Thursday, March 28, 2013

At home

I forgot to put this in my last post about Mysore, so I'm giving it its very own spot :)

After 3 hours on the road the other day, we drove back into Bangalore. When we got into our neighborhood, Zion looked up, looked around, and said, "Oh! We're almost home!"

And complete delight flooded me.

Our first few weeks here were pretty rough around the edges, as you may recall. But now, on a near daily basis, I see things that remind me that Bangalore has become our home. And the kids experience that too! And that is what I most wanted in bringing them to live in a brand new country: for them to experience cultural, linguistic, religious, and culinary differences (and many more besides) and to learn to adapt to those, to open up to them, to love them, and to feel at home.

Sometimes it seemed like that was never going to happen. Not that either Zion or Liel complained much, even when things were tough! They've been every bit as patient and flexible as I could have hoped. But everything was just so foreign. It was loud, it was chaotic, it was spicy, there were cows in the streets, and strangers reaching out to pat their heads and faces. Some of this they loved, some they didn't, but for ages it was a thing apart from them selves. They stood apart.

With time, of course, they adapted beautifully. And when Alex came to visit they got to show off their home, which I think really sealed the deal. They loved showing him campus, introducing him to their favorite foods, taking him to temples. They even instinctively look for a shoe minder or a pile of shoes when approaching a temple now, and quickly kick their shoes off and head in! The first time we went to a temple here they were somewhat dismayed at having to take their shoes off on the street and leave them behind.

Now after lunch at Prakruthi, Liel rushes off to wash her face and hands in the communal sink. Liel, who held my hand everywhere, literally everywhere, for the first month we were here. She doesn't even sit with me at the table after we order anymore, but hangs out with Robert and Zion while they wait at the counter for food.

And Zion! Last night after dinner he said he was still hungry, so we told him we'd give him money and he could go up and order himself some more food. And he did! All by himself. And then he gave the token to the guy behind the counter, waited by himself for his dosa to come up, and came back with. He was so proud of himself, and I was glowing!

I love these kids, and I love all of the new vistas that India has opened up for them.


Joanne Young said...

This post makes me feel happy! I am so impressed with how everyone has adapted and feels comfortable in India. It is such an education, in so many ways. This is something no one gets by staying at home. Bravo for all of you!
Also, it sounds like my wonderful grandchildren are becoming more sure of themselves. What a gift.

Kristofer Young said...

Beautiful story! Beautiful family! Beautiful life!

Jove, thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us in real time!!!

Love Dad