Bangkok is a big place. Going to this big place by yourself when you don't know anyone, don't speak the language, and don't have a place to live would be scary. Well, it would be scary for me. For my little brother, it's an adventure. He's on a plane right now with a couple of backpacks and is going to spend a couple of years teaching science to middle school kids. Why? Well, because he wants to, that's why.
I have to admit, I sort of hate the idea of him being so far away. I have had a few teeny-tiny crying spells thinking about him being so far away for such a long time. But I thought I would be okay... until I saw him walk down the stairs with a tear stained face. Ryan was my very best friend growing up. We don't see each other as much as I would like (and that's going to get worse now), but he will always be my little brother and I will always love him more than he knows. I tried to explain to my kids that he was moving away for a long time. They didn't seem to understand. They weren't upset at all! I told Tyler that he wouldn't see Ryan until he was 8, Nicole would be 6, and Tori would be 4 (yikes! that means I'll be 31 when he gets home!!). They still didn't seem upset. I guess that's good, I don't want them to be sad. I told them that when I was little Ryan and I were best friends just like Tyler and Nicole. Then I asked Tyler if he wanted Nicole to move away for 2 years. He said maybe Tori could move for 2 years and Nicole could stay. The kids had lots of fun with him (and Uncle Jason) for a few days before he left. We got out the kiddie pool at grandma's and the kids laughed until they could barely stand up.
When it came time to actually say goodbye, I told the kids to give Uncle Ryan a big hug. Tyler provided the perfect comic relief by saying, "Bye Ryan, see you when I'm 8." It was funny and it made us all laugh which helped calm down the crying-fest that was quickly developing. The good news is that with the help of technology, we can talk on Skype, keep up on Facebook, send emails, and put home videos on YouTube. He can also check this lovely blog and see how big my kids are getting. :-)
I wish I would have thought about getting a picture with him BEFORE we both started crying. Time to put on a brave face for the camera.
Come home safe, little brother.