Thursday, February 18, 2010

Skinny Jeans (or Thoughts from the Train)

I’m sitting on the train on a grey and cold English day. Wonderful, isn’t it? How has this happened?

Heather and I took the midnight flight out of Nairobi to Heathrow on Monday and, next thing we knew, we were standing in the pre-dawn rain outside of Terminal 5, waiting for my dear friend, Anna. Anna got up far too early, collected us and welcomed us to her kitchen fire with cups of hot tea while her sleepy family finished a proper night of rest before appearing, one by one, for breakfast.

We’re here for the triple purpose of my participation on the International Council of 24-7 Prayer, my sharing a bit with the Transit folks who are preparing for the adventures of service that lie ahead, and my meetings with my publishers, the good folks at Lion Hudson/Monarch.

Jumping worlds will probably always jar me, but I do think my infrequent slipping back and forth has smoothed some over time. Last week Heather and I were bartering for second hand boots in the dusty expanse of Arusha’s used clothes market. Yesterday we were standing in Trafalgar Square.

The richness of our experience is not lost on me. I am stunned by it. This morning, as I rode the train to Oxford, all I could think was, “Am I really a writer headed to Oxford to meet with my editor.” Writer? Editor? Oxford? Good grief! I couldn’t have scripted this scene had I tried.

The most wonderful part of this whole trip is that Heather is with me. Her ticket was an extremely generous gift from an extremely generous friend. Heather and I are enjoying the treat of museums and shops and friends and Cadbury’s. And last night, I had the pleasure of buying her a new pair of jeans... Skinny jeans.

I suppose it seems a small thing, but it made me really happy. Heather is 11 and she is blessed much more than she knows to live far away from the pressures of fashion and the Western emphasis on trendy appearance. I suppose that’s why it felt so completely, luxuriously fun to me to buy her something that seems so stylish and practical all at once. It was a treat, and not in the least bit scary because I knew the whole shopping thing would be nicely contained in a couple of short days.

Skinny jeans for my baby girl and the very pleased look on her face they produced. And next week we'll escape back to the land where no one cares. As the mother of an adolescent girl, I am keenly aware that this is called Having My Cake and Eating it Too!


Alana said...

So glad you guys are enjoying your English adventure. So pleased Heather is able to be part of the skinny jeans trend. The rest of us are excluded not because of distance, but because they look best on 11 year olds!

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Janelle lane said...

Its the thoughts that run trough our heads from time to time that tell us what is realy going on in our minds.
I am sure you would be feeling very blessed to have a young daughter free from the pressures of getting dressed for the day in the mornings.
The other added blessing is that Heather would be a true 11 year old, so often I look at Kids here in Aus and they are in a constant battle to be older than who they are.
Great news on the book too, I willl be in line to buy a copy, you are such an inspiration to others.

dana said...

Heather is blessed, indeed, to be able to journey across continents, meeting her mum's editors and choosing from the latest fashions...

and infinitely more blessed to travel back home and be safe from the temptations that hound our daughters here.

I love it when you write about mothering her and I love it that you are a writer!

Adriana Roos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adriana Roos said...

Loved reading this. Your words breathe life!

jb said...

safi mama!

Bethany Joy Dawson said...

Posts like this give me hope that I too might be able to 'mother' some day!

Anonymous said...

I loved your reflections. My daughter who is 20 has grown up in western culture but keeps returning to Africa, where she feels free to be herself, and at home. We are travelling there together this Summer, in fact (my first Africa adventure!) How exciting about your book... enjoy Oxford... it is such a cool place!

sifluralin said...

Wonderful Lisa, you writer. I love picturing you and Heather wandering through museums and in a cold, foggy Trafalgar Square. Best wishes on meetings with your editor! Much love,

Elizabeth said...

Lisa, what a treat indeed to be sharing this experience with Heather! You're so gifted as a writer, and it is fabulous that this door has opened up for you. I follow your posts faithfully and can't wait to read your words between two covers. May your whole trip be blessed, and especially your conversation with your publisher. Go with confidence.