The Flow of Time in New Jersey

Time here in northern New Jersey/metro-NYC is odd. Sometimes it flies by, and other times it crawls. The pressure of living here with tight work schedules and even tighter budgets (in general we don’t see that “higher cost of living/higher wages” bit to be entirely accurate) makes us run so much that we can barely see what’s in front of us. Take today, for instance.

My little girl is 11 now. Not so “little” any more. I’ve been surprised lately by her changing attitudes and especially how much she has grown in every way. I took the picture of her included in this post this morning, as it was supposed to be her first day back to school. That didn’t quite work out, though. Their “new” school is a public school, as we removed them from the private, evangelical school they had been attending. My wife went to drop the kids off this morning, vaccination and medical reports in hand (everything else had been submitted months ago) only to be turned back by the school nurse. She complained that she couldn’t read part of the report, and that something was missing from the vaccination record. As a result, my wife ended up taking the kids to the doctor instead in search of better, more legible information to provide the school.

Run, run, run…then wait.

A week and a half ago my wife was naturalized as a U.S. citizen. That process began last year and continued through one rejection because the interviewer said a few months ago that she needed more documentation. Cris went to her second naturalization interview, after so much waiting and preparing and drama, expecting to be turned back again. Instead, she passed and as I mentioned was naturalized.

Drag, drag, drag…then success.

The evening my wife became a U.S. citizen I received permission to leave work a little early. I raced around and bought some wine, a snack tray, some flowers and a cake. We had a little family celebration. Afterwards I went to turn on the computer, but it wouldn’t power on at all. For the next week or so all I could think about was trying to fix that desktop PC. I scoured the Internet for information and searched for parts. I dismantled and rebuilt the CPU more times than I care to try counting, but nothing. We still don’t have a functional computer at home, and finances aren’t permitting a replacement right now.

Two steps forward, one step back.

This past Saturday evening we went to the home of a couple from church. Just before dinner the husband, Ricardo, mentioned that Armando was going to be baptized. At first I didn’t believe it, then I felt as though the world had rotated back several degrees. This fellow’s wife is a Christian and their son often prayed in prayer gatherings for the conversion of his father, but it seemed so distant. He attended from time to time with his wife but never showed any interest in the Good News.

Years of nothing, then a decision.

The reality is that time is flowing more or less regularly. It is our perception of time that makes all the difference. I thought two years ago that I’d be working someplace else for more money, but here I am at the same company (in a different position for the same pay). I send out resumes and see little response, but I keep trying. Either a few years from now I will still be here (shudder) or I’ll look back on this as a brief episode in my life.

Cris is supposed to start college today. She tested out of ESL completely and will be going into the basic program for first-time college students. I wonder if the evening will go more or less as planned, or if she will be stopped short again.

Hopefully, not to many years from now, we’ll be back in Brazil doing what we love.

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