Monday, February 6, 2017

A day

Found this post in my drafts folder...
i knew that season was brief. i don't know why i didn't press publish on this one. i need to write more, "a day" posts... it helps me to remember. Obviously written in the fall, a year and a half ago.


It's a daddy travelling season of life, but for some reason, i feel like we've caught our stride.

Elmer potty trained suddenly right around his second birthday in June and to our surprise, he started sleeping through the night at the same time. My body hardly remembers what it's like to be rested and alert during the day. We also found out that a lot of his high needs nature had to do with our communication problem - that little boy needs subtitles. But as his language has developed, his frustration has decreased. Goodbye, baby... hello, big boy. He's still mind-bogglingly loud and bossy, but as eighth born, maybe that's just a defence mechanism God gave him so he'd be heard.

Ephraim started losing teeth this year. It amplifies his sweet speech impediment. He has platinum blond curls and sometimes i wonder if his face is made out of plasticine cause he can bend it in the most amazing ways to make the craziest faces. i'm teaching him to read. It can sometimes be laborious and tiring... i'm not a great teacher and i am trying to remember to be patient. A trick that i learned when i was teaching Cairo to read that i've used with every child since her is to look at their fingers when i start to get impatient. It reminds me how little they are, and it reminds me to be kind to them when they are still so wee - trying to learn something as difficult as reading. i don't know why their stubby little fingers with dirty fingernails do this to me, but it has worked for the six before him and it is working now. i love those little hands.

Gage is doing grade two. He's one of those weird kids where things just come easy for him. School is easy, he's athletic, sings like an angel, he's tall and handsome. But he's tender... He's all deep waters, feeling sadness or joy with more depth than you'd think possible at seven. Sometimes he laughs till he cries. He did that after Cairo told him that she's engaged. When he prays, there's a tenderness that testifies that his faith is his own.

Mollen and Charter are both entering the season of good-bye. Maybe some other parents of teenagers know what i mean when i say that. There's this healthy good-bye that happens as they transition out of childhood and into adulthood. It can be agonizing for everyone cause there are so many feelings - sometimes anger or sadness. They need time away from us - time with friends, and i honestly don't think i'd be strong enough to do this if Cairo hadn't taught me that after the goodbye comes the hello again... and it's all familiar and different and poignant and the same.

Peyton is at the cusp of the hello. But she's at public school this year and i miss her like crazy. When she comes home, i want to inhale her like she's oxygen. She's making me content in my decision to let her go to public school this year by working hard and by showing her maturity in getting herself up early, making lunches, catching her busses on time and getting her homework done. Grade 10 isn't easy - & i know how hard she's working to keep up.

Sloan is homeschooling for grade 12, but she's hardly home more than Peyton. She's holding down her job at Tim Hortons and her classes are so challenging, she spends much of the time she's at home holed up in her room listening to e-lives and doing online school. i miss her too. But when she comes up for air, she wrestles the boys or cleans the kitchen beside me while we talk. She got our whole homeschool to watch her favourite kids tv series as part of our homeschool this year and most of the time i just put out of my mind the fact that this is her last year. It all still sort of feels still so far away that it can't be real.

If Peyton and Sloan aren't home enough for me... i don't know how to describe Cai's absence. Only 11 more months of her being in my house, under my roof... all 8 of my sweet chicks in our crowded little nest. Three years - that's all i'll get with *everyone* all living together. She's breaking us in gently - her classes get her up and out of the house early and her evenings are full of meetings, volunteering and plans that i can never keep straight. She sometimes scarfs down leftovers out of the fridge long after i've gone to bed and if i'm lucky i'll catch her for a minute or two in the early morning minutes before she slips out the door when it's still dark outside. In less than 11 months, she'll be a wife with a home of her own. i'm so proud and happy - but... i know i'll miss her so much.

Neil and i never run out of things to talk about these days. i get up at 6:15 and when he's not travelling we have coffee together till 6:45 and in between the companionable silence we make each other little offerings of conversation. i miss him when he's gone too. It will be twenty years this may. Twenty years of being his wife, of never getting enough of him, of carrying his babies and keeping his home. Marriage has been such a sweetness in my life - my favourite gift from God.

So there's a little snapshot of our family in what feels like will be a very short season.

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