Sponge Bob, Mario Cart and International Communication

We are a couple weeks into hosting our international high school student.  It has been a fun experience that we all have been enjoying. I can’t help to think that some of those international communication classes I took in grad school are finally paying off! Last night as the boys were out with Keith to get video games, I sat and chatted with Heidi. She shared about Korean culture. I shared about American culture. We both learned about each other. What fun!

I’ve been reminded over the past few weeks that some things don’t require any effort in international communication. Here are some things that haven’t required any special explanation or finding the right words as I watch the boys and Heidi interact.

Sponge Bob SquarePants: “Do you know Sponge Bob?” “Of course!”

Any video game/DS version of Mario Brothers: “Mario Cart is my favorite” as I watch the three of them huddled together playing video games on the couch.

Bubbles: “Oh I love bubbles” as I watch my youngest and her blow bubbles and chase them around.

Sidewalk Chalk: The three of them sat and drew a whole Sponge Bob scene on my driveway.

What fun this has been!

The Empty Room

Our home has four bedrooms.  My husband and I share one.  Our oldest has one.  Our youngest has one. They say they want to share a room.  I shared a room for awhile with my sister. I refuse to let them share a room.

We have an empty room.

When we moved into our house it was just the two of us. We had only been married about two years. We had dreams of filling our home with children.  Let’s have four, we said.  Our neighbors would say, “That is a big house for just the two of you.”  We would just nod and smile. Yes it was, but it wouldn’t be for long we had hoped.

We have an empty room.

Things didn’t go as planned. We don’t have four children.  We have two. Well we have three. One lives in heaven. Two live with us. We still have an empty room. Occasionally it is filled with guests when they prefer to not stay in the basement.

We have an empty room.

The room has been used for storage. It has been used as “Santa’s Workshop.”  We attempted to turn it into a craft room.  We tried to turn it into a reading room.  But it never stuck. It was as if it knew it was supposed to be more. It was supposed to be a bedroom.  Yet it stood as a bedroom without a child.

We won’t have an empty room anymore.

Today we will work on filling the empty room with a bed, a dresser and a desk.  The closet will be cleared of the odds and ends that have piled up in there.  The room will be ready for a child.  The room will fulfill its purpose. The room will house an international student who will stay with us for the next six weeks and return again in the fall.

We won’t have an empty room anymore.