It is interesting that one of the most moving and soul-enriching thoughts and pondering of this whole adventure would come while watching a quite professional belly dancer whipping around her hips in the midst of the first grade class at SMIC school, all dressed in neon tutus, dancing their little hearts out to a popular Chinese song that makes everyone want to dance and a sea of Asian parents snapping pictures as fast as they could (I fit right in here).
(I have to share a picture and a video to do it justice:)
It is one of our last days of school in China and as I sat here behind my own lens for some reason that random belly dancer set of a whole slew of emotions. I don’t know if it just caught me off-guard or if it was just the unlikely crowning jewel of the differences we have experienced but I was just so incredibly overcome with pure gratitude for this experience. So grateful for the myriads of thoughts and woes and worry and humor and love and glory we have felt here in China. Tears pooled up in my eyes and it was all I could do not to let them spill out. I’m just so grateful.
I never want to take this for granted.
The rest of the concert (after the belly dancer number) turned into the Nutcracker, and who doesn’t love the Nutcracker?
Lucy’s class kind of “introduced” the rest of the program. She was very excited for a chance to wear her baptism dress again (since she was supposed to wear something fancy) and do curtsies over and over again while the narrators spoke. She took her job very seriously as you can see:
I couldn’t believe the costumes and how cute all the dancing was.
This trip has changed us in so may ways. It has opened our eyes and knit together our hearts. It has taught us so much gratitude. For cultures. For differences. For languages. For the world. For growth from trials. For HOME. And for FAMILY. It has been tough. We came here with eyes wide open that it would be hard, but how can you really brace yourself for “hard” when you don’t even know what kind of “hard” is coming your way? But oh how grateful I am for all we have learned in the process.
We will forever be grateful for this blip in time (really that’s all it is in the whole scheme of things) that had the power bond us like nothing else and to do so much to our hearts and our souls and our faith and our love.