Friday, August 11, 2017

Buddhist Bugs

Another beautiful spot along the Tama River. 
 The current was incredibly strong. The water was deep and freezing cold. The rocks were slippery. It took me down once and shocked the breath right out of my lungs. 
 But man is it gorgeous. 

 We found one tiny little ledge for all of us to stand on, but it wasn't so much a relaxing day at the river. The kids did manage to find a crawfish and some other bugs. 
 We wound up attempting a ramen shop with our small herd of children. There was one fella at the restaurant that spoke enough English to tell us to come back in 20 minutes. What are three mothers to do with a pile of kids? Go look for bugs at a Buddhist cemetery-shrine-monastery(?), of course!
 We thought the place was empty.

The kids were pretty excited by some of the bugs they found. They were being respectful and relatively quiet for a group of small children. There was no sign that anyone else was present until out of the corner of my eye, I spied a monk watching us from behind a screen door. I don't know if he was fascinated by the group of American kiddos or if he was ticked that we'd interrupted his peace and tranquility. Either way, we moved our mob along. 

We saw this row of buddhas and told the kids to pick their favorite and match their face. Chuy nailed it! This kid! I liked him quite a bit before, but this picture made me fall in love with him. I mean, really. Look at that face. 
 And all of these faces. He was cracking me up!

 I couldn't help but think of this one as the I-got-orders-to-Japan Buddha. I kid, I kid. I love it here. 
 More mimicking of the statues. 
Asher muggin' and Eden's little knobby knees...

 This little pigtailed cutie is enough to make me want to try just oooooone more time for a girl. Almost. Not quite.  

 Eden found the baby. 
 We had a fantastic meal at an amazing little restaurant on the river. We talked about life while sitting on the floor, surrounded by our children. We discussed our concerns of what's happening around these parts. We chatted about life in Japan. We talked about our families. We grew our friendships. 

It's in these ordinary moments--sharing a meal with friends, swapping kids out at activities, running into a friend at the post office, meeting at the bowling alley for lunch--that I get caught up in just how awesome it is that we are here. Now. With all these people with overlapping stories who get it. It's all so humbling to know that the details matter to Someone so much bigger than all of this, all of us. I am thankful. Even on the scary or sad or unsure or homesick days. I am so thankful to be here.

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