But first, a confession: I am tired. I feel old. I miss having little children. I miss doing crafts with my littles in preparation for Christmas. I miss shopping with my mother. I miss being able to eat anything I want to without gaining weight. I miss blogging cute things that the kids do. I miss the days before I had a laptop and a cellphone to keep me from other things. I really do.
These adjustments are the hardest, I think: growing from a mommy to a mom to a mother. Figuring out how to keep parts of myself and let other parts go. Remembering how to feel content, to revel in blessings.
I am blessed: there is no doubt about that. I've put up Christmas these past two days: stockings and books and the old choir boys. The Santa teapot and the paper Mary and Jesus. I baked a batch of cookies and switched out pumpkins for holly. I still have Duncan at home to be my taste-tester and my picture hanger. Jesse pops in now and then for a bite to eat and a quick chat. Randy gave his last exam today and has just one week until he can get a little rest and relief from job stress. And just 10 days until my sweet girl comes home for nearly a whole month.
November was a crazy month— I think that is part of my melancholy. My mother fell, and, although she is fine now, the reality of my parents' aging fills me with desperation. How will I navigate when they are gone?
My mother-in-law's husband passed away after a lengthy illness that exhausted everyone. Randy spent countless hours helping his mom with paperwork and all the minutiae of hospitals and the business of dying. It is draining.
There have been good times mixed in, though. Like days off of school for the Veterans Day parade and frolicking with friends in Market Square.
Like a three-hour drive to a Civil War battlefield with 20 exuberant teenagers and a perfectly blue-sky day for the trip.
|American history class trip to Stones River Battlefield in Murphreesboro, TN|
Like Thanksiving break with all my kiddos home and lots of extras, too. Looking at these faces, I am reminded again of how very lovely my life is, full of laughter and good food and pretty things— and, most of all, filled with people I love.
Only one more co-op class for us, and then one week left for Duncan before break officially starts. He's going to be basically doing Algebra 2 for the entire week after co-op classes end, as that is the one class that he isn't doing at co-op and so, naturally, is behind.
And that's what's happening in our own SmallWorld as we head into winter and look forward to luxuriating in the quiet busyness of December.