Friday, June 8, 2012

By the Numbers

Going to bed on Sunday, I expected a slow four days of waiting to go to Colorado for the weekend. The days that actually stood between me and Colorado actually contained quite a bit:

  • 40 hours of work
  • 2 sick kids
  • 4 chapters of Narnia read out loud
  • 3 train tracks built
  • 1 new apartment!
  • 3 loads of laundry
  • 5 episodes of Gilmore Girls
  • 3 time outs for hitting given
  • 17 subway rides
  • 3 hours wandering Central Park
  • 2 hours getting to and from the Hudson River to watch the Space Shuttle being brought to the museum
  • 1394 (estimated) text messages about babysitting schedules and apartment stuff
  • 2 bus rides
  • 100 pages of Mere Christianity
  • 3 puzzles
  • 12 (at least) bumps and bruises kissed
  • 1 good-bye to a friend for the summer
  • 6 games of hide and seek
  • 50 or so times I found myself singing this song. Listen to it:

And now, just a 4 hour plane ride! It will be wonderful to get away from it all for a bit.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Last night I watched the movie Nanny Diaries. It was cute, but it hit really close to home. While my friends laughed as the kid threw a tantrum in the elevator and locked her out, all I could think was, "Yeah, that has totally happened to me." Now, by no means are either of my two nanny jobs that bad. I don't work full time, and the moms are very involved in their children's lives. But I definitely come in contact with nannies and families who are like that.  It will never cease to amaze me that most families in NYC leave it to a nanny to raise their children, or at least use one to help full time moms (paying them exuberant amounts).

Recently, my nannying experience has brought me face-to-face with some celebrities and their kids. I must say, I am the last person to celebrity stalk. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to actors and for the most part can't even name the ones in my favorite movies. And if someone hadn't been there to point them out to me or if I knew I was looking for them, I could probably walk right past people without giving them a second glance. Luckily, the mom I nanny for gave me a heads up that some celebs sent their kids to the school her kids go to. As I was picking up the kids one day I was brought face to face with Meg Ryan. That was pretty exciting because I can actually name a few of the movies she's in. Then, at the park, Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker's son introduced himself to me. As in he said, "Hi, are you (x's) new babysitter, L? I'm James." I was a bit astonished to say the least. The other day I spotted his mom picking him up at school. It's a strange life.

Sometimes I think that the families I nanny for are just so normal, but really, normal is very different in the city. This week alone I was left watching kids in apartments where someone else (not the mom) was cleaning twice. Another woman was worried about leaving me with all 3(gasp!) of her young boys for a half hour. The baby was sleeping, and I told her that I had experience babysitting four at a time. She seemed surprised that the house was still together when she got back since the baby was awake. The moms I have come to know here all have this same sense of dependence on help. It's not all bad, and hey, if you can afford someone to give you several hours of self-time a week, why wouldn't you. And living in small apartments without a backyard to send your kids to, and having to walk, take the subway, or catch a cab wherever you go adds some difficulty to life. But really, I sometimes wonder.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Trip on the Q

I wake up, it's Sunday, I get ready to go
Choose out a punjabi top, decide headscarf or no
Walk down the deserted streets of midtown
Hop down the stairs to the train going downtown.

Get on the subway, choose an empty seat.
Most people get off at 14th Street.
Small children with several books in Chinese
Are off to school at Canal street, their parents to please.

Up out of the dark and the sun shines bright
I look out and see the Freedom Tower standing upright.
Across the bridge we move slowly, watching the East River flow
Down into Brooklyn, I've got 10 stops to go.

Very few people move on this quiet train ride
And a few stops later into the sun we again glide.
With all the different people the ride is never a bore
A woman completely covered comes in through the door.

The last sip of coffee from my to-go mug I drink
Avenue J for Jesus, she had said, I think.
He will be working today, I haven't a doubt.
And with that prayer we stop and I step out.

It's a different world than an hour ago
Women wear long skirts, their knees do not show.
Strollers have command of the sidewalks
I take everything in and enjoy the short walk.

I see the women, "Salaam Aleekum" I say
How are you and your family today?
English, the pledge, and writing we teach
But hopefully it's their hearts we will reach.

A trip on the Q brought me all this way
And only 2 hours each week will we all stay.
I remember my days in Sudan and Nepal
And know that by my ride on the Q I continue to follow that call.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Hello There Life, I Didn't Expect You So Soon!

Pre-Script (I'm not sure if that's actually a term, so don't quote it) : Yes I do still blog! Yes, it has been a while, but I'm still here, writing down my random thoughts once in while just in case you're interested...

I guess there has to come a time in every person's life when they realize,"This is it. This is no longer a dream, it's a reality. I am doing what I wanted to do 'when I grow up'". I suppose for some people this is a rather disappointing moment, for others it brings amazement.

For me, it brought amazement. But what shocked me was not as much that I was actually living life, but it was that I was living life at 21 years old. For a long time, I had dreamed of living in the Sahara desert. Yeah, that's weird. But I've done it. I set a goal in high school to one day run a half marathon, maybe a full. And as of this upcoming Saturday, I can check that off my list. I want to get to know a city on each continent really well (minus Antarctica!). I'm well on my way, with North America, Asia, and Africa already off the list. I knew that someday, when I went to college that I'd want to get a degree in Economics, even though I had no clue how that would help me with any of the sort of careers I wanted. And now, I'm on my way to getting it, along with knowing and understanding where it might fit in my life.

I sit here and wonder, is the life I'm living real, or was it all a dream? When am I going to wake up, and find that I'm still in Loveland,  doing everyday stuff in a life where I feel I'm following a script? But no, I'm not going to wake up. This is real. I haven't had to live a scripted life. I'm living what I dreamed life would be right now. There are still some dreams left, but I've been amazed to see that what I've dreamed, God has already made so many of these dreams a reality. I didn't go off chasing these dreams, I went off chasing God. I knew I was being called to spend time in an Arab nation, and the one He directed me to happened to place me in the desert. I didn't go off looking to find a school with an economics program, I was looking for a school that would help put me in the middle of politics, where I was feeling called. The school I found that had the mission statement and opportunities I needed happens to offer the major I wanted in combination with economics. When I've gone off chasing Him, I've found that He really does give me the desires of my heart, in the most unexpected of ways, in the most unexpected timing.

So, stop for a moment. Look at where you are. You might be living a life that you dreamed of at some point. Sure, it probably isn't quite a rosy as you dreamed it, but stop and enjoy it for what it is- a fulfilled dream.