Instead I am sitting in Malawi watching Dakota's brothers roast marshmallows at 9 in the morning on a fire they lit all by themselves with magnifying glasses. I am glad I was here to see how excited they were that it actually worked, and to make sure they were playing with fire in a safe location. It almost made up for not being there for Dakota to watch all three of them sit and concentrate and then see their victory dance when the first small flame appeared. All the same when the sugar high wears off there will be a serious fire safety talk.
I know that some of you who live this nomadic life that is the foreign service understand the choices: when do you go home, when do you sit tight and wish you could be there, is it really worth days of travel to be there for a ceremony that will last such a short time? Others who's lives are different probably think I am a horrible parent for missing this event. We could have probably have (just) afforded the round trip ticket to Chicago for me to be there, but it would have been a stretch, and it would put our budget in a bad place.
Instead we have made sure that there will be someone there to cheer him on and take lots of pictures. Later if the internet cooperates we will get to talk to him on vonage or skype and wish him all the best. Then his aunts and uncle and cousins will take him out for a good meal and make sure that he knows just how proud we are of him.
*Teri, Jenn, Donnie, and Brenda: if any of you are reading this take LOTS AND LOTS of pictures today! Give Cody a big big hug from his mom. Make sure you get someone to take a picture of all of you with together Cody. Thank you!