It was my goal on tour to blog every day off. Today is my first official day off at Mirembe house- for a very rare and still moment everything is completely quiet here this morning as the kids are in the house across from me doing school. I can faintly hear the strains of Steve playing his guitar, and if I really listen outside my little world of writing than I can enter into the sounds of the rustling leaves being blown in the heavy winds outside. I did put one of my music albums from itunes to play but just realized the computer volume is on mute. But I don't mind this morning- I'll keep the peace and easy silence for now.
Do you remember those fridge posters that try and illustrate optimism? Remember...they're the kinds of posters that have "I can't stand the person who sings loudly and off key behind me in church."...but then it counteracts that with "But I am fortunate to be able to hear." This morning as I was trying to sleep in after a busy and sometimes overwhelming feeling week with leading symphony rehearsals. I kept trying to push past the clock with every noise I could hear from the girls getting ready, girls coming into the room with questions, and the noise of 21 children downstairs eating breakfast and getting ready to start the day...and then this morning as I came downstairs to peace and quiet and a good cup of tea I thought- thank God I have a full house of children surrounding me. My time with them is short from here- and I am fortunate to have the energy of children fill this place of rest in North Carolina.
I have loved watching them play and being part of their world of play this past week. When we first arrived after performing our last church concert we spent a week in "camp mode". No school. No rehearsals. Just play. Movies, soccer games, walks to the lake to sit on the docks and read and draw and talk together, and a morning run with 8 of the boys who've been eagerly convincing me they are in good shape to do the run to the lake with me. (And they were!) Probably my highlight from camp week- we run to the lake, (while having the most entertaining conversation that I only wish I could remember every word of), and when we get to the lake completely hot and sweaty Hanny asks if he can go in the water. At this point I start to answer "Yes, but..." Hanny in his eager anticipation of my answer only hears my "yes" and runs full speed ahead, fully clothed into the water and starts to cup the water in his hands and throw it over his head in utter joy. The other boys quickly follow, running quickly in the water and bobbing up and down trying their best to get all wet as fast as possible. Nelson at this point says "Well if they are going to be silly, I will be silly too!" At that point it didn't matter that my "yes" was going to be followed by "but only to your ankles". We had too much fun. 8 very wet hugs later we headed back to the house for lunch, and dried off with a soccer game in beautiful sunshiney weather that afternoon.
Although camp is over, I want to be sure to create more of these memories with the kids. I've been frustrated with feeling like I have so much musical work I need to do that I don't have the time to just be with the children- I just need to remind myself- the work always gets done and I want to be sure to make the time for play. More pots of tea with the kids, games on the porch, cooking together, walks...And next week's day off I'll add to that list.