We took David to the airport yesterday morning, so I will be a single parent for two weeks. David has flown to NZ to do research and look at some properties. He was able to visit a friend in Auckland that he had lived with in 1998-99 when he worked there for five months. Tony works with a number of different ministries will take him to church today, along with a group of Dinka refugees. (David visited the Dinka people in southern Sudan and Kenyan refugee camps in 2004-05.)

David often works long days, so I don’t think that I’ll really notice his absence with caring for the girls, except that at some point I’ll start to go stir-crazy with no one to hand them over to when I need a break. I’ve wondered how other single mums cope, but they often have family support around them that are willing to lend a hand. As an introvert, I need time to myself (and usually a book) to recharge my batteries. I can usually find that during the sacred rest-time in the middle of day, so hopefully I’ll stay sane.

Brioni has been a bit sick, which complicates matters as she’s sooky, but I did manage to take all three girls with me for a grocery-shopping expedition after we got home from the airport. I carried Calista in the sling, Brioni sat in the trolley, and Aïcha rode the Strolli rider. (I really have to get a photo of the rider attached to a trolley so you can see how it works — it’s fantastic!)

Aisha, 3yo, + Brioni, 20 months, April 2008
One of the natural consequences of being one person in one place at one time is discovering what mischief the girls have been up to. This morning, it was playing with the dog nuts (again). Aisha carried all the bags outside and emptied one of them all over the verandah, presumably to feed our poor, starving dog. When I came out to check on them, I caught her trying to open the other bags.

Aïcha, 3yo, + Brioni, 20 months, April 2008
Here you go, Misty!

Aïcha, 3yo, April 2008
Both the cat and the dog helped with the clean-up effort.

Cali stretched eight and half hours between feeds last night, so my nights are virtually unbroken. In order to make sure I get enough sleep, I’ve promised myself that I’ll go to bed as soon as she’s had her last feed and is settled. After I fed her at 5 this morning, I was feeling good enough to wonder if I should shower and start my day.

Oli-cat and Misty-cat, April 2008
I've been left with feeding the cat. He has managed to sneak into the house several times, leaving me a trail of sneezes. I thought Misty would be enough to keep him away, but as you can see, Oli has successfully put Misty in her place and just hisses now and again to remind Misty who's boss.

Rather than feeling daunted by the coming two weeks, I see it as a challenge to excel. I was reminded yesterday, while listening to a talk on homeschooling, that God has called me to a sacred ministry — that of diligently directing my children’s growth — physically, mentally and spiritually. And these two weeks are a continuation of that higher calling, regardless of the change in my circumstances.