Nothing negative here today. My cousin, Tera, is spending a portion of her family’s immersion into learning Spanish here in Panajachel with us. She knows I have been struggling to find my footing here; she is a very positive person and is loving her time here in this beautiful city by the lake, so she asked me yesterday what about being here is paradise. I told her “nothing”. How’s that for positive, right? And she pushed me to find the things that are better now than they were before. Which I was able to do. Is that paradise? Maybe. Maybe not. But I am grateful she encouraged me to take some time to find something, anything, that is not just good but BETTER.
Which brings me to my thoughts tonight. My children are growing up and becoming more responsible.
On Thursday I went with Sabrina and some of our new friends to Quetzaltenango, which is just shy of two hours from here. We did a temple session and lunch, so we were gone for a large portion of the day. And Terry is working hard to create a stream of income for us, so he was on the computer a lot of that time. Which left Blake and Miri to be super helpful. When I got home, Blake was so excited to inform me he had decided to be THE helper and had done all of the breakfast and lunch dishes; and he wanted to do all of the dinner dishes as well to top off the day. He was so pleased to have been able to help his dad and take care of the family, without being asked. I think he grew a little taller that day. 😀
Then today, I walked Sabrina to her YW activity this morning at the time I would normally be making breakfast. I knew everyone was really hungry, so I told Miri she could go ahead and make eggs and warm up some beans for everyone while I was gone. She was so excited! When I got back she told me how everyone had eaten breakfast and that she didn’t get any shells in the egg and that it was yummy. And at lunch time, Terry and I were still working with a girl from the ward (she offered to help us with Spanish while we help her with English). I asked Miri to make lunch for herself and the younger two. And she did; she even cleaned up!
Honestly, for years I have been wondering where I went wrong because some of my siblings’ children, as well as friends’, have been cooking for the family for years. And some of them so naturally get up from their meals and start cleaning. Not so much the case at our house, where I still carried almost the entire “burden” of preparing meals for everyone. And while the kids helped clean up, they still somehow needed a reminder every meal that the dishes don’t clean themselves; as well as almost constant reminders while cleaning that that was what we were supposed to be doing. It was what you might call frustrating!
I know I didn’t need to move to Guatemala to teach my kids these things. But somehow it is naturally occurring as our environment and routine have changed. And those who are choosing to make this progress are enjoying the feeling of pride they get from being helpful.
For this, I am grateful.