So I'm feeling about 95% extremely excited and 5% anxious about visit #2 to the Casa. The first week-long visit in February was a dream. I fell in love with the children, and for some of them, the feeling was mutual. As I prepare to return for a second week-long visit, (prior to our third, eight-month stay,) I am having flashbacks to the feeling I had when I returned to Argentina for the second time after an enchanting first experience (granted my first experience there lasted for 10 1/2 months, rather than just one week.)
When I returned to Argentina for the second time, I perceived everything through a different lens than I had when I lived there before. I was changed. I had attended Oberlin for one semester and had become versed in various -isms and "objectification." When I returned to Argentina, I felt annoyed by random people touching my hair, rather than unique or special because of their attention to my different features. I was more acutely aware of their language and bothered by certain comments that I considered to be "closed-minded." It took until my next visit, a year later, to reconcile my conflicting feelings about my beloved Argentinian community. I realized that there was so much love that I felt for them and they felt for me. In some ways, I was a part of their community and in other ways, I would always be different. I was able to be more at peace with my outsider/insider status. I felt that I understood the community on a deeper level, and in doing so, felt less annoyed and more understanding of mannerisms and language that would be perceived as inappropriate or politically incorrect in other communities that I was a part of. In my subsequent returns, I realized how rich and deep our relationship, between me and my Argentinian community, was and how much I wanted it to continue to be a part of my life and my future family's life.
So, back to Mexico! I fear that this trip will have the elements of a trip #2, in which my enchantment cracks and a little more reality spills through. More than my own enchantment cracking, I fear that the children's enchantment with me will. What if they don't like me as much as they did the first time!? Sound juvenile? Yes, yes it does. However, I started by saying that I was feeling 95% extremely excited and 5% anxious. I have perspective on "re-visits" based on my experience returning to Argentina for a second time, and a third, and a fourth...I know that this time will be different from the first. I realize that it may not (probably will not) seem as glorious to me as it did the first time. I also know that strong and true relationships (love, might we say?) stand the test of time and the test of reality checks. I'm just trying to prepare myself for this time to be different, in ways that I don't yet know, while also being so very excited to see those precious, wonderful, loving, and special children :)