Being back in America is swell. I am not the culture-shocked boob that I thought I would be. I went to Wal-Mart and I conquered, not even balking at the bloated selection of cheeses, or the arguably rediculous number of sliced bread options. I didn't stare at all the...robust...white people ambling about, or at all the long noses, or at all the light hair. I just grocery shopped, like I used to do, and then I checked out - or Daniel did, rather - using a cool little invention that I had forgotten about called the debit card. We loaded my mother-in-law's large, truck-like vehicle with our spoils, strapped the kids into the carseats (which they don't understand why they are suddenly being forced to use), and drove along wide-open roads, listening to people on the radio talk about their faith and their opinions of the government. Then we pulled in to the air-conditioned apartment that Daniel's sister and brother-in-law are so graciously letting us stay in. It has a dishwasher and a garbage disposal. Our first night in the apartment, we were trying to find the kitchen light and we flipped the garbage disposal switch and the grinding sound that bore out of the sink nearly dropped us to our deaths. We had completely forgotten about garbage disposals.
The worst part of being back is, hands down, the jetlag. In Bright's words, as he sprawled out on the waiting room chair at the Revenue Office, "I'll just be jetlagging." I had experienced jetlag before, but never with three little kids.Two nights ago, we put them to bed at 8 p.m., and 2 1/2 hours later they were up and ready to start their day. We spent the next 5 hours fighting with them to stay in their beds, and then at 3 a.m. I gave up and turned on the lights and got them dressed and poured them bowls of cereal. We kept them up the entire day that followed, shaking them when they threatened to slip into sleep, and then finally Bright hit a wall at about 5 p.m., at the Mexican restaurant, and he passed out. I do mean passed out. You could have tattooed his forehead at that point and he would have kept right on sleeping. I tried to feed him a soft taco, by manually opening his jaws and inserting the food between his lips, but that didn't work so well. We have decided that jetlag feels so wrong because our bodies were not intended to experience it. Human beings were not supposed to be able to travel to the other side of the world in one day. It should take months, and there should be a coinciding gradual time adjustment. To end up 13 hours behind where you started, before your first airline meal has had time to digest, is not natural.Yet here we are, natural or not, and in spite of our discombobulation, we are thrilled to be in the land of (Vitamin D) milk and (real clover) honey once again.