To My Boys, at the End of our Adventure.

Hi Boys,

It’s mom.  I always write these letters when we’re either heading headlong into, or beelining it out of, adventure.  This time, we’re on our way out.  And we will have to make a beeline, straight for the airport tomorrow morning, and straight onto that plane if we’re going to make our connection in Hong Kong.  Ah, travel stress, you’ve come to know it well.  Before all that begins, I want to share with you a few thoughts on this adventure, something for you to carry with you when you look back on all of this.

First of all, I couldn’t have done this without you.

As scary as it was to travel alone for a child who was dying, I was able to do it.  This outcome would have been different.  Gigi is scary in different ways.  She’s rough, wild, and…she dislikes me.  She is difficult to deal with on her best day.  We did it though.  We only did because you were my in-country support.  DSC_0063

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DSC_0060From what you’ve told me, you had the trip of a lifetime.  I’m so glad about that.  Every yard you mowed, every dog you walked, every hour that you pledged for the elderly, it has all been SO worth it.  Your being here has been life changing for me as well.  I got to spend individual time with each of you.  It affirmed what I already knew.  You are becoming amazing young men.  Young men whose souls have been touched by what you’ve seen here in China.  Young men who won’t be the same people when you hit U.S. shores again.

You’re not perfect.  We’ve had our moments.  Moments where I had to remind you this isn’t a vacation, to put down your devices.  You’ve poked at each other the way only brothers can.  I had to implement a ban on “burns” for awhile, because you spent so much of your time doling out little insults to each other that I worried it was effecting your self-esteem.  You reminded me, kindly, that you do this to each other all the time.  I reminded you, kindly, that prior to this I was never forced to listen to it.  And, that I liked it that way.  So, cut it out.  You did…mostly.

I don’t need you to be perfect.  I like it that you’re real.  We all are.  Real, imperfect, and human.  So is your sister.  SO imperfect.  I love that you never once expected perfection from her.  In fact, you expected nothing from her.

And, because of that, we rise, and we will continue to, by lifting her up.

–FullPlateMom, who is so ready to head home, and at the same time, so not ready.

 

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