Ohio. The kids did a lot of swimming. Their swimming definitely got better even if they still don't jump into the deep end and swim. My daughter rode her bike without training wheels for the first time in Florida. My aunt took me by a Goodwill shop and I bought a bike for $10.00. I knew she was close to going solo before we left so I wanted her to try while we were home. It worked out great. I need to hit Goodwill shops more often!

Returning to Japan especially solo (without husband) reminded me that I often do things the hard way. Living off the base going on three years has been rewarding but it is not easy. The first day of school yesterday brought piles of papers I can't read. I was too tired to meet with the translator so I asked her to come tonight. I figured I could wing it. Well, this morning I was reminded that my mistakes effect others.

My daughter trotted off to school happy enough, but about 30 minutes later I heard an awful sobbing sound just before I heard the door open. She had walked to school and then realized that all of the other children had brought all of their school stuff; she had not. She was very upset and not really able to say this. Finally I sorted out what she needed. At first I thought she had gotten hurt. She wants to do everything right. Then the problem was time. She had to get back to school with all of her things before school started. I was just getting ready to take my son to his bus stop for school. Fortunately, I trusted my good friend would be able to help me. I assembled the tandem bike, rode with my son on the bike until we met up with my friend, asked for her to help with getting my son on the bus, and then got my daughter on the bike so we could whiz to school. We made it with a few minutes to spare.

I like to help others- in my career as a nurse I helped patients and their families, as a teacher I helped my students, as a mother I help my kids, as a wife, well, I try :-) Anyway, I am not so used to asking for help. Here, I ask for a lot of help. The language and culture barriers do me in at every turn. However, the universe has yet to fail me. Step blindly into the abyss and you will find the help you need. Trust in the universe; it provides. I just try to remind myself how important it is to help others when they ask for help. It is hard for me to ask of others, but I am truly grateful for those who help.