Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A New Respect for Our Kids

So...this past Friday I (Wendi) gained a whole new respect for all five of our kids.  I feel like I walked a mile in their shoes...and it completely did me in!!!  "What did I do?"...you ask?  Something huge and life changing???  Not especially... I went on a Field Trip with Jaylin and her whole class of students and their parents.  We boarded the bus at 6 a.m., rode for 3 1/2 hours to our destination, toured the cartoon village of Habakuky, ate lunch and rode back home.  We walked in the door of our house at 6:45 p.m. and I was in bed at 7:08...FOR THE NIGHT...exhausted and with a splitting headache...not to awaken until 8 o'clock the next morning!!!

Now, my time with Jaylin was priceless...let's just clear that up right now.  She was not the cause of my exhaustion!  :-)  And the other students and parents were pleasant.  AND...Jaylin's teachers are amazing!  Jaylin is truly blessed with a super fun and energetic classroom teacher who truly makes learning fun as was evident in that full day of observing her with her students.  So, you ask...what was my problem and why do I have a renewed respect for our kids?

Every weekday our kids go off to school, totally immersed in the Slovak language, and they spend the day in it...so, this was nothing new for Jaylin, although it was a bit longer of a day for her than normal.  However, when I am in the Slovak language, it is during Youth Group, or visits to people's homes, or  times of having visitors in our home, or trips out around town to do the shopping...and typically my limit where I can completely focus and do my best to understand is right around 2 hours.  This totally explains why our 4 older kids are much more comfortable and adept at the language, and why I, at almost 3 1/2 years in, still cringe when my phone rings and it's not Ed calling, or when the bell on our front gate rings when we weren't expecting company.

If any of you reading this were disillusioned to think that we must all be fluent by now...I'm here to dispel that untruth and to admit that I am still struggling in a huge way with it.  Ed does an amazing job communicating in Slovak (even on the phone!!!), and our 4 kids (Shaylee is still just taking it all in) speak easily like it's no big deal (even at home with each other).  This is an area of my life where I am continuing to learn humility and dependence on the Lord.  I am constantly praying for understanding, especially when I am talking with someone in depth and the conversation really must be understood if I am to give any sort of helpful counsel.

But...I am thankful for my kids today...who go to school without complaining, and come home with enough reserved energy to play and do homework and enjoy family time...because on Friday night, I wanted none of the above, I just wanted to fall asleep...and I did.  And then on Saturday I studied more language!  :-)

The cartoon village of Habakuky

The whole group
Jaylin's two teachers with one of the characters

Watching one of the shows