Friday, August 9, 2013

My Small Flamingo Dancers

I am sitting by the pool, writing while eating Spanish olives and ham with melon.

Life is good.

My sister and I went hiking this morning, trying to find the path to the beach. We failed, but it was such a nice morning to be out in the middle of nowhere that I think we may attempt to get lost again tomorrow.

Yesterday was spent walking through Valencia. We didn't get far - we had seven kids in tow, after all - but it was fun to explore a new city together, watching all of the grand kids interact with their grandparents.

Today the girls are dancing around on the pool deck in their new pink "flamingo" dance dresses, making videos to send to their daddy. Ainsley is singing as she dances. The words to her song go something like this:

I am a flamingo dancer,
And I miss my daddy so much!
But I will get to sing for him on Skype!
And I like my mommy too,
Coz I am A. Flamingo! Dancer!!!!

Seriously? So cute.

Ainsley does miss her dad more than I expected she would. She talks about him non-stop, asking where he is and when he'll come home. Last night as we ate dinner, she sat nearby, staring pensively off into the distance. When her uncle asked what she was thinking about, she answered, "I miss my daddy. Why couldn't someone else go to Baghdad instead?" and she started to cry. That broke my heart, it did.

But all in all, she is happy, even if she doesn't stop talking about her daddy in faraway Baghdad.

I know the other kids miss him, too. I can tell by the way they act - all just a little bit off. But she's the one who is most vocal about it.

So. We are having fun, eating and swimming and dancing and playing. But we are missing our daddy, and we are all-too-aware of the empty space in the room where he ought to be.

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