We moved to Kenya when Levi was 2 1/2 years old. We knew he wouldn’t remember much about America, but we’re realizing just how little he remembers the older he gets!
Last night at dinner, the word “applesauce” was mentioned. I think it was my doing. I made fruit crisp for dessert. The boys devoured it, and I said, “I should puree canned peaches to put in applesauce. Instead of bananas.” I meant to say “to put in baked oatmeal,” so I’m not sure why “applesauce” came out of my mouth. I’ve never made applesauce in my life! I have no need to do it, because my wonderful mother-in-law cans enough for us to eat applesauce every day of the year…when we’re in the States, that is. Here, applesauce is a rarity in the stores (not that it would be worth buying due to high costs and incomparable taste!), and apples are available all year. The point of applesauce is to preserve apples for the winter months, right? We have to pay over 30 Ksh/apple, which is quite steep compared to many other fruits (i.e., an entire pineapple costs 50 Ksh). Applesauce isn’t worth my time and money, at least not in my opinion, especially in this season of life.
Anyway, Aaron, Noah, Jacob and I were discussing how much we love applesauce and how much we miss it. I mentioned that Nana should teach the boys how to make it when she visits in November. That way, we could indulge in some of the sweet goodness AND I’d never have to make it! When I’m in the States, I could just eat Nana’s applesauce. And then, the boys could make it for special occasions when we’re living in Kenya. Perfect plan, huh? During this entire conversation, Levi was just listening and apparently waiting for an opportunity to solve all our woes. He piped up, “Momma, you don’t know how to do applesauce? I can show you! It’s easy. Just criss cross applesauce, hands in your lap,” with a huge, proud smile on his face. Aaron and I exchanged looks, not knowing if we should laugh at the humor, cry at the sadness of the fact that our Levi doesn’t know what applesauce tastes like, or compliment him on his helpful instructions. We chose laughter with expressed sadness and then we thanked him for his help on this serious matter.
Noah, picking up on our sarcasm, proceeded to ask Levi, “Levi, do you know what McDonald’s is?” (Remember how we saw one in Greece and Levi was completely clueless?) Levi proudly responded, “Yes! Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O!” We all cracked up laughing, but poor Levi didn’t get it. He thought he was right on both fronts. He was quite proud of himself for following the conversation and being able to join in!
Then, Noah asked him if he remembers Chick-fil-A, which is a place he frequented in the States, much more often than McDonald’s. Of course, Levi was still clueless. He was just too little when we moved here. Overall, this isn’t a bad thing. Kenya is a wonderful place to grow up. He has more cultural knowledge than most 4-year-olds in America. He’s learning a second language. He’s a very adventurous eater. He’s benefitting greatly from our life overseas. However, his lack of a memory of America makes me a little worried about how he’ll react when we’re back in the States. I’m sure he’ll be fine. It will be fun to watch him discover our homeland with fresh almost-5-year-old eyes. Then, we’ll get to see what things he remembers when we return to Kenya.
Be prepared, America! We’re returning in June 2015…and we’ll be eating applesauce, Chick-fil-A and lots, lots more!
Praises and Prayer Requests:
1. Praise God for the different cultures!
2. Praise God for the privilege of seeing the world through our children’s eyes!
3. Praise God for His faithfulness to missionaries, especially as we must live in two very different cultures. May we choose to enjoy all the good each culture has to offer. And may we use our differences as opportunity for iron to sharpen iron.
4. I’m 30 weeks and growing! Please continue to pray for Joshua. Pray that he’ll be a healthy, full-term baby; that he wouldn’t cause me too much pain or anxiety; and that he will be a happy, healthy baby throughout infancy (and the rest of his life…that’s not asking too much, right?).
I’ll finish with Jacob’s memory verses.
Psalm 1:1-2 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.