Tuesday, February 23, 2021

is this thing on?

 Hello... um, hi. It's me, Shannon. Dusting off the old blog here. I feel like somehow blogging isn't a thing anymore unless you're an influencer linking to the products for your nighttime skincare routine (which, by the way I do appreciate). But my mom still blogs, still typing away sharing her voice and her wisdom, a picture of her life in the season she's in and I still love to read it. And maybe one day my boys will wish I had written down more for them about what their mom and our little family was up to. And somehow I have an almost 18month old and while it seems impossible that I could ever forget the way he turns and looks at you and sticks his tongue out, or the way he immediately starts clapping  and bouncing whenever music comes on, or the way his big brother sings "when you pretend you can be anything" ... I don't want to leave it up to chance. 

So where am I? How am I? Basically I'm fine, we're fine, everything's fine. Like I said above, Will turned one a few months back and is becoming a toddler despite my best efforts to keep him a baby. I absolutely love this age so much. He's running, climbing, jumping, bouncing, dancing all over the place. But he's also so snuggly, giving big squeezes and pulling book after book off the shelves to read cuddled up in our laps.  His sweet little voice is trying new words every day and he loves to growl like a dinosaur and yell like a hooligan. He still nurses, sleeps great, and looks so much like his brother did at this age but with a mop of blonde hair instead of brown.


Speaking of his brother... Tommy and him are becoming actual friends.  I love watching them really play together and hearing the sounds of them chasing each other around, giggling and falling on top of each other is the loudest most joyful soundtrack in our house. Tommy is going to be four before I know it. He is so smart and nothing gets past him. If he hears a word he doesn't know he drills it down. He also loves to read and read and read with mommy and daddy.  He got a bunch of floor puzzles for Christmas this year and likes to do them all by himself and then ask us if we're so proud of him. We are! He asks endless questions, loves to sing loudly, has acquired quite the collection of airplanes, and is always coming up with new and elaborate ways to delay bedtime. One of the things that makes my heart so happy is all the little friends Tommy has made and hearing from their mamas how they all say Tommy is their best friend. I hope he makes and keeps friends easily his whole life long! Our neighborhood is full of little boys his age and he is never without a playmate. I hope we can find that wherever we go next. 

The countdown has started for our time left in Korea and Facetime has made the distance between us and our family seem a lot less than the 14 hours and 8,000 miles it actually is. I think everyone experienced a little homesickness this past year, even if you live just around the corner from family, we've all felt that tug of isolation and a longing to just be with our people. I knew I'd miss our family but I think it was made especially hard by that thing were all sick of talking about: covid. Rather than being busy and distracted with exploring Korea and all around Asia, going and doing as many things as we possibly could during our short assignment here, we were stuck in a groundhog's day loop, inside a very small bubble. And I'll admit that I often found myself thinking that if we were back in the states at least we could be with our family.  

But things have the illusion of settling down here. Restrictions are being lifted slowly but surely and there is hope for the remaining months we have left in Korea. I know we wont get to do even a fraction of the traveling I had imagined we would, but even now I wouldn't trade our time here. Despite some of the complaining I may have done, I still would have chosen to spend these strange months of social distancing, mask wearing, isolation in Korea.  We love this country, the community we've met, all the bizarre and wonderful quirks, the beauty we've seen. We got to- we're still getting to- experience life in a foreign country and explore a corner of the world very few people ever have a chance to see.  

We may never travel off the peninsula like we hoped to, but if nothing else, I want to leave here feeling like I did Korea right! We're putting some fun little trips on our calendar and even though traveling with two little ones, especially after spending so much time not going anywhere at all, can be overwhelming we're doing it. We're busting out of our comfort zone... and lets be honest... going anywhere I'm not familiar with the parking situation here is outside of my comfort zone. (Will I be able to fit my jeep into that tiny space? What if the parking garage doesn't accept foreign credit cards? If I park on the street will I get a ticket? Sometimes those questions keep me at home.) 

Our next duty station is still a bit up in the air and I strongly dislike (trying really hard not to use the word "hate" here...) the uncertainty and the feelings of being totally out of control over our lives. Since we can't do anything concrete just yet I have zillow searches saved for rental homes in several corners of the country, we've paid deposits on 4 preschools in almost as many states, and I've joined facebook spouse's groups for a couple different posts. So whenever we do get the final word I'll be ready. 

But I'm not going to be one of those people counting down the days until we leave because I know I'm going to be sad to say goodbye to this place we were lucky to call home for a short while.  We're on the downhill side of this assignment, though and before I know it... we'll be scheduling movers, selling our cars to a frazzled fresh-off-the-plane family, canceling phone plans and trying to remember where we stuck our U.S. sim cards, going to our favorite restaurants for last meals, saying goodbye to the friends and the playgrounds that made covid-19, HPCON-C measures bearable. Then it will be on to the next adventure!