When you read this, I’ll most likely be in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Hopefully over it, not in it. I really don’t feel like blogging or writing. But i’m making myself do it. If I don’t, i’ll regret it. I want to document stuff I’m thinking and no I don’t want to write in a journal. I’m sitting in the Atlanta airport and trying to calm my anxiety. I think writing about it is the best way for me to cope right now. If I just sit around I’ll start getting sad.
Because what am I doing? How did I get here?
Yeah, I’m going to Uganda, I’d tell people. And it felt just as if I was telling you I was going to the store. I had no clue what “going to Uganda” would entail. I have no clue.
I feel like I am walking into this whole thing so blind. We’ve had a conference call and yes, I’ve exchanged emails and texts about what to buy and what to bring and what to pack and what to expect. But it doesn’t seem real.
You see, this wasn’t a long planned out trip I’d had on the calendar last year. This just happened. In May. Going to Africa never really seemed like a possibility, and never my reality.
Ten days ago, we returned from a week long family trip to Oregon. Since the beginning of the summer, that trip was on the forefront of my mind. Africa was an after thought. So a week and a half ago, it kicked in. But for most of last week I was in denial. Honestly, I just didn’t want to think about it.
I didn’t want to think about being gone for 15 days. How I’d miss Meet-the-Teacher day or the first day of school. I didn’t want to think about my boys being sad. Or my girls needing to talk to me.
Sunday night Hayden was on call and I had promised my boys they could sleep with me since he was gone. As I went to kiss my youngest one, he grabbed my neck and whispered, “mommy, when you go to Afwica, I’m gonna miss you weally much.” Yeah, and then I cried.
The mommy guilt has been building the last few days. I’ve been so weepy every time I start thinking about being away from my kids. So like any guilty mother does, I took my kids to the mall (you do that too, right?). I bought them cookies and surprised them when we ended up in Build-a-Bear. I told them they could either pick a monkey or an elephant (because Africa) so that whenever they missed me, they could squeeze their little buddy. Lame, I know, but it made me feel better…a little.
But how sweet is this?
He named his elephant Water. Cause you know, elephants squirt water. Awesome 4 year old logic right there. And that picture really does make me feel better.
Last night was crazy. I didn’t sleep. I wasn’t the most productive either. I’ve been having a hard time going to be lately and so I just decided not to. Not sure if that was a good idea or not. Hopefully I’ll sleep on this first long flight.
I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting a few important things. I’m sure I didn’t pack some essential thing. I can’t think right now, so I’ll find out when I get there.
As Hayden drove up to the airport this morning, my heart started tightening. I kept my sunglasses on to hide the tears welling up. Am I really doing this? Am I really leaving my family for 2 weeks? Who does that?
I do. And i know this trip will be all sorts of amazing and happy and sad and unbelievable. I’ll try to capture what I can. I’ll make myself write even if I don’t feel like it. And here’s my most favorite advice from a sweet friend who has been to Uganda multiple times.
My plane is boarding in 15 min. Gotta run y’all. See you in Africa!!
Amina iso ijo is We Love You in Ateso.
And just so we don’t leave this on such a serious note… this is the family I love and adore and will miss dearly. They crack me up.