The news of a massive earthquake in Haiti was everywhere in January. Images were spread across the newspaper every day and Meredith came home from school asking for money to donate to a project the grade 5 students had taken on to provide aid. I struggled with how best to describe the situation to her in a way that would help her appreciate how very fortunate we are in our daily lives without unnecessarily frightening her or overwhelming her empathetic nature. I ended up taking the kids out shopping for all the pieces necessary to creat a relief kit for the Mennonite Central Committee. It was a much more concrete way for them to see how our family could provide for another family in need. The kit contained essentials such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap and shampoo, combs, nail clippers, laundry detergent and so on. Also on the request list was four bath towels, so after much consideration, our relief kit was complete with Diego, Dora, Tinkerbell, and Cars beach towels. Meredith wanted so badly to add some toys for the kids, so the towels seemed to be about the only compromise we could make on the essentials. Aaron was helpful in his own way, asking if Haiti liked blue toothbrushes as though Haiti were a single person. I can't fathom the struggles of young families in that country in the days and weeks that have followed the quake, and it has made me extra thankful for the health of my family.
The other topic of prolonged discussion was our upcoming trip to Mexico! We leave in three days, and the small people in the home are some excited. Their suitcases are packed and have been wheeled around the house a million times. As they are going to miss the Valentine's parties at school and daycare, we made some lollipop valentines for Meredith to take to Kindergarten tomorrow,
I'm excited about being in Mexico (and about not making meals or doing laundry for a WHOLE WEEK) but am so leery about the 5 hour plane trip with Mr. Busy Pants that it's throwing a bit of a damper on the anticipation. Nothing being done the plane ride and sampling my first margarita by the pool won't fix.