We have been living in one hotel or another for the better part of two weeks. When we arrived at the trendy Aloft hotel in Dallas, I wasn't quite sure how it was going to go. It felt weird to drag my small kids past the bar area filled with sharply dressed business people, to enter the aromatherapy-infused, club music-filled elevator, and to see the strange, modern lighting in the halls. In short, I felt out of place.
Even the room felt foreign. The two beds were low, there was no bath tub, just a shower with no ledge or lip, and there was a second peephole in the door at eye level with the kids. At first I wondered if they put all families with small kids in rooms like these. Finally it dawned on me that we were in a room intended for individuals with physical disabilities. Does having 4 kids ages 7 and under make us physically disabled? Perhaps...
I certainly felt incapacitated each time we paraded through the lobby. Whether I was hissing at one child to hop off the rock sculpture, pulling another's hands out of the decorative fountain, or chasing the baby who had escaped through the motion sensor doors into the parking lot...again, it was pretty clear we were out of our element.
Don't get me wrong. The kids have been a huge help. From the start they have done everything in their power to make this place feel like home. Jack peed on wall the very first time he climbed on the potty. "Sowwy, Mama. I jus forgot to aim down." Meanwhile, Caleb crushed crackers into the carpet and smeared watermelon on the sheets. Parker left Lego masterpieces on the edge of the table and howled in surprised anguish when they were promptly destroyed by younger siblings. Maddie left a colorful trail of shoes, clothing, and accessories wherever she went.
Each night we wheeled Caleb's crib into the shower stall, just far enough away from the wall so he couldn't reach the built-in shower gel dispenser. Each night someone had to use the restroom. In the lobby. 3 floors down.
Hear me, friends. I.am.not.complaining. I promise. I am attempting to be humorous as I share this slice of our crazy life. But I recognize this is a crazy, beautiful life.
We tuck our kids into soft beds every night. Yes, Caleb's crib gets wheeled into the shower, but Caleb is in a crib! He has a cozy, quiet place to sleep! So we have to go to the lobby if we have to use the bathroom, we HAVE a bathroom to use. Modern plumbing is readily available. We have food to eat at every single meal. We have the freedom to openly thank God before each meal. Without fear.
Meanwhile, there are refugees fleeing ISIS. Refugees with children just like ours and nothing like ours. Who don't have beds or bathrooms or food or freedom. Running for their very lives.
Tonight my thought and prayers are with them. Tonight I am so thankful for this cramped, cozy hotel room. May we be ever-grateful for the blessings in our lives.