Reflection

Feeling much too lazy to blog tonight; instead I thought I would post something I wrote 3 years ago–because sometimes it’s fun to look back…and 2007 was certainly a year to remember.

A Year in Review, 2007:

Funny how life changes in just one year:  Just last December (2006), I sat in my house (which still retained all the pleasant memories of my grandparents) amidst a multitude of much needed repairs, yet cozy and happy all the same.  I spent my days changing two sets of diapers, filling two sippy cups, and entertaining three kids all alone in the confines of basically one room—which by this point had it’s brand new Berber carpet, of which I was infinitely proud.  Sure, there were days that we headed out, to take Thomas to preschool, or to a friend’s house for a playdate and some adult conversation. But more often than not we spent our days playing with the seemingly thousands of toys that tumbled out of our back closet in the den, watching our favorite cartoon each day on PBS, and tidying up our little home— and always putting off the dishes and the sticky kitchen table until very last, in some subconscious hope that the detested chore might simply disappear.

In the late afternoon we waited on the red couch looking out the front window for John to come around the corner at Strader Drive—the best part of all our days. And our evenings were full of family dinners at our tiny little table with 2 high chairs, watching the nightly news while the kids played at our feet, perhaps an impromptu wrestling match that even baby Cate joined now and then, and our bedtime ritual of checking on all three kids before heading upstairs to the icy cold air in our room. (no heat up there!)

I did not realize it at the time, because I was just living and had little time for reflection, but that part of my life, including the previous year when I had become the mother of three children in less than four years, would be something that I thought of later with a mixture of disbelief and fondness.  My mother in law aptly labeled it as time spent “in the trenches” and as much as that time might remain in my mind as torturous, I can now look back and see the humor and joy that often go along with such hard times.

Things picked up in pace last April (2007) when we suddenly got a bug to move, (it had something to do with a little visitor named Stewart the mouse and finding my boys playing with shattered glass from our neighbor’s yard) and after spotting our current dream house on the market, we put our own lovely and beloved 824 Henry Clay up for sale.  The spring was a whirlwind of cleaning, and showing, then packing and moving, which I must say involved the most difficult moments I have had as the mother of three small children.  Something about keeping a house perfectly clean (which I admit I put that pressure on myself unnecessarily), then packing up the belongings of five people while 3 of those people fight your efforts with all the ferocity they possess, is just the recipe I needed for a near nervous breakdown.  Thankfully we were already in the habit of enjoying the much needed stress releasing ritual of a bourbon and coke most evenings, and riding the Whiskey River with our good friend Willie Nelson to calm us, John and I made it through.

In June we found ourselves living a completely different life altogether.  I struggled between overwhelming sadness at what I had left behind (memories of my grandparents in the house on Henry Clay permeated my dreams), and the joy discovered at being in a much larger, more efficient house with neighbors whose company both ourselves and our children could (and do now) enjoy.  With John’s last day of school coinciding exactly with our moving day, we found ourselves suddenly thrust into a world directly in contrast to the work-laden, crazy busy months that had led up to our move.  Summer 2007 was like a very good dream, one where you know you must eventually wake up and leave it all behind, but you soak it up and enjoy every aspect as long as you can.  We spent days watching the kids ride bikes and climb swing sets with new friends, and nights marveling at the amenities of our new house, having a drink on the front porch, ending a relaxing day with an even more relaxing retreat to our giant jetted bathtub (bourbon in hand, and Willie playing in the background, of course!)

Alas, soccer season came around once again, and we had to leave behind our carefree days and embark on something we had yet to encounter: school days for our first born child.  To say that starting full time Kindergarten is an adjustment is an understatement.  Add to that Thomas’ problems with anxiety and Tourette’s Syndrome, and you have a worn out, frazzled child.  With John at work (and soccer) sometimes 16 hours each day, Thomas coming home exhausted and emotional, Henry and Cate beginning preschool and Mother’s Day Out, and myself gaining more and more freelance work, we found ourselves counting down the days until our next break.  Fall break was just the relief we sought—coming just as soccer season ended, and providing John and I with a much needed trip alone to Key West and Cozumel to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.  Returning home refreshed, having John home in the evenings, and the kids all used to their schedules, we were able to look forward to the holiday season, which we started off with a bang by hosting Thanksgiving for the first time.

Now, as I glance at my calendar and take note that it is filled to the brim, both day and night, for the next several weeks, I feel a mixture of stress and excitement.  Sure, there are muffins to bake for the pta, class parties to organize, school programs to attend, work deadlines to meet, Christmas cards to send, and of course all the gifts to buy and wrap. We have parties to go to, John’s department party to host, a seemingly disproportionate number of birthdays to celebrate, and family members arriving whose company we look forward to enjoying.  In all, I think I can look at this one of two ways: I can look at my calendar and see work and stress in these multitude of tasks, or I can look at it and see the sheer abundance that is being offered to me and my family this season.  In light of the extraordinary year we have had, and are thankful for, I choose to experience all that the end of 2007 has to offer with a grateful heart.  For I know I am truly blessed and I look forward to where I will be this time next year with expectant joy.

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