Thursday, November 17, 2011

mostly grateful

Somewhere around thirteen or fourteen years ago, when I had a seven-year-old, five-year-old, three-year-old and one-year-old I sat down at my desk and began a very detailed list that included each calendar year through  2016 and the ages and grades for each of my kids for that year.  I think it had been a particularly difficult day in our little universe and this was my attempt to gain some sense of control.  I needed to know -- in black and white -- what I could assume for the rest of my child-rearing life.  I needed to see, in the middle of days that felt endless before 8am, that there were end dates.  

I also wanted to get some kind of lifeline to the day when my kids would all be at school and I could have the house to myself for a few hours each day. 

Fast forward three school districts, two states and all these years and my whole list has been shot to heck.  More times than not, three of my four kids are home during the day.  If it's lunch time chances are pretty good that all four kids will be grazing out of the refrigerator.  

Because this season has been unexpected and extraordinary for my family, most days I'm able to pause and give thanks for this extended time of bonding with my kids.  I never expected to be homeschooling two teenage daughters or living in a new city where my kids have not yet filled their social calendars and are hanging around home most evenings and weekends.  During those moments I step back to the fringe of the activity and try to capture the moment in my memory.  I know this is like a bonus season we're experiencing and I want to be grateful.

I say most days because there are some days I'm not quite feeling the love.  

When we moved here we felt like my main focus needed to be helping the kids get acclimated and that we'd be open minded, willing to try new things in order to help them thrive here in Austin.  We were hoping to lean into the place where change stretches but does not break our kids.  I'm grateful for a season I'm able to be home full-time.  

Most days.

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