Friday, September 27, 2013

I'm Back

It's seriously so hard to believe we are already one month into school, and yet another part of me asks, has it really only been one month? Life went from zero to sixty in a blink. One week were still lazily enjoying our warm summer days, plunking through our daily routine at a comfortable pace, relaxing, laughing, resting at will, carefree to say the least.

And then August 26th came.

Now we wake early, jump from bed, rush around the house like crazy little ants, swallow our food without hardly chewing, bid and bargain for turns in the bathroom, grab our paraphernalia and leave the house, "I love you's" trailing as we run out the door. It's utterly exhausting. And we do it all by 8:15 a.m. And that's just a normal day. That doesn't count Mondays when Hallee has an early piano lesson, or Fridays when she has 6:30 a.m. volleyball practice, or the days she has early morning team breakfasts. All I know is the front door seems to revolve in and out like a wind storm for a while until it finally closes with finality when the last child runs out.

That's when I usually take a deep breath, look at my two-year-old (who has a backpack on and is headed out the door herself, determined to follow suit) and wish I could simply fall back into bed. But, of course that isn't possible. After all, I have a home to take care of and preschool to teach most days. And of course that crazy little two-year-old to be in charge of. And you know what? I'm so grateful for that. Grateful to have these family responsibilities because they make up the most important and vital parts of my life.

The truth is I had no idea what I was going to write when I sat down at the computer today. It's been months since I've made it to this blog, which both delights me and saddens me. I'm delighted I've been to busy living my life to have the time to write about it, but I'm always sad when I don't take the time to record important tidbits either because so much has happened over the past couple of months, and I know there's no way I will ever get it recorded accurately now that it's not fresh in my mind (I am going to try to catch up a bit, however, over these next few weeks). Anyway, life is moving so fast, it's a blur, and that is why I knew I needed to stop and sit down and write something. Anything. Before it's been six months or even a year. And I can't remember all that I am experiencing with my kids right now, all that I am learning from them. Because I am sure learning a lot right now.

I remember when I found out I was expecting our first baby. I was so excited I thought I would burst. Nothing could discourage me because I had this amazing secret--I was expecting a baby. It was something I had dreamed of my whole life. Motherhood. It was finally going to happen. And I was going to be the best mother ever. My baby was going to be so lucky! I don't know whether to laugh or cry at my naivety, but I can tell you, it didn't take long at all for me to realize how much my sweet baby was going to teach me and how lucky I was to be her mother, rather than the other way around. It's been that way ever since.

My children have taught me more about life than I've learned in any other way. As ironic as that sounds, it's absolutely true. I've learned more about patience, love, forgiveness, kindness, service, selflessness and so much more from them. As I have worked to try to mold these amazing little spirits into the individuals I think God wants them to become, I have had to sanctify myself and change my own attitudes and behaviors, and in the process I am being molded as well. I have my children to thank for that. They are constantly showing me a better way to live and act and be. Now, of course they fight and whine and complain and all of the other less-than-admirable things I wish they wouldn't do. They are far from perfect children. But they are so full of goodness, and sometimes I think I don't tell them enough how much I love and appreciate that goodness.

Just recently, something happened in our home that illustrated this very well. Nate fractured his collar bone during the third football game of the season. It was a huge disappointment. Thankfully, the brake wasn't a serious one, but it still required he sit out the rest of the season. For someone like Nate, this news was hard to take. He was the quarterback of his team and a major contributor to their success, not to mention he just isn't happy when he isn't playing some sort of sport. But to his credit, he handled the situation very well. After all, there was really nothing he could do about it. He attended practices and games and cheered on his teammates from the sidelines. This went on for about two and a half weeks. Then he decided he was ready to play again; after all, his shoulder didn't hurt very bad anymore and he could do some push-ups. His self-diagnosis told him he was ready to finish the season. His parents wisely thought, not so fast.

We took him to a specialist and got new x-rays and found out that his collar bone had definitely not healed yet and that playing football would not be a good idea. This was devastating news to Nate. I think it was harder to take than the original injury because he was just certain he was going to be able to finish the season with his team. He was crushed. He spent some time in his bedroom. Then he took his skateboard and left the house for a while. Nothing Dan and I said could console him, and Dan was at the point of telling him he could play. It was hard seeing him go through this trial, knowing how much it meant to him to play football.

It was then a small miracle happened in our home. I was just getting into bed for the night when Nate came in my bedroom with a small note in his hand. It was from Hallee. He handed it to me, and it literally took my breath away. It was very simple, but I somehow knew it would have a profound affect on us both. Here's the note:

(Sorry it's sideways--I don't know why it is and I can't seem to change it)

This was on the back of the little note.

We sat down together and read the scriptures. Tears streamed down both of our faces as we read together. You see, those scriptures were the perfect words and counsel Nate needed to hear at that time. They both comforted him and gave him perspective. I was so grateful for my daughter that night. Neither Dan nor I could figure out what to do for our son, but his sister knew exactly what he needed, and she loved him enough to take a few minutes to help him. To me, it was an example of the miracle of family life, of having each other's backs. Sometimes Mom and Dad don't have all the answers, and it's so incredibly awesome when one of the children can step up and do something that makes a difference. I loved that she showed love and concern for her brother; I loved that she encouraged him to turn to the scriptures for comfort and answers so that he could see the application they have in his life; and I loved that he responded with gratitude and love right back.

This is what he left on her pillow the very next morning:

Now because these type of things don't happen in our home very often, I have to tell you, my heart was full to overflowing. I felt so much love for both of these children. Love and gratitude. And I thought to myself that although our lives are very busy and very hectic, I am profoundly thankful that the most important things are still happening, and I want to make sure I take the time to record them.

And so, I guess I am back. Back in the saddle. Back at bat. Back at it. Back at this computer, writing about our lives because it is all so significant to me. And I think one day, when my children are parents themselves, they will read all of this, and it will be significant to them as well. At least, that's my hope. And if not, well. . . that's okay, too because every time I write about my children and our lives, I realize once again how grateful I am for both!