Saying goodbye

I remember our first two weeks in China. It was fall ’08 and Kai was 2 1/2. “Mommy, can we go out and make new friends today?” Either he’d heard me say it before, or it was his little way of telling me he missed his friends Micah and Maddox back in Ohio. Probably both.

Watching our kids say “hello” and “goodbye” is one if not THE hardest part of cross-cultural parenting. Because my experiences as a teen living cross-culturally I often wonder why in the world we do this to our kids. BUT because of the outcome of those growing up experiences I know it’s good for our triplets. :)

One of those sad goodbyes was a couple weeks ago. Josh and Kai have been good buddies for almost three years. They’ve had hours of fun playing Wii, Legos, Wipeout (with living room cushions), and at the castle playground. At least once a week I heard, “Mom, can I go to Josh’s house today?”

DSC_6818 DSC_6815

Josh and his family left end of May. They plan to be back for short trips, but the bulk of our lives will not intersect again. It is one of those friendship where not only the kids get along well, but Kev and I could sit and talk with Chris and Sarah for hours. There never seemed to be enough time.

Kai and Josh said good-bye and it didn’t seem to affect Kai too much. I’ve been wondering what’s going on inside his mind. This week he suddenly got intensely interested in snowboarding. I’ve tried to communicate that snowboarding in summer is not possible here in our city. :) This has not deterred his adventuresome spirit and he’s resulted to using a folding chair and “snowboarding” off the couches. Eeek! Why all of a sudden in the middle of summer the interest in snowboarding? Then it hit me.

Snowboarding is one of the links he has to Josh. Josh’s Dad is an avid snowboarder and Kai knows they would come back during snowboard season. So, he’s getting ready, a year and some in advance, to race Josh down the mountain. Kai even drew Josh an invitation to the snowboard race and keeps asking when we can send it. More than once I’ve been tempted to put a stop to the dangerous snowboarding-off-couches routine, but it’s his way of processing and not in a million years do I want to take that away from him.


The day they left Sarah posted this quote: “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore” (by an Andre Gide person). It’s true, but for those of us still standing on the shore…it’s bittersweet. Blessings of faith and grace, friends. We love you!!


P.S. For extra cuteness here are pictures of Kian and Zachary (Josh’s younger brother).

No, Mom, no pictures!!
“A hug, please?” “Nope.”
“Let’s try one little hug.” “All right. (Big sigh.) OK.”

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8 Responses to Saying goodbye

  1. Randy Ark says:

    I am reminded of the adage, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” Thank-you for the more, Kristin, there are many things that go on there, especially with relationships that are not easily conveyed, but you expressed this chapter very well. Such a blessing to have had these friends so close. Take care. Blessings, Randy

  2. Mim Musser says:

    Thanks Kristin,
    My heart went out to all TCK’s and moms of TCK’s as I read this. I like the health I see in you as a TCK who is doing a great job mothering TCK triplets. I love you,


  3. Karla says:

    The not-fun parts. :( Sorry for you guys and Kai. Hoping that your hearts stay soft through the good-byes.

  4. Neil says:

    Great post, Kristin! I moved every 3 or 4 years from second grade through high school. I know how it feels to say goodbye. Always hard, but I made it through. One of the ways it affected me, though, is I’m not good at maintaining long distant relationships. I adopted an out of sight / out of mind coping skill that doesn’t serve me well. :( I love you guys and think about you even if you don’t hear from me a lot.

  5. Linda Fry. says:

    That has to be very hard. Things are always hardest when it comes to our kids. It really doesn’t matter what age they are, they are still our kids. You guys are In our prys. Take care and have a good week!


  6. Carissa says:

    Isn’t it amazing how his little mind is processing this. That’s how sad we are that you are on the other side of the world. Love & pryrs always!

  7. Michelle Gallop says:

    Kai will make new buddies! I know it must be sad though…maybe even more for you. Kids are so resilient. It’s tougher for adults. I love the pic’s :)