Jan 30, 2010

Six Precious Months

The Little Feller and his grandma enjoying some time together.

Far quicker than I think any of us could have predicted, our time here at the Leen’s home is coming to an end. While we are excited to finally be out on our own here in America, we are also quite sad to end this precious time with our family. Of course, Columbus is no Saipan. We won’t have to wait a whole year to see Mom and Dad Leen again. It might be a couple weeks at most, and many times it’ll just be five days till the next time we see them again. But it won’t be the same as sharing daily life with them, as we have for these past six precious months.

It all came together so quickly. Just over two weeks ago, my best friend J’s wife, Evelyn called up Barbara to let her know about an opening at the Stepping Stones pre-school. They needed someone right away and Evelyn had actually agreed to work a few hours each day until they found some one. Barbara called Stepping Stones the next day, Friday, and they asked her to come in Tuesday for an interview. The day after the MLK holiday, Barbara and I drove up to Columbus—me for another day a work, Barbara for her interview—while our son stayed back in Dayton with his grandparents. The interview went well, and two days later, they called her back for a second “working interview.” She went to the interview, they offered her the job, and she accepted. She’ll start on February 1st.

This past week has been unsurprisingly hectic. Babs came up to Columbus with me again on Monday to do more apartment hunting, and sure enough, by the end of the day we’d pretty much settled on a lovely two bedroom place in New Albany with an open floor plan and lots of light. The plan was to shift our base to Columbus the next day, staying with J and Evelyn until the Conference movers could get our stuff. But then on Monday night, within hours of each other, Barbara’s mom, Babs, and me were all struck down with the stomach flu. All plans ground to a halt as we spent the next 24 hours in bed or in the bathroom. The action picked up again on Wednesday as I went back to work and Babs stayed in Dayton working on other essential tasks for the move. Thursday, Babs, the Feller, and Mom Leen drove over to Columbus. Mom watched the Feller while Babs continued to hustle through still more moving and new-job tasks. Thursday night, Mom went back to Dayton and the three of us stayed at J’s. Yesterday, we came back here to the Leen’s for our final weekend here. We’ll pack up our things so they’ll be ready for the movers and head back to J and Evelyn’s to stay until our things are moved and we can shift over to our apartment.

Of course we’re very happy about this change. It’s what we’ve waited and prayed for. It’s come at the right time too—the Commute was finally beginning to take it’s toll on me, as was being away from Babs and Elijah so much. But we’ll miss the cozy little life we’ve had here in the Leen home for the past six months. As crazy as it sounds, in a way, I’ll miss being so far way from work. Living here, when I went home, I went home. There’s no way to get dragged back into my work life from this distance. Weekends here in Springboro feel like mini-vacations, literally miles away from the workaday week. We’ll miss our Saturday night dates to the movies. (While they probably have a dollar theater in Columbus, we won’t have the free baby sitting!). We’ll miss this lovely, quiet neighborhood of big yards and long driveways. The Feller and I will have to find a new route for our father-son walks.

But most of all, we’ll miss Barbara’s parents. It’s been surprisingly easy for us to live together these past months. More than that, it’s been a joy, simply to spend time together every day. This is why we left the tropical dreamlife in Saipan—for these precious ordinary moments—watching TV with Dad, shopping with mom, sitting down together for Sabbath lunch or taking a day trip to Cincinnati. We’ve loved seeing our son get to know and love his grandparents. And I know it’s meant the world for them to have him around every day. For that reason, their excitement over our move is perhaps more muted. A cleaner, quieter house will be nice for them but I’m sure they’d take the Feller with all his noise and clutter any day.

Today we’re grateful for God’s provision of a good part time job for Babs, but we’re also grateful for the special six months we’ve spent here in the Leen house.

Below, are a few pictures from last weekend, representing simple, yet priceless and precious moments together.

Watching TV together on a Saturday night. We didn't do this a lot, because usually Babs and I went on our weekly date to the Dollar Theater on Saturday night. But last weekend, our son had the stomach flu (the same bug the rest of us got a few days later, I believe) so we opted to stay home.

A common sight in the Leen household during our stay: Dad engaged in the Sysphian task of washing the dishes. With so many of us in the house the stack of dirty plates and multitude of used glasses never seems to disappear, but Dad never complains.

Story time with Grandma.

Talking things over with grandma. The Feller loves his grandparents. At this age, if he hadn't been around them every day, they'd probablly be strangers to him whenever they did see him. Now I feel that he won't forget them, especially since we'll see them on a fairly regular basis. . .

Knowing how important it is for our son to spend time with his grandparents so he'll know them, we're working to get my mom in on the action. We spent a few hours in his room on Skype talking to her and Dawn via webcam. We're hoping that regular appointments with the webcam will help our son get to know and love his Nona in the same way he has gotten to know Barbara's parents, living with them.

After Sabbath lunch, this past Sabbath. We sat around talking for a long time instead rushing off for naps. I don't think any of us are taking this time for granted!

Thanks Mom and Dad Leen for giving us a roof over our heads, wheels for the road, hours of free babysitting, and most of all your patience and love in sharing your home with us. I know, to you it might seem no sacrafice to spend everyday with your daughter and grandson, but nonetheless we want you to know how grateful we are. We love you!


Mai said...

Wow! Big changes for you!!! I look forward to reading about it as it all happens and you settle into a new routine! I've been meaning to call but I've been here and there..... I won't call this weekend because it sounds like it'll be a busy one for you! But soon hopefully.... it's been too long since we've talked! :)

pretzels...yum! said...

Whoa, it's cool that Barbara will be up and working again. I'm excited for you two. I miss you guys too. I want to meet the little feller.

pretzels...yum! said...

Annnd, that's really great Elijah knows his grandparents. I didn't know nor do I remember any of them.