It's Saturday morning and the kids are doing a family work project in the side yard. We haven't been able to grow grass because the kids are out there playing 24/7. It's filled with stones, dust, mud and hard soil that constantly gets tracked into the house. Monsoon has officially begun and when it rains all the water drains into this one particular spot that we are working on redirecting. Otherwise it's just a constant puddly muddy mess. (Although we did have a lot of fun splashing around in there this week.) Ultimate rainstorm water fight.
See exhibit A and B!
So the kids are digging and wheelbarrowing out the stones and throwing down manure and blasting music from the window. We are singing "I knew you were trouble when you walked in." That song is so darn catchy. Oh Taylor Swift, how my children love you. We are planting grass and fencing the area off for the next few weeks while it rains and trying to get a good little lawn going. It'll be a good area for the pups to play in. Nicki and Nacho are getting bigger by the day.
We are cleaning our rooms and washing clothes and enjoying our Saturday time together. We're going to slice open a watermelon and pick some corn this afternoon and play a family game. The internet has been awful this week and I'm trying to get caught up on applications, and email, and facebook messages. I'm sorry to those of you who have been trying to reach me. Spotty internet and no electricity plus 330 something kids makes staying in touch rather difficult. I know you understand and I appreciate it. I also want to thank all the Nepali friends who sent me the sweetest messages and feedback from the article in My Republica this week. I can't tell you how much your support and encouragement means to me. You all make me hopeful for the future of Nepal.
I was having a conversation with two of my board members last night. We were trying to explain Kopila and our relationship with the kids in our home and our message. "We're raising children. They're like ours, forever, like when you have a child, they're yours forever." I loved how my chairwoman put that. When you have a child, you don't ask the mom what her exit strategy is. We are here for these kids and we're in it for life. Yes, it's a little crazy to have so many of them. It's crazy to think about them all getting older, to think about the future. I'm writing an updated business/strategic plan now and it's all so hard to picture.
I was talking with the girls the other night about how they never want to leave this place. They want to be living here together just like this when they're all in their 30's and 40's. We were all laughing and joking about how volunteers coming from abroad would all be younger than they would be and we'd all still be yelling at Maya to behave and Krishna to brush his teeth. I told them their minds would change when they're older and pursuing their dreams and careers and falling in love and starting families of their own, but I remember feeling the same exact way when I was their age. I never wanted to grow up.
I never want them to have their hearts broken either. Even watching the boys strike out at bat in their cricket match this week was hard for me. They lost in the finals and my heart sunk a little every time I watched them carry the bat off the field with their heads down. You never want your kids to fail or experience hardship and to think about them leaving home and going off into the world is hard... even though deep down you know it's all inevitable and part of the package and what you're ultimately preparing them for.
What do I really want for them? I want for them to stay close with each other. I want for them to always have this place to come home to, this place to call their own with good memories from their childhood. When they are sad or heartbroken or lost or disappointed or lonely I want them to be comforted by remembering a time when they were happy and content and safe and loved and to know in their hearts that everything will be okay again. I want them to feel loved, and to know that this place is their home and we will be a family forever.