4th of July Moments

We kept hearing the Home does nothing for the 4th of July, so I was expecting nothing. But it turned out to be a great day…

Bev is bustling around the kitchen, throwing ingredients together for lunch. We usually eat what the cook makes, but recently they’ve been eating exotic leftovers from a wedding feast that no American seems to enjoy. I help Bev set the table and prepare our 4th of July feast. We pull a table into the small classroom near the babies’ room. There are backpacks, notebooks, water bottles and toys all over, but it will do just fine. We pull the chairs from the kids’ desks, leaving the sweatshirts and backpacks hanging from them. Gathered around the table, we sing the Doxology and pray. For lunch: chicken casserole, rolls, coleslaw, cauliflower, fruit salad, brownies, and ice cream.

It’s playtime for the babies. They’re all laid out on the floor or in our laps. We sing God Bless America to celebrate their first ever 4th of July.

Like ever night at 7 pm, we start wandering over to devotions with babies in our arms. We pass them off to the older kids. (Kids middle school age and up can hold and feed the babies during devotions.) Eli quickly finds his favorite baby to hold, Hope, and he carries her to his seat. An older boy has chosen the songs we will sing tonight. Unlike most nights when the songs are sung only in Chinese, we are given hymnals with Chinese and English words. He calls out the hymn numbers in both languages, and the first is Jesus Loves Me. “Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.” I glance over at Eli to see Hope staring up at him as he sings. And yet again, I’m teary-eyed.

After devotions, we quickly feed the babies, and I sneak out to watch the kids play with the sparklers Anna bought earlier in the day. Most run around in the dark, slipping in and out of smokey clouds. One boy has set his sparkler on the ground to examine the glittery sparks as they make their way down the metal. Others watch intently as they join the end of a lit sparkler to an unlit one. Four older boys are perched on top of the playground equipment talking and laughing. I turn off my camera and stand back to take it in. Seeing these kids so happy is absolutely a wonderful alternative to being home for the 4th of July.


One thought on “4th of July Moments

  1. Dear Natalie, I certainly appreciate your message about July 4. It sounds as though you had a bang-up celebration and a fine meal. I’m sure Hope enjoyed Eli’s singing. Music always seems to be a comfort and a blessing. I have patriotic music playing on T.V. I had thought this afternoon would be boring, but I called Curt to see if I could go up there and play with my youngest grandson. Someone (?) gave him a toy motorcycle, and they took a picture of him with one hand on it. I told Curt that people will probably be calling him Harley. I read in a book recently that more than twenty-five thousand children die a day from poverty. You are surely doing what you can in Taiwan. I love you very much. Grandma M.

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