He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Friday, December 10, 2010

"Mean As Wattie's Peas!"

Dated 28th Nov 2010

My children, especially the two older ones, loved frozen
Wattie’s Peas when we were still in Malaysia. They would snack on it at any
time and although it was a bit pricey I thought it’s a really healthy snack,
so, I was certainly thankful for Wattie’s Peas!

When we came here I realized it’s a Kiwi brand and, just
like most of the things here in NZ, it’s more expensive to buy here than abroad,
although Malaysia only imports this product from here! Hmmm, the intricacies of
economics! And soon, I stopped buying it because my children totally lost
interest in it. When my older boy comes for holiday here I would load the freezer with
bags of it and they hardly get touched by the time he leaves again. Then we
realized, actually, it’s the hot weather in Malaysia which makes Wattie’s Peas
so sweet and delicious over there!! They eat it like eating ice cream or ice
block, to cool down from the Malaysian heat. Because it’s cold almost all the
time here, my children didn’t find it a “comfort food” anymore. Now they are
more into the “warming” foods which comes in the form of fries. I was shopping
at Pak n Save last week when I realized it took us 2 years to make up our minds
on which brand is the best for every “fry product” they eat. I was jogging
through the list in my brain while I was shopping and realized we take four
different brands: Pam’s Chicken Tenders, Watties Thick Cut Fries, Ingham’s
Chicken Tempura Nuggets and McCain’s Potato Wedges. And my daughter voiced out
the very thought that was in my mind: We will have to go through the same
process again in the US to find out which brand of each product we eat would be
the most acceptable to their palate. Two years. Yes, you take at least two
years to do that. And it won’t be just for food items, but also for shampoos,
soaps, cleaning liquids, toilet paper, cleaning accessories like sponges and
vacuum bags, even leggings, lotions, etc, etc. – practically every product we
use. Grrrr… am definitely not looking forward to that!

Annoying as it might be, this is actually just a peripheral
issue. (Annoying as, mean as, bad as, etc as… that’s another thing - learning
local English! It’s only lately that I found out it’s actually “mean as,” not
“mean ass,” or “bad as,” not “bad ass,” etc. :-D Yeah, I actually thought Kiwis
speak mean. :-D
Oh well, two years – took me two years to figure that out!! And to think in my
first year here I could understand only 50% of what they say – mean Kiwi
English!!) Well, yup, peripheral issues!!

The other day, my son was so grumpy going to school on a
Friday morning that I asked him if he had enough sleep the night before. He
said he was just grumpy because he didn’t want to go to America. This was
around the fifth or sixth time he had expressed this, and the most recent time
before this one was his status line in his FB. I knew this was serious and he
needed help.

On the way home from school that day he was quite upbeat
because his class gave him a “good-bye” card signed by almost all his
classmates. I believe it would be his most precious possession, next to his
computer, in the next months, or even years. So, I said, “So Jed, now you
really have to leave because your class already said ‘good-bye’ to you!” And he
said, “Mommy, that’s really dry! Just dry!!” Oooops! He had always said my
jokes are dry but they still laugh about them because “Mommy is just being Mommy”,
but this time, I knew I had struck the wrong chord. So, I said, “Ok (son), we
need to talk.”

That was when I found out how pissed off he was over this
whole thing of moving (again!) especially when he has already found friends,
real friends! He meets up with them or visits them in their homes to play
computer games, eat fish and chips and most recently, play some sport!! After
he has preferred to remain cooped in his room just playing online computer
games for the past two years, this has been a welcome change for me, a breath
of fresh air!! Yes, it took two years for him to find his own circle of
friends, and now, we’re leaving. There was nothing I could do - to persuade or explain about our move - that could
pacify him.  We explored all
possibilities, even that of leaving him with a family friend who has a son who goes
to the same school as his, to be on “home stay” with them. He wasn’t happy with
that because he knows he can’t bear being away from his own family and I would
be thinking of him night and day, him being still so young. But I had made it
clear to him that I, as principal applicant, will have to go to get this
immigration visa for the whole family, and he knows he has to come along with
me. But I was able to come up with a solution to our dilemma: I told him we
give ourselves one year to explore this move. IF after one year, for any reason
at all, he thinks life over there just sucks and isn’t working out for him, I
promised to bring him back here and stay with him until he finishes high
school, which would mean my younger daughter will have to come along with us. Of course, in
the event that happens, the three of us will lose our immigration visas and my
husband will have to petition us three and we’ll repeat the whole process
(again!) , if we three later decide to join them there. I know this sounds
really silly but I had to make this promise just to pacify him and feel good
about moving, or even for him to feel good about taking the Malaysian holiday
together with his older sister, while he misses out on the prize-giving for his class. I
could only praise God when we reached that amicable solution, and I was so
relieved! That pacified him because he knows I always keep my promise. So
there, from the trivial to the critical, the peripheral to the central issues, adjustments
at all levels are going to be made, and I just pray we will survive this move.
For the moment, that is the level of faith I have on this move.

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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D