I've been around families a lot since I've been in Romania, especially in Pitesti. It's a change, for sure, especially after four years of college where everyone was around my age or older. Not a lot of families, certainly no kids and mostly just young people. But here I get to hang out a good deal with my pastor's kids, four of them and all under ten.
Here's another change: things feel like they're falling in place. There's a settled feeling. I'm doing my job and am able to be involved way more now, am learning an enormous amount. My kitchen feels like my kitchen (I think it's because I finally own some cooking utensils, mostly a spatula that assists in making fantastic omelets) and I feel like a grown-up when I'm in it. The truth is that I've been doing this for five or six years now, living on my own and feeding myself and paying all my bills--being an adult. I don't know why it should suddenly feel more like it now. Anyway, there's another aspect to it.
It's being around all these kids, these families. My peer group is now not just college students and singles but families and little kids. And there's a maternal side that's been coming out that I was afraid for a long time I was just too awkward to have. But there it is, and the other night I was at a birthday party for the most charming, wonderful five-year-old you've ever met. And while playing with them, I started dancing with his four-year-old sister.
You should know that their floor is hardwood. Or some kind of hardwood mimicker with a very slippery surface which makes dancing quite fun if you're little and someone bigger is spinning you. Or if you're bigger and you're sliding across playing bowling for little kids. (Kidding, but that could be fun, no? I know a certain nine-year-old who'd love it, especially if you were really good at missing but almost not.) Anyway, we're dancing and I'm spinning her, and all of a sudden she slips. Didn't think this one ahead very well. My hand was around her wrist so I had to let go of it or else it would have twisted and, I don't know, very possibly could have broken. So I let go (right hand) and with my right hand (no idea what my left hand was doing, probably just hanging there forgetting it existed) grabbed the upper part of her other arm, the higher one. And I have no idea how the physics of this are even possible, but she somehow managed to pivot around her other arm and fall in a way that gravity took no part in and then land on her head.
I tried to look ha-ha surprised so she wouldn't cry (look at those dance moves!) and she didn't but mostly because her mom rushed in and saved the day. So I say to these settling down feelings, this playing mom and wondering if I'll have a handful of boys one day (just wrote that 'wonday'--ohf, my brain), to the 'logical next step': okay, but I'm watching you. Sometime, not now, but sometime. You are good preparation, and for that I appreciate you--I'd like to not drop anymore kids on their head, if I have the choice, but I guess even that's good practice.
For now, though, it's nice just to be around other people's families. And not to have to worry about the logistics of getting to the point where mine might happen. Just being now, an awesome job and friends and good community, watching that turkey of a five-year-old and his brother and sisters light up the room.