So much of life is process, don’t you think? At least the important things are this way. Raising children, creating memories, developing character, building relationships, loving God more fully…none of these things happen overnight. Rather, it is a day by day, sometimes all-too-slow, movement toward an ultimate goal that is the culmination of every moment up to that point. Because the majority of my goals are like this – at times daily or even weekly progress cannot be seen at all – I treasure moments when I catch a glimpse of tangible, measurable progress.
One such moment occurred a few weeks ago in Bangkok. Our family chooses to travel mostly via the #11 bus (aka by foot) and the BTS, Bangkok’s public skytrain. This saves us lots of money and gets in plenty of exercise, but also brings with it plenty of frustration as we herd little ones through crowded stops and aging, poorly-constructed sidewalks. We’ve been romping through Bangkok for many years now, many times with me pregnant or carrying a newborn with other young siblings in tow. It’s always hot and humid, and there are plenty of reasons to gripe and complain. I always stand with the kids while Andy purchases our cards for the ride, and then we all walk together to the platform to wait for the inbound train.
Each passenger gets a card that you must insert into a turnstile, which then opens to allow for entry onto the escalator and then to the platform. After you enter your card, you have to remember to pick it up on the other side of the turnstile so that you can exit at the next platform. This requires lots of brain and body coordination, and when the station is crowded, it’s easy to forget to grab your card. More than once, one of us has forgotten to grab the card and we end up at the ticket office asking forgiveness and then paying double to get another card so that we can exit at our stop. All kinds of other mishaps can occur, too, like dropping your card, losing it in your pocket or purse, or giving it to someone else to keep up with, only to find that they mismanaged your card along with theirs. (I speak from experience:))
A year or so had passed since our last visit to Bangkok, giving our boys 12 precious months of body and brain development. This past trip to Bangkok, we used the sky train almost exclusively. You would not believe the progress! Each time Andy purchased the cards and passed them onto Elijah. Elijah distributed them to the rest of us and was in charge of collecting them from everyone after they had passed through the turnstile. Once we reached our destination and were read to exit the station, Elijah then passed out the cards again and we all, one-by-one, exited the station via another turnstile. Not once was a card dropped or lost, not once did anyone get stuck in the turnstile, and not once did we pay double for mishaps. It was smooth sailing in and out of each station, each boy going through the process to get his “own self” where he needed to be.
Watching the boys move smoothly through the steps of getting from place to place was a blessing. They reminded each other what to do and where to stand. Older
ones tended to younger ones. No one was left behind. Andy was almost always in the rear, keeping a Father’s-eye view of the situation, ready to grab any wayward heading boy. I was thankful for being given eyes to see how my boys are growing and learning and making progress.