Empty nesters

on Friday, August 3, 2012
Reuben and I have been parents for the past 3 weeks.  No, we did not secretly have a baby; we've been hosting two girls for the Dalat ESL summer camp.   I don't know what I was thinking when I agreed to do it; it was probably some fond memories of exchange students in my past.  We hosted two 13-year old girls from China.  One of them had some serious homesickness and was crying before she even entered our house for the first time.  She cried for the first 3 days; she and the other girl fought and yelled at each other for the first few days as well; finally, they learned to share a room with each other, thank goodness.  They were busy all day at school, and spent most of their evenings in their room, so the whole "homestay" thing was pretty easy on our part.  We definitely learned a lot about parenting (as much as you can by suddenly needing to care for a 13 year old) including things such as cooking for four (we have cooking for 2 down to a science!), arranging playdates, wondering when and if it's ok to leave them home alone, and how to still do adult things like try to have a long conversation with someone with children standing by absolutely bored out of their minds (I remember feeling this way when having to wait to go home after church with my parents!).

We said goodbye to them today, and I have to admit that I was excited to come home empty-handed.  If there is one thing that I have appreciated about living here, it is having our own place, all to ourselves.  Who knew it would feel so good to give away children?