Yesterday we celebrated Bright's 5th birthday. We went to the ball pit (the only place for kids here) with most of our friends and it was a blast! Then we went to Papa Johns for a pizza party, and that was a hit, too. Happy 5th, Bright Eugene. In your own words, "5 is a big deal." Now you can go camping with Daddy, and tromp along on your first hunt, and take part in most other things that boys do. On the sentimental side, I cannot believe nearly 6 years have gone by since we found out, while staying in Holland, MI for the summer, that we were going to be parents at long last. I have never felt greater joy than the moment they put you in my hands. The delight of knowing you has only grown with time. There could not possibly be a more wonderful son to have in all the world!Brave riding a cow.Sweet Zion. He is in a not-smiling-for-the-camera stage.Bright, giving you a wink.The really surreal part of Bright's birthday celebration was that it was our second-to-last day in East Asia before we visit America for 4 months. So many awesome people are waiting on the other side of our 13 hour flight to welcome us home, and yet we are leaving our home behind. It is like our hearts now straddle the ocean.
Zion doesn't remember America. He calls it, "Numerica." He does know the pledge of allegiance, though. I was able to do that much. Bright remembers every single thing and can not wait to be where he doesn't have to eat a helping of rice with every meal. I take that back, he doesn't remember everything. His memory of America has faded some, which saddens me. He can not picture The Cracker Barrel, for example, which was always his favorite restaurant. He says he will miss his friends here, and his toys, and he has made me tell him several times that we are, in fact, returning to East Asia. And then there is little Brave, who has never been anywhere but Asia, even in the womb. Even Daniel and I are feeling a little apprehensive about how we will react to being back in our homeland. I am a tad concerned that I might curl up into a ball in the corner and rock back and forth, murmuring "Mei shi" over and over again to myself.
Across the board, though, I am feeling joy. Joy and gratitude, for a life like this one. I wouldn't trade one single hour of jetlag or one single difficult goodbye. It is my humble opinion that life is like a good vinaigrette. It needs to be shaken up every once and while or you miss the flavor.