When Mom and I were in Germany, we met up with our old exchange student who is now a mother of the cutest little German boy you'll ever see. Jeanette lived with us for a year when I was 4 or 5, so I didn't remember much about her. We had kept in touch and I had seen a couple of times over the years, but she hadn't seen my 8 year old brother yet, so it had been quite a while since our last visit. Of course, we never visited her. So, it was very exciting for Mom and I to get to see her in her own country. She was thrilled, as well. And, her having a kid made it twice as fun. She speaks English (not very well-she's quite out of practice), but her boyfriend and son do not. However, Ali (and, allow me to clarify - :coughs:Austin:coughs: No they're not Muslim. He's named after his grandmother Alexandra-his name is Ali Alexander.) has been taking English lessons. He hardly knows any-he's only 5-but his favorite phrase happened to be "English is easy and fun!" Whenever I'd ask him a question (in English of course) and he didn't know how to respond, he'd look at me with these gorgeous eyes and say "English is..." Yeah. You get the idea.
Marcus (Jeanette's boyfriend), Ali, Jeanette, Mom and me at the English Gardens.
So, I was thinking about this simple little phrase, but I how much it actually means to me. Not only am I thrilled that I have grown up in an English speaking country where I don't have to take the time to learn the incredibly complicated language, but I love the fact that more than any subject in school, English is the most fun! Easy doesn't exactly cut it, but fun-definitely. I love English. It's so fun! Okay, I apologize. I know, I'm a major nerd. But, you know, I just had to say that, because English is really awesome this year because Mrs. Sylvia is so fabulous. And, we're reading Les Mis. How much better can it get?? :runs from own nerdiness:
Me with Mrs. Sylvia (the greatest English teacher ever!) and Tiffany. :-D
Bah. I'm sorry to bore you with the dirty details of my love for English. I just couldn't help it. I've been looking at my Europe pictures a lot lately; making videos with them and continually begging my dad to take them and get them developed. But, I really want to go back. I don't know why I love it so much, but something about it makes me smile. Perhaps it's that God's glory is so evident when you go somewhere that you can't take for granted, and you see His beauty all around you. Thinking back on my trip though, it feels like a dream. It was dream, actually. A dream come true, anyway. It's amazing to me everything that my family did so I could go on that trip. My dad had to play Mom (with Jennifer's help of course :-p) for a month; it was hard on him. I remember the car ride home after they picked us up at the airport: Leighton: "I only had 4 showers while you guys were gone!" Harrison: "I only had 3!" Dad: "Be quiet!". Haha. As awesome as the trip was, it was the most rewarding to come home to the smiling faces of my little brothers, the teary eyes of my dad, and the "I missed you guys even though I don't want to admit it" look on my big brother's face. It was priceless, but definitely worth leaving them for a month. :-p It's too bad we don't get those faces every time we come home. We'd be one big happy family!
Mom and I were always close; we couldn't have gone on this trip if we hadn't been. But it definitely brought us even closer. We learned things about each other that will be valuable forever. We had to learn to work together, even when we didn't want to. Our first morning in London, Mom woke up with a terrible headache. She laid around for a few hours hoping it would go away, but she was out of her sinus pills and therefore had no medicated way to rid of it. Thank goodness she waited until London where they could actually speak English-that's all I'm going to say. I had to walk downstairs, ask the wonderful concierge (Rajick-made London that much better) where the nearest pharmacy was (to which he said he would call it, because he was friends with the owner and tell him I was coming) and walk there alone to pick up some medicine. Wow. It was actually kind of thrilling-walking in London alone. Even though it nearing the end of our trip, this was more or less a turning point. It was a sort of thing where we had to say "We're going to work together to make this the time of our lives." And, I know my mom would have done the same thing for me had it been the opposite situation.
Every day, I am grateful for the dream that my mom (and the rest of my family-including grandparents) helped turn into reality. A couple of years earlier, I had been talking to Cathy Driscoll, and we started talking about goals and dreams. I told her I hoped to go to Austria by the time I was 18. Being my second mom, she looked me in the eye and said, "Leslie, write it down. It will only be a dream until you make it more." So I went home, wrote it down, and now I'm 15 and have been to Austria, England, Switzerland, France, Germany...But that would not have been possible without my mom. She's such an amazing mom, you guys. You should all be jealous that she's mine. :-p We get frustrated with eachother; we're human. But, as many things as I want to do differently from her, I would love to know that I will make my little girl's dream come true one day too, just as she has done for me. Perhaps I would be better off just having one daughter; otherwise, that would be a lot of little girls to spoil (I'm sure glad God has all of this worked out). ^_^
Thanks, Mom. I love you!
Mom and me at the London train station.