In Christi’s much-mocked note to me, she counseled, “Be happy and enjoy this time as much as you can.” Fantastic counsel. I can honestly say today was one of the best days of my life. I have so enjoyed the company of my three oldest daughters. I am really trying to live by the adage, “Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff!” And it really isJ. It has been an incredibly endearing bonding experience to be half way around the world with just the three of them. Over the years I have had many opportunities through sports and camping to make some fantastic memories and bonds with my older boys. But those opportunities have been less frequent with my girls. As I have now officially retired from coaching, I have been able to enjoy more of these experiences. And the results in my relationships with the girls are very evident.
We were up at 7:45 today to get ready for a trip to the Guangzhou safari. Aside from the rain, it was quite wonderful. We saw all kinds of wildlife up close as we rode through the “Safari on wheels” portion of the park. Then we were able to walk through the other areas and see pandas and koalas, tigers and dinosaurs (pretty decent Jurassic Park fare). We even got to feed giraffes out of our hands. Those are some pretty long tongues!!! After resting for a while back at the hotel, we took a taxi down to Shamian Island, did some shopping and had dinner. There is something about an outdoor meal at Lucy’s that completes my adoption tripJ. We found some cross stitch patterns for the girls that will hopefully keep them interested for a portion of that long plane ride home. Also found some good gotcha gifts and grand bag items.
Today’s best lines:
Jessica (an email novice) while watching me type my email address into an online form: “Hotmail?!? What’s that mean?” Then, after a couple seconds of thought, and with a suspicious look in her eyes, “Does that mean Christianne mail???”
Cali, at dinner after yet another taxi ride, (and through Graci as an interpreter): “Daddy, why do you always ask the taxi drivers the same questions?” This, of course, was a reference to the fact that I can only ask about two questions in Chinese: “Are you from Guangzhou?” and “Do you have any children?” The funny part was that on the way home, we were in another taxi and I asked the driver, “Are you from Guangzhou?” Cali immediately started cracking up and mocked me in front of everyone. She has quite the sense of humor.
I am so excited to get home to my family and to the States and to Christmas. But I am truly going to miss China and Guangzhou and the time I have here to focus entirely on three of my precious children. Life is beautiful.