On Thursday, the cheesedoodle would scream if I left his line of sight. Friday, when I asked the mackerdoodle why she was crying and whining, she looked directly at me and said, “It my turn.” “You mean, your brother was a cranky pants yesterday, and it’s your turn today?” I asked. She said, “Yes. It my turn.”
That being said, today she played very happily in the excellent provided childcare while Jonathan and I attended orientation and she splashed delightedly with about eight other children her age in two wading pools this afternoon. There are a lot of really great things here and I know we’re going to love it.
I know that when I can get the children back into a routine much of the challenges I’m facing will be gone; but what is routine, exactly? For a year we’ve done the same things, day after day, week after week. It was largely defined by Jonathan’s long shifts at work, and that was fine, but now an entirely new life is at hand. It’s not just a matter of settling back into what we used to do. It’s a matter of re-defining what is a normal day.
The thing is: in this new life “normal” will change from semester to semester. Jonathan’s work (he was officially hired by a Chick-Fil-A here) will be scheduled around school, and school will be scheduled around course needs. We’re entering a four-year period of enforced flexibility, and my primary job during this time is to make that okay for my kids. I need to create comfort and routine in the areas over which I have control, and make the differences seem like adventures rather than burdens. I need to be simultaneously a safe bubble of constancy and a change cheerleader.
In order to do this, I will need to be more deliberate and purposeful than I have ever been in my life. I will need to be thinking ahead and anticipating instead of reacting to the moment. I will need to be living each moment at the foot of the cross, because I can’t be all of the things I need to be.
I wonder if Jonathan is the real student here, or if the Lord has brought us here to teach me about my primary calling in life. I know, at the end of the four years here, no one will be the same. I’m looking forward to meeting the family that comes out the other side.