In June, we went back to the states for a couple of weeks to update a bunch of documents, visit a bunch of doctors, give a few missions reports, and visit our families. Given how much we had to get accomplished in only a few short weeks, it was a whirlwind trip!
But more on the “grown up” part of the trip later.
It happened to fall during the couple months of the year when all three boys are the same age; the twins had just turned 4 and Luís was still 4 as well. I always get questions when I’m out and about, but it’s especially funny when they’re all the same age. “Your boys are adorable! Wait, are they triplets?” “No.” “How old are they?” “They’re all 4.” “…But they’re not triplets?… How does that work?” Lots of confusion all around.
Anyway, it was pretty exciting to visit Mississippi (and Chattanooga!) with a bunch of 4 year olds who had no idea what it would be like. The twins had no memory of Mississippi since they were so young when we left (they had just turned 2), and this would be Luís’ first trip to visit. They’ve heard me talk about it constantly for 2 years, and they know its where all the people they love live, but they didn’t understand much more than that. Seeing it through their eyes was even more entertaining than I expected.
Here are a few of the astute observations of Mississippi from the minds of 4 year olds:
Halfway through the longest leg of the 18-hr trip to get there: “Mama, when we get to Mississippi I’m not going back to Peru. This is taking too long and I don’t want to do this part again. Tell Daddy to bring our house with him when he comes.”
“Where are the volcanoes? And they don’t have any mountains? Then what DO they have?”
Eating chicken nuggets from Wendy’s: “What is this? It’s not chicken. This isn’t chicken. I don’t like it. You can have it back.”
“What do you mean, ‘the water is clean?’ You mean I can drink it? Like put it in my mouth?”
“Why do you put the toilet paper in the potty?”
“Mama why are the trees SO BIG?”
“Why is there grass EVERYWHERE?”
“What are those?” (a.k.a. raindrops on the windshield)
“That scared me! That scared me! THAT SCARED ME! What is it?” (a.k.a the first storm that woke Luís up in the middle of the night)
*Note: We lived in Bogotá, where it POURED daily… How did they forget that so fast?!
“Why are the buildings apart from each other? It’s just one building and lots of grass. Why aren’t they stuck together?”
“The people don’t drive crazy here. Why aren’t you driving crazy?”
“We are in the car ALOT in Mississippi.”
At the Chick-fil-A drive-through: “Are we getting out? They’re giving you food THROUGH THE WINDOW?”
Apparently, reverse culture shock even happens when you’re 4. But they loved Mississippi (and Chattanooga), and they basically thought the whole thing was one big adventure filled with swimming pools, playing in the grass, best friends and cousins, and lots of attention. They told me a hundred times throughout the trip that they weren’t getting back on the plane to Peru (thankfully they did without a problem!), and they have asked me a hundred times since then when our next trip back to Mississippi will be.
I only have one thing to say: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. I might not be living in Mississippi, but I’ll raise boys who love it either way!