Talls and Smalls.
The Chinese exchange students timidly walked through our home. Eight kids was kind of blowing their minds. I started to think this was a bad idea. I could not imagine a whole week of these quiet people tip toeing through our home. My mind started to reel at how exactly I could back out of this. Every interaction between us and them seemed awkward. I told my HusBen that I was getting overwhelmed and I was doubting this whole adventure. A few hours after they unpacked their bags they ventured down into our music room…”Excuse me… I play your guitar please?”
I looked up confused. But truthfully I was just glad they were talking.
The tall one pointed at the wall of guitars.
“ummm… you play?” I wondered if perhaps she had never seen one and just wanted to try it out.
Talls nodded and I handed it to her. She sat down and she blew our minds and expectations away….”Hold…Hold on a second… let me get you a better guitar….,” my HusBen went into his special stash of guitars in humid proof cases….”here this one is a 1956 Martin.”
It turns out the Talls is a classically trained guitarist. It turns out Smalls is an amazing singer… like an angel that one! At the farewell performance Talls was the host of the evening and she worked the crowd making jokes in English and in Chinese. She also did a guitar solo that wowed everyone. Tiny little Smalls sang in Chinese with another guy who was no match for her talented range. Only five of the 40 students performed… and our Chinese girls did most of it!
Needless to say they were a perfect fit. I miss them already. I learned so much. Talls and Smalls visited New York City, Washington DC and Philly while they stayed with us… but when I asked them about their favorite part of America they both answered, “Being here… staying with you and going to the pool.”
Things I am forever grateful for from our time together…
- Talls reading the Jesus StoryBook Bible during church…each page read can never be undone.
- Evenings with all TEN kids playing kickball in the backyard
- Placing my two year old daughter onto the hip of the Chinese chaperone who has always wanted to have more than one child… but isn’t allowed.
- Smalls always trying to teach me how to pronounce her last syllable in her name… which I still can’t do.
- Being proud as any mother when the girls performed at the show.
- The kids hanging out and playing UNO and watching America’s Got Talent.
- Our conversations about how things really are for women in China.
- Teaching them to swim and all that goes with it.
- How He always brings just the right people to our home.
- Instagram and social media and how Talls and Smalls and our family get to stay connected.
- Every single Word that He told me to covertly speak into their lives.
- Teaching them the ancient American art of s’mores and then glow stick hide and seek on our last night.