Every since the Juliemom family left our home 9 days ago to move to South Africa, things have been a little different around our house. There are no longer children on the playset from morning to night, there is only one telephone ringing, the laundry is all only mine, and things are a little lonely at times.
Suffice it to say, I have been coming up with things for my kids to do when they start to feel like they're missing their friends too much. Mature, spiritual things like whenever we think of them, we pray for one of the things on their list. This way, I tell them, we can remember our friends and draw closer to God at the same time. I've also been arranging play dates with some other kids so they aren't too lonely for their friends.
Well, my kids came up with another way to immortalize their family-- we'll just call it the "Juliemom Family Game". It is actually titled with their last name instead of "Juliemom", but if I provided that to everyone on the internet, I think they would have to bump me off for security purposes. Anyhoona, they came up with this all on their own one day when we were in the basement re-organizing and cleaning post departure. From the other room, I overheard this:
Sweet Pea (my oldest 7 year old daughter) : "OK Bubba, you get to be Snow White and Cinderella, and I'll be Sleeping Beauty, Aunt Julie and Uncle Prince. Now, lets get ready to move to Africa. Start throwing all our stuff away, then pack the rest in the boxes, OK?"
Bubba (my 5 year old son): "OK SP. Let's move all our furniture around and then we can get on the airplane to go."
As I peeked into the room to see what they were doing, I found the two of them on the floor of what had been the girls bedroom, with all the barbies and dolls spread out that they left behind. I asked what they were doing and they said, "We're pretending we're the ----- Family". Now, mind you, there were no boy dolls down there, so poor Uncle Prince was represented by a big-haired Barbie, but you get the picture.
So, to Juliemom and family, I just wanted you to know you are famous! MY kids have ranked you right up there with Dora, Diego, the Wonderpets, and all the other characters that they play pretend as.
I also thought their description of what to do to move was hysterical "throw away all our stuff, move our furniture around and get on the plane"- that must be their perception of what we did the last 10 days of their time here!
I might as well tell you that I went into the other room and cried a little (OK a lot, but whose counting here!). My heart was focusing solely on the loss of my friend and her beloved kids, thinking of the fun they would miss out on together- and here were my kids just having a ball remembering! As the ache in my heart starts to subside into a glow of love and caring for them from afar, I continue to be amazed at the resilience of kids. They ARE still playing with their friends-- what a great lesson for us all. Praise God!
Oh, and Uncle Prince has a kickin' hair-do now too!