Sorry about the recent blog silence, but I have been a way for a few weeks. I went back to South Africa to visit the children's homes my company supports, and to find a few more organizations to help. And what a worthwhile trip it was.
As always, I arrived with a clear list of "business" objectives (ever practical me... can anyone say OCD?):
- Check on the children in the homes we already support
- Deliver copies of my book and educational donations to the homes ($5 from every Fei'd purchase is used to buy items for the kids)
- Meet with the organizations that run the homes and pinpoint their evolving needs
- Visit new homes, review their financial and business records, and meet their staff
- Select some new organizations we will be supporting moving forward
And yes, all this was achieved... tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.
But the trip ended up being about way more than just that. It was about spending time with regular, happy, jumpy kids. Kids that are no different from my son here in the US. Kids that love making funny faces and eating marshmallows and reading books and playing dress-up. And that is why I keep going back to visit them, time and time again. Yes, I need to make sure that our donations are ending up where they are supposed to. And that the kids are getting the care they need. And that we are sending them items that that are really useful. But mostly it's just to spend time with the children.
Because when it's all said and done, I'm a mom. Not necessarily the best mom in the world, but I'm a mom none the less. And if I know one thing, it's that all moms are on a quest to make the world a happier place. We can't help it, the second we squeeze out our first child (or in my case the second he is dragged out kicking and screaming with a ventouse suction thingy), we just want the world to be pink and fuzzy and happy and brimming with love. And of course it's not - far from it. But that doesn't stop us from trying. And when I go back to spend a day at a children's home 10,000 miles away, I get happy and pink and fuzzy. And joyous. And I feel grateful. I feel like I've helped make the world a better place for my son, just a little bit.
In fact, I'm tearing up right now just thinking about it. Sorry. I know this blog is supposed to be funny. You're supposed to leave this page feeling reassured that you're not the only imperfect parent. Or person. That I'm just blundering my way through life and trying not to lose it along the way. And don't worry, I'm still the queen of blunder. I stupidly booked my flights on the cheapest airline and was surrounded by people eating curry out of home-tupperwares for 42 hours. I left my sneakers in South Africa and had to travel all the way back in stilettos. And I packed stilettos because my vertically-challenged husband wasn't traveling with me and I wanted to look tall and sophisticated when I saw my friends (vanity, thy name is woman).
And now I'm back home. And the reality of everyday routine has hit me. So I'm trying to keep busy. And sane. And send big hugs to the kids so many miles away. I love you guys!
PS: Big thanks to Chris Geils for the amazing photos. To donate to the children's homes, visit www.homefromhome.org.za/