Five Cities, Five Time Zones, Five Kids

They are in five cities – Cairo, Egypt; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; New York City, New York; Oxford, England.

They span three continents – North America, Africa, Europe.

They live in five time zones – EST, GMT, CST, PST, and Egypt time (which can’t really be described through an acronym)

“They” are my five children.

And it’s not nearly as glamorous as it may sound because I would like to have them all over for Sunday dinner. I can’t help but think it is sweet justice for my mom…. I now know how she felt with kids and grand kids in Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt and the United States.

Annie sits in the heart of Tahrir Square where history was made and continues to be the epicenter of events in Egypt.

Joel makes his home in Chicago, arguably the best city to eat in world-wide. Lake Michigan, the Sears Tower, and Navy Pier are all world-class tourist attractions.

 Micah and Lauren navigate the cut throat world of Los Angeles, home to Oscars and egos.

Stefanie, in an apartment overlooking Herald Square, lives life in New York City and can attest to the fact that it’s the city that never, ever, ever, sleeps!

Jonathan is in the hallowed halls and ivy-laden buildings of Oxford, England, where minds meet and mingle over high tea and classic literature.

At one time I worried that they wouldn’t have the confidence to travel alone. At one time I wondered aloud if they would have a desire to explore their world. At one time I thought that it would be impossible to raise global kids in a small town.

But now as I sit in Boston with their dad, I wonder when we’ll all be together again!

But for now we’ll text, and Skype, email and phone, praying all the while that bonds will tighten despite the miles and eagerly await opportunities to celebrate future gatherings.

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17 thoughts on “Five Cities, Five Time Zones, Five Kids

  1. I just was introduced to your blog and I’m so glad.
    This post sounds like my future :) I’m and ATCK from Germany and we raised our 5 daughters in Morocco. Our oldest is currently studying in Cairo and the next two are spending significant time this summer in Haiti. The youngest two are still in Elementary school, but I can imagine the day when they’ll be scattered hither and yon and my heart already aches. So thankful for Skype and texting. So thankful for eternity to look forward to. And despite the pain, so thankful for the richness of life the Lord has given me


  2. I echo Robynn. Too many tears for so early in the day! It’s so crazy to think that we’ve all be sent out into the world, but I know that I wish I could be with you for every Sunday dinner. It aches me to be so far away from my life guides and to be away from the people that make me laugh more than anyone else! Missing you on this Tuesday morning…Love you!


  3. Ah! And as bittersweet as it is, this time it is a “mother’s wish” and not a “mother’s curse.” You have children just like you (as your own mother did). It is glorious! And you do have one in the same time zone! That’s got to be a plus.


  4. Always something to be grateful for. When my father in law went to study in Germany he only returned years later when his studies had finished, now we all are jetting off everywhere. The difference is that he wrote down all his experiences in letters and later in a book so now decades later we all can still be part of it, even with all the modern communication or maybe because of it there is not enough time to share all the tiny details of all that is happening.
    I had my family under one roof for a couple of days last month and my two daughters together for one night. I know how it feels,


    1. What a rich heritage you have in your father-in-law crafting his memories in writing! Wow! When will we get to hear some of them? And I rejoice with you that you were all under one roof, if even for a short time! Love you Pari.


  5. I have tears in my eyes. (I really should stop reading what you write…you always make me cry!) I’m not crying for your mother heart-although perhaps a more sympathetic friend might. I’m crying because I’ve had the same fears about raising my three here in Kansas:
    “At one time I worried that they wouldn’t have the confidence to travel alone. At one time I wondered aloud if they would have a desire to explore their world. At one time I thought that it would be impossible to raise global kids in a small town.”
    This is one of my very worst fears. It would drive me insane if they settled somewhere safe and predictable. I so want them to see the world and be taught by it. I want them to grow to love a place and a people. I want their souls to be ruined by exposure to true poverty and the suffering of those without resources. These are the types of experiences that shape. That’s what I want for my kids.
    But I guess I’ll want them to come home too….I’ll want to see their pictures and hear their stories. Now my tears are empathizing with you, Sweet Mom Marilyn….


  6. I’m not a parent to wandering children, but my siblings are in Washington, Illinois, Michigan, and California (returning from China.) And besides the Philippines, we have one by one lived as adults in Morocco, Cambodia, Philippines, South Korea, Germany, and England. My parents are in the Philippines and most of my relatives are in California and Oregon. Sigh… Being together feels like some kind of crazy magic. And there is only one sibling that is still single, so we’re all waiting to see if he ever decides to tie the knot and bring about a family reunion. The third-culture life is interesting, but not easy on the heart…


    1. Ah Ariana – you get this picture so well! Thank you for expressing it beautifully with your last sentence “The Third-culture life is interesting, but not easy on the heart…”


  7. How my heart connects with yours on this one! My three are in Alaska, southern Texas, and Nairobi. So thankful for Skype and e-mail, etc! Can you imagine how it was in the 50’s when our parents had none of that?


    1. Exactly! And letters took TWO WEEKS! And by the time our parents answered them we were like “Why are they worried about that! That happened a month ago….” Yes so glad for the good of technology!


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