My mom left on Monday. She flew first to Seoul, where she had a twelve hour layover, yuck. If Leafy had his way, she wouldn't have gone at all.
"I hope you miss your plane," he told her very seriously.
It was a beautiful visit, so crazy and full of emotion and outside of the ordinary of our lives, both for them and for us.
My dad could only stay for a week because of work, which he could barely get away from. After two and a half years, a week seemed much too short.
But we squeezed as much quality time into a week as possible. We went back to the Chiang Mai Night Safari- this was while I was still pregnant. And of course we went back to feed the birds. The first time we went to feed the birds, with the kids, they were very satisfied. They'd been eating sunflower seeds all. day. long. They were all, more sunflower seeds? NO thanks. And eventually they warmed up to us and started licking our cheeks and playing with our dreadlocks. But when we took my parents, they hadn't had any visitors, it seemed, and they were wild ravenous feral birds. They attacked us. It was way more Alfred Hitchcock than we were comfortable with.
So we continued on and looked at more animals.
I went into labor after walking with my parents through a wood-carving village, the very sort of place I remember spending time with them in many times, over my life. Antique shops, thrift shops, artsy places. They love it. And we can all look and look without having to spend.
Then Chinua and I left them with our kids for forty-eight hours while I had a fun little jaunt in labor land. In the end I scored an absolutely lovely baby, so I don't hold a grudge over missing forty-eight hours of my dad's week.
Can I say how impressed I am with my parents? They came to stay with us in a house that isn't ours and just fit right in, cooking in a kitchen they weren't familiar with, in a country they weren't familiar with, taking care of four children. My dad took the motorbike out, for the first time, to get groceries in a busy city.
My mom then spent another three weeks with us in Pai. It started with a wild taxi ride from Chiang Mai, in which we didn't have enough space, and you know there are 762 curves or something like that. We were mostly at home, since I was obviously in rest and recover mode, but I managed to take her for a couple drives.
And we sent a lantern off, as a prayer of thanks for Isaac. It was the biggest and best we've sent so far. I so love this picture.
My mom sat on our porch, which is beautiful though I never seem to find time to sit there, and she held Isaac whenever she could, and she talked nicely to him and cooed at him. She even got some coos back. The boy has smiled occasionally since he was two weeks old, and I'm so glad she got to see his first smiles.
In the afternoon she made us a cup of rooibos and we sat on the porch for a while longer. If it was too hot, we sat inside, under the fan. We talked and looked at Isaac.
These were peaceful days, full of grace for each other. Mom fit into our lives here so easily, it almost seemed as if she couldn't go. But she had to, though we are already talking about when she can come back.
I wrote a post at the Shekina Blog, part of a short series on Beautiful Community.
And in all the Isaac-related bliss and chaos, I forgot to mention a thank you to the Canadian Weblog Awards. I placed third in the expat category, with Finding Me in France in first place and Planting Dandelions in second place. Lovely company, I'm honored!