I took my oldest off the chore list this month.
It felt like a moment. She’s working full time, 40-50 hours a week. She’s taking a full course load, 17 credits at the local college. She’s rarely here and when she is she holed up for hours in the camper on her laptop doing school. She still pitches in as frequently as she can, but when it comes to daily responsibilities, it’s not working.
She’s growing up. It’s a weird spot to come to, with a baby in my arms. He’s a bit of a balm to the soul, and I’m utterly grateful that I didn’t have just one or two kids. Life would look so very different right now.
Instead, I am teaching one to read. I’m teaching one long division, and one is learning the alphabet. One is learning to sit up, and one is studying world geography. Another is studying anatomy and physiology, and another algebra, while another tackles geometry. Life is so busy, hard at times, but wonderful. There are moments that I have to remind myself that these really are wonderful moments, but still.
I mean. My brain is scrambled. Once this week I arrived at an appointment early, sat in the vehicle and fed the baby and killed time until my appointment, then realized as I made my way into the building that I’d gone to the wrong address. I had to scurry across town and apologize for being several minutes late. I showed up to another appointment a full hour early this week and sat wondering where everyone was. My brain is shot. Tired. Overwhelmed maybe just a smidge.
But today, when I stood at the back of the sanctuary swaying with Creed to get him to sleep during worship, I stared at that line of these children of mine with thankfulness and awe.
Life used to be funny. All the littles provided a huge source of entertainment. Now, it’s different. Rich. Emotional angst. Being pulled in a multitude of directions. It’s changed, evolved, matured into something very different. But this week, when Stellan started to accuse, then rephrased and came out with, “One of you girls is REALLY good at losing hair. I had to snake the drain to get the water to go down!” I had to laugh. I keep trying look for the humor in things, because it’s good for my soul. Life is so different. Not nearly as much fun to write about. But good. I look back at the simpler days in past years and wish I’d known to appreciate them.
And now I need a nap. I’m not sure if it’s more physical or emotional fatigue, but these are hard waters to tread.