Our time in Kampala is almost over and we head back to Karamoja tomorrow. What have we been doing? We've been introducing the girls to new things, bonding, training them to have boundaries (they know the words 'Don't touch' well by now), hugging them often....but mostly...we've been playing.
We also took them to the mall quite often where they enjoyed exploring. The escalator was a hit. On one particular evening, they wanted to sit on a statue of an elephant. It's funny how the things we never noticed before (like a stationary elephant) seem to be the main source of attraction for the children. It brings a different perspective to our worldview. And I now appreciate the places that are child-friendly and educational.
I've taken the girls swimming several days a week for the past month. They usually get cold pretty quickly, but they're still growing in their swimming skills. At first they were afraid to put their heads under water. A month later, they were jumping into a deep pool with floaties on.
And then there is the playground. It's the best babysitter I've ever known. The kids were entertained for a long time and I could sit and chat with a friend. Janet, our daring child with a drive for adventure, loves to climb and hang. She would fall from 6-7 ft on occasion and it wouldn't phase her at all. She'd just climb up again and try to do better.
They both enjoyed the slides and the 'rush' from sliding fast.
Then they would come and check-in with me before running back to play. I hear this is a good sign of attachment in children.
Terrill and I reflect on a fairly regular basis that this thing called 'parenting' is not what we expected. For some reason, we expected quiet and pliable children who go where you go and sit nicely while you do your business. Maybe it takes a few years to work up to this...but we are definitely not there yet. We're learning in the school of hard knocks that it takes work to raise children. If we want good children, we have to be good parents. They're not mail-order ready. Looking back at my life before children, I realize how naive we were. I look at parents and children in a new way now...and when I see a healthy, well-rounded child, I know how much work has gone into them. I can only pray that the Lord will provide us with what we need to be the kind of parents who raise healthy children (spiritually, physically, emotionally & mentally). I also pray they learn to love others more than themselves.
Terrill keeps telling me that he never wanted to be a babysitter....