Monday, June 09, 2014

Trying not to be a worrisome reactionary

Late in 2005 I was living in Montana.  The family and I had been there just over a year.  We were getting settled in and starting to feel like that place was home.  Or maybe we had been settled in and it was already home.  But that's not important to this story.

One day in November or December of '05 the local dentist walked into our house.  And I mean that literally.  I was upstairs working on the computer when I heard the front door open, footsteps wandering through the house, and a man's voice calling out, "Hello??"

It turned out he was not only the local dentist, but he was the local coordinator of foreign exchange students for the town.  After quelling my initial reaction to pin him to the wall and inquire why he was wandering through my house, I asked him what he wanted.  He asked if we would be interested in hosting an exchange student.

Mrs. Ref and I had talked about this earlier, but decided to wait another year.  That year wouldn't wait as there was a female half-year student whose previously arranged host family had cancelled and she was now in dire need of a host family for her to be able to come to the U.S.

Mrs. Ref, The Kid and I talked it over and agreed to take her.  It was, after all, only six months.

As it turned out, Julie became the first of many daughters we have had in our house.  She has since grown into a remarkable young lady whom I am proud to be a part of her life.

Julie arrived at the Butte airport on a typical Montana day in January.  In other words, it was snowing and on the positive double-digit side of 0.  She was bundled to the teeth, never having seen snow, let alone temperatures lower than 50.  She was from Sao Paolo, Brazil and one of the first things she told us was, "I fly from Sao Paolo to Atlanta to Salt Lake to Butte.  Every airport keep getting smaller and smaller and I wonder, 'Where are they sending me??' "

It was a World Cup year when she was with us.  We all became fans of the Brasilian national team and rooted alongside her.

Eight years later and it's time once again for the World Cup.  And this year, you may have heard, it's being held in Brasil.  On today's news feed I saw this:  Police in Brazil have used tear gas to break up protesters on the second day of a metro strike that has left Sao Paulo's transport in chaos.

Riots, tear gas, strikes . . . all in the hometown of one of my girls.  I'm sure  she's safe.  I'm trying not to worry too much.  I know she's safe.  Right??

Ish . . . sometimes this parenting thing sucks.


Reverend Ref + | 12:41 PM, June 10, 2014  

Mrs. Ref pointed out to me last night that our daughter Julie was actually from Porto Alegre, not Sao Paulo.

She also told me that, yes, she was safe.

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