I was brought to tears this afternoon (even amid giggling) by my children dancing to their favorite song in their favorite movie, smacking their heads with the lid to a cookie tin and pouring out all of the water from their cups to splash and play totally oblivious to the fear and anger and worry (and fear) running through their Mama’s head.
There are so many things in my head right now, it’s like my life has become one TO DO list and I’m caught here wondering how the hell this is all going to come together. I suppose that’s a perfect time to lay down a stream of consciousness post. Forgive me if this becomes disjointed or scattered, I’ve gotten pretty decent at typing on the iPad but I’m still not up to thinking speed so this may get hairy.
We’re going to get out of Lebanon; tomorrow, Wednesday, it doesn’t matter to me (turns out Thursday is the day…more to come). I don’t know if we’re making the right decision (goodness knows it’s not the easiest nor the cheapest) but I just can’t live with the consequences of the wrong decision. Most of the World’s political and religious leaders are calling for peace, calling for an end to violence, calling for unity. In Lebanon, we’re 3 days behind because of a visit from the Pope, last night the Hezbollah Secretary-General called for punishment. His speech was on 12 channels on our cable box…not one dubbed in English and while I can order a coffee, tell someone my kids are a boy and a girl or tell them I want a sandwich and water, my Arabic was of no use. I was forced to follow his speech in printed news snippets 20 minutes post-real-time.
We sent texts to our friends and collegues (it was a little late to call). The first couple said, don’t worry; the others were prefaced with ‘lol’ because they didn’t think that we’d even know what was going on…I think many of Tom’s collegues would have liked if we didn’t follow the news.
I had already packed all the kids and my clothes the day before (I was worried about space) but Tom jumped into action to pack. My thoughts began to race:
We’re scheduled to leave Tuesday, is it feasible to get out earlier?
How are we going to physically collect the September paycheck? We just paid the deposit and first month rent in Cyprus, we’re tapped..we can’t dig into the tax savings.
Are hotels even available?! (yes, but we exceed the ‘max unfants’ or ‘max guests’ quota in many cases).
We just did grocery shopping, how am I going to use everything?
Are Tom’s employees and collegues ok with us leaving? Can we make sure they receive their paycheck on time? What if they think us cowardly for leaving? Are they going to look down on us? Are we overreacting?
I could go on but my TO DO list gets longer each sentence I write.
The truth is, I feel like a coward. I feel like I’ve worked over the past 2 months (the first month was just getting my bearings) to steel myself, to say, ‘Yes, I’m American and I’m here by choice and I’m not afraid just like you aren’t afraid.’ I took pride in the congratulations for embarking on this adventure (‘and with twins nonetheless?!’). I relished in a totally unique experience and I even brought my parents here to have a taste…
And every night I went to bed ever so slightly uneasy…are we safe? I hope so…
No. We’re not safe.
I want to believe we are insulated, I want to believe this will blow over. I want to believe this is part of the news cycle where every three weeks the news reports that the Apocalypes has descended upon Lebanon and then next week all will be well but I fear it may not happen this time.
As an American, myself and my family are afforded an amazing gift of requesting entry to a foreign country and nearly always hearing YES. Right now, that gift comes with a potentially very high price tag that I am unwilling and unable to meet. I need a rest and I need peace of mind.
F*** this grand adventure; this week I want safety for my children.
Next week…well, next week I will smile up at the stars, take a dip in my pool and be thankful for this amazing opportunity and welcome the next challenge with open arms because Lebanon has been tough and well, I guess I’ve learned a lot about myself and my constitution over the past few months.