Monday, September 30, 2013

Oh. Fall.

There is a cool crisp bite to the air this morning.  I almost didn't even notice until my mom said something about it on the way to our boot camp workout.

I feel like I've been missing a lot, lately.

What happened to the me that used to enjoy pansies and pumpkins and write things about how lovely fall is and how it's when the Coach and I fell in love?

It IS lovely.

We DID fall in love.

But last Fall?

A blur.

And this one so far?

Also a blur.

I wonder sometimes.  How to stop and enjoy when there is so much to do?  How to slow down long enough to notice the cool air?

I used to.

Lately?  Not so much.

Because last Fall?  I had a sick girl who I attended school with for two weeks and then pulled out to home school all while going to doctor's appointments and having various tests run and getting virtually no sleep while she cried on the floor by my bed every night.

And this Fall?  There was surgery and recovery and now therapy (for Son #3). . . along with eight kids in school and a VERY busy Coach and all of the kids sports schedules.

Do I miss the beauty of the moment just because I'm tired?

Or do I even care what season it is when there is laundry to do and fold and meals to plan and cook and carpet that (once again) desperately needs vacuuming and there was a day when I actually trained for 1/2 marathons and. . .

Where is that girl?

Where did she go?

When your kids are little . . . other moms tell you to enjoy it and that they won't be little long and that the days are busier when your kids get older.

Boy are they right.

I LOVE this season (life, not weather) of bigger kids and football and volleyball and discussions and dinners out (never did THAT when they were babies) and cars filling the driveway and work and friends and calculus (thank the LORD for a math teacher husband).

I love it.

But it's exhausting.

Forget time to blog.  I shouldn't be doing it, even now.

Forget anything proactive around the house.  Decorating?  Who has time.  Cleaning is my goal.  A goal that is only reached for brief moments in time.

Forget the lunches and coffee dates with girlfriends that I dreamed of.  By the time I get the kids off and my workout/run in and shower and get the laundry going and fix something for dinner and run errands. . .

It's time to leave for school.

I'm not complaining.  I'm NOT.

And I really do love it. All of it.

But I look back with fondness on that girl who loved fall and had time to plant flowers and light candles and drink chai and make muffins (I still make muffins but they don't last long).

Life is, at the same time, much HARDER than I ever anticipated. . . and also much SWEETER as the years go by.  With my Coach.  With my kids.

And I suppose everything else can wait.

Happy Monday.  Happy BEAUTIFUL COOL FALL MORNING Monday.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Time to be Thankful

Surgery for Son (#3) on Wednesday went great!  Thank you so much for your prayers for us all.  There wasn't any other damage, just the ACL, which the surgeon described more as "mutilated" than a tear.  Ugh.  But we were home by 11:30 that morning and it's been busy ever since.

My heart has been full as I've watched our friends and family love on my sweet boy.
The visits.  The cards.  The cookies.  The movies.  The dinner on the night of his surgery.

He missed his class retreat on Thursday and you know what they did?  Made a life size cutout of his face and took pictures with him in them at each activity.  No one has friends like that!  Amazing.

Grandmother has helped with the other troops, folded laundry, and taken the ironing to her house. . .  the other kids have helped Son (#3) and kept up with school beautifully, the Coach has kept me from losing my mind (that's nothing new), and I even got a run in on Saturday.

We've crossed some milestones - like pulling the drain tube out of his knee (I do NOT get paid enough for this job!  Ha!), changing the bandages from surgery (can you say 17 staples?), and weaning off the meds during the night (I am TOO old to get up every four hours thankyouverymuch!).

He is gradually needing less pain medication and is getting up and down on his own.  It's still a full day to get in 6 hrs on the CPM while icing.  My job is just to feed him.  (smile)  Mostly bacon.

I even threw caution to the wind and watched "The Village" with him last week.  Yikes.  Fortunately I've been so tired I haven't had any nightmares.  Yet.

He's still not back to school (tomorrow is our goal) and we are still missing a lot of football and volleyball games while trying to keep things together here at home (And honestly?  The carpets need vacuumed sooooo badly!).

It's all good.

And blessed.

I'm so grateful for it all.  Even the time with this son of mine.

And now he and I are off to take Daughter (#7) to the dentist to get teeth pulled.  Because who wants a quiet day at home?

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

At which point I realized that HE has been taking care of ME, for quite awhile now. . .

All eight of the troops are different.  I don't say this out loud for your benefit (I'm sure you're thinking "DUH!"), but for my own.  Because sometimes I forget and try to parent them like they are all the same.

I'm learning (slowly) to enjoy and encourage these differences.  They are all unique and there are things about each one that make them such a vital part of this family and hold such a distinct and HUGE place in my heart.

There differences are also what annoy the tar out of me.  Just sayin'.

But one of our kids (I don't have favorites, but it is what it is), is particularly thoughtful.  Helpful.  Kind.  Generous.  Intuitive.

He has a way of realizing "Yes, Mom is about to lose it, again." and jumping into help.  Picking up the living room (it's my sanity), vacuuming when the latest craft project has left teeny tiny bits of paper everywhere.  Or beads.  Or Legos.  Or laundry.

He knows when I need a body guard for a late evening trip to Wal-mart (although the early morning trips seem to be more risky).  And then suggests a stop at Starbucks on the way home - his treat.

When I need some news songs on my running playlist, he's the one I ask.  We like the same music.  Which is saying a lot considering the various genres on my ipod.  And we look over the race schedules each season to decide which 5K or 10K or 1/2 marathons we are going to run.  Although he's about twice as fast as I am.

And his brownies are THE BEST!  It's my recipe, but it tastes way better when he makes them.

He takes care of the chickens, the hamsters, the fish AND the crabs.  He and his younger brother mow and care for the yard and he shops for, plants, and waters ALL of the flowers each season.

Then week before last?

He tore his ACL in a pre-season football scrimmage.


So my independent, helpful, thoughtful, extremely hard-working son is pretty much totally dependent on me and the rest of the troops for... well... everything.

Super hard for him.  He's had a great attitude about it all.  I've let him "vent" to me as much as he needs to.  But then he turns around and shows such kindness and humor.  We've had some good laughs through it all.

Last night after the season opener football game, while I was helping put the compression tight on his hugely swollen foot after he finished his bath (that I had to run for him), then putting the stabilizer back on his knee (while he grimaced the whole time), I was SO frustrated.  Not just because I was exhausted and trying to get the littles bathed and to bed, as well.  Not just because it had been a super long day.  Not just because it was LATE.  Not just because we lost our first home game and our quarter back was injured.  Not just because I wanted to SLEEP so I could get up and run.

But also because I am sick and tired of my boy being in pain.  And we have a long way to go.  And it turns out...I have grown to depend on HIM so much.

The gaps around here have been HUGE.  We've had to reassign care for all of the pets and to be honest?  I don't care for feeding the hamsters.  And last week?  I threw the hanging ferns on the front porch away because I kept forgetting to water them (also his job).

So yes, we are all different here at the troops.  And thank the Lord we are all still learning how to love one another and serve one another and get along.  Me, included.

Surgery is Wednesday.  Prayers appreciated.  Coffee donations accepted.