Friday, April 19, 2013

Conversations with My Kids - Study!

"Mom! I want a turn on the computer."

     "You had a turn. Leave me alone."

"I want another turn."

     "Uhm, did that whole 'You're grounded from your second turn' thing slip your mind?"

"But I'm BORED!"

     "Do I LOOK like Julie from the Love Boat?"

"What's a love boat?"

     "Never mind."

"But I'm still BORED!"

     "You're still grounded from your second turn today. Go study."

"I don't want to study. Today is Friday. I don't study on Friday."
     "You don't really study any other day of the week either."

"Mommy!!!!! Come on. I want my turn back. I don't have anything else to do."

     "Read a book. Draw some pictures. Watch TV. Go to sleep."

"Boring, boring, boring. I'm going to get a job at the cyber cafe."

     "No, you're not."

"Why not?"

     "It smells like smoke in there because the owner is always smoking and won't even turn on the fan."

"So what? If I work there it will be on Friday and Saturday when I don't have school and I will work when he is upstairs eating dinner."

     "I'm considering banning you from going there again. Besides, you can't get a job a month before final
exams and we're moving next month. You need to focus on your studies."

"But I can't work in the States unless I'm 16 and that's another 4 years away! That's a third of my LIFE!"

     "See? You totally own fractions! Go work on geometry."

"You NEVER let me do anything fun."


Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Countdown Begins

We did it. We finally bought a house. My husband went to closing last week and he and the oldest son have moved in. YES! I finally feel like we're making progress. And while he's busy setting things up there, I'm busy taking things apart here. I've finally got my list of household goods, furniture and appliances made with prices so that I can hock all our crap and get the hell out of dodge just as soon as the kids complete their final exams at the end of next month. Am I excited??


And while I'm still spinning my wheels in some aspects of this move, I'm actually moving forward in others. Like I've already got a customer to buy my washing machine and refrigerator, my desk and shoe cabinet, and yes, even THIS very computer I'm using to type up this blog post. Randa's been running around the house putting "SOLD" stickers (made out of white electrical tape and a ballpoint pen) all over our stuff. She can't wait to get out of here and see her best friend in the world (her big brother) whom she hasn't seen in six months.

And I'm super anxious to get started with the next chapter of our lives in Texas; to be near MY parents and siblings for a while. But I can't help feeling this giant hole ripping in my heart when I look at the waves of the Mediterranean rolling into the fishing boats of Al-Maks while we drive past on the city bus, or when I see the   date palm trees blowing in the breeze and hear the fakahany (fruit-man) yelling out, "Oranges, apples, cantaloupe!" as he pushes his heavy wooden cart through the streets.

Egypt has been good to us over the last 12 years. We have enjoyed the safety of our neighborhoods, where our kids could  play soccer in the streets and run to the store five or six blocks away to buy a specific type of candy that they wanted or rent bicycles by the hour. We have fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy, bread and meats
within a block from our home. We  pick which chickens we want for dinner, and they are slaughtered and cleaned for us while we wait. Living on the coast, we pick out our fresh fish while they are still flipping around in the water-filled bins in the market. Our kids wear plastic flip-flops (known as shib-shib) all summer long because it's too hot to wear sneakers.

Soon we will be buying our foods in supermarkets and wearing shoes and driving everywhere instead of walking or catching the bus. We'll  be living the suburban dream on a much tighter budget. I'll be able to buy ketchup and mayonnaise instead of having to make it at home because it's cheaper. I'll be happy that we are together as a family; that we are near my parents; that if we want to go away for the weekend and have a full tank of gas that we can just jump in the car and go for 2 hours in any direction and stay with any one of my amazing cousins, aunts, or uncles....and without having to watch the news or call around to find out if there are any political demonstrations scheduled first.

I will miss Egypt terribly. I will miss my friends and my family here. I will miss the natural beauty here and the light-hearted and generous people that I now consider to be my own.

But I'm ready for Texas again...Yee-ha, y'all. Here I come.