Oh, it’s been too long. I’m sorry! I’ve been thinking of you, my dear blog, but have been busy. With, well, real stuff. Sorry, site stats, page views and blogging strategy, but real stuff will always take the front seat.
I thought of throwing out some pithy quotes or redirects to someone else’s awesome writing to quell my guilt for not writing. But no, I’d rather not do that to you. If I do anything here, sporadic as it is, I try to be sincere and meaningful. Not just posting to post.
So, there has been silence.
And, this last week, there has been silence around this house as well.
For the first time in 13.5 years of motherhood, all my children are in school. They leave at varying times around 8 AM and I get them back between 2:50 and 3:45 in the afternoon, based on the different release times of their schools. And during those hours in between?
That first day, I was in a fog. I realized that I had been so busy getting everyone ready for school, getting my heart ready for our family to jump, all 12 feet of ours, into an all out invasion of public school for the first time, that I hadn’t put even a fleeting thought toward what I would do with myself once everyone was tucked away in their classrooms.
And so, I sat in this living room of mine, looking at the dingy carpet from summer – full of shoe scuffs, spilt soda drips and a drop or two of nail polish. I just sat and stared and listened to the quiet.
There had been days, many in fact, where I had dreamed of the time when everyone was finally in school. When I would have time alone, time enough to think, to do one thing all the way through without being interrupted. To plan something, to read something, to even ponder something all the way through, to completion. And be satisfied. I’ve always been one, even as a child, to love my alone time. It’s just part of my nature. And my fearsome foursome have certainly challenged that almost every minute of their existence.
But, as I sat there, listening to the air conditioner hum, trying to keep up with 102 from outdoors, I realized that this was a new place. And not what I expected.
I missed them. Oh, yes. I had shed tears that morning. But I was also a tad bit excited, in the most timid of ways.
This is new. And I’m not going to feel guilty that I am tiptoeing up to happiness. Not happy because they’re away, because I love them with my entire self. No. I do miss them. Their sounds, their weirdo conversations, their random hugs and kisses. No, I’m happy because this is a new thing. Because I have prayed and researched and prayed and studied and prayed and worried for years about school. And for the first time, I really do feel like we are doing the right thing. And that is a very nice feeling, indeed.
So, I’m sitting here, listening to the funny sound that the ice maker makes just before it refills the ice bin in the freezer. Ever heard that before? No? Neither had I, till last week.
And, I recall what I thought just a week ago today, on the first day of school. A little infant parenting strategy that I learned way back when. The concept of ‘Anticipating Needs’. Pretty basic in fact – the idea of thinking ahead of what one needs before they need it. So you are there and ready, not anxious, not surprised, not interrupted, but ready to help them, serve them and make them more comfortable. Creating a place of security and confidence – that they will have what they need, when they need it. Makes for a much happier baby and therefore, a much happier mommy.
Works wonders with newborns.
Works wonders with school age children as well, I bet.
I’ve spent 13 years peddling hard just to catch up. Remembering what I forgot, making up for what I lack. Scrambling to do my best in a day that, for me, at least, just didn’t have enough hours. My own lack of something I’m sure. And God can do good through scrambling, don’t ya think? I know he has, despite myself.
But now, when I have some time to breath, I’m going to make the most of it. I’m going to be more intentional and try, once again, to be a few steps ahead of them. Anticipate their needs. Help them to what their little hearts desire, almost before they realize it. Think ahead and make a good place for them to come home to. A safe place, where they know they can be 100% themselves and be loved through every second of it.
Anticipation of needs.
And, I think, my dear friends – that is exactly what God has done for me.