We’ve had some big transitions here these past couple of weeks, and I haven’t written much about them because A) believe it or not, there’s so much about our lives that we don’t share (I mean, we could be living in Alaska, teaching ice sculpting lessons to a small village for all you know, and these Florida pictures are all smoke and mirrors), and B) sometimes I need to process experiences before I share them to refine them down to the golden nuggets of truth with dramatic in-the-thick-of-it emotions all sifted away. By that, I mean I’d at least like to portray myself as having a shred of maturity because my initial reaction to change is–well, let’s just say unrefined. Basically, there’s a 5-day distilling process, and it looks a bit like this:
Also, this just in: Back to school sucks the mother loving life blood out of you. I’ve crashed on the couch the last two nights after “just sitting down for a second” and finally crawled in bed at 1 a.m. after I opened my eyes to realize it’s dark, no one’s awake, and everyone just left me there, lying on my casket couch.
We are past Day 5 in Reaction Time, so of course everything’s fine now and I realize these changes are miniscule in the grand scheme of things. The kids are getting older, more firsts, more lasts, new settings, new routines, less I can control because they are out of the house…less I can control because they’re their own people and figuring out their own solutions in life…less I can control because the only thing I ever could control is me.
So that’s what I do. And that’s what they need. I spend the hours they are away on me–writing, connecting, working, running, planning, photographing, organizing, implementing, reading, scheduling and possibly having a little time left to feather this nest they’ll come home to. This is the most important thing I can give them–a fortress of love and support to come home to every day.
It feels good, during this new busy time that threatens to sweep us off our feet, to grab hold to the things I know will keep us grounded–morning coffee rituals, family moon walks, holding hands, reading books, asking questions, beach sunsets, long bubble baths.
Someday, years from now, when my kids are out of the house and no longer depend on the over-the-top school lunches I make them to soften the blow of change, I will wake up in the morning, light my candles, brew my coffee, plan my run, wait for their phone calls to tell me what life adventures they’re enjoying, what hurts are stretching them. And there will be nothing I can do but listen, tell them I’m proud of them, believe in them, check in on them later but carry on with my daily routine of writing, making cinnamon muffins for the bridge group, checking our Amazon account to see what weird kitchen gadgets Brett ordered, redecorating a room that doesn’t need it simply because changing my home makes me happy. My kids will need me to do these things because loving my one wild and precious life is what makes me strong for them when they need me. And I will realize, years of drastic haircuts later, that even though things look different and even though my heart will long for days when our tub was filled with dinosaur toys and our windows were smudged with finger prints….not much has changed.
What have we been sinking our teeth into these past two weeks?
Slow weekend mornings to make up for the hustled week ones.
An impromptu visit to the beach when we realized we’d be driving by it right at sunset.
Getting lots of work done.
…and enjoying this little fortress we’ve built.