Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Things Running Through My Mind

This is the first full week of school.

My house is silent, eerily so.

Perhaps I should be joyful at this change, this rite of passage, with my six year old now a big girl, a full fledged first grader.  I'm not sure yet.

Once again, my youngest child changed my status.

I have been a full-time domestic engineer since May 2003 when I was one of several who were let go in that summer bloodbath, back in the early days of this economic downturn, recession, depression, or whatever it has been for all these years.  I was also two months pregnant with my not-wanting-to-be-forty-and-pregnant surprise gift from God.

The last month of school was surprising and cool.  I got to see what all the other full-time mommies did.  I met the bus for my then nine year old son and hosted many after school soirees between him and his buddies.  That first summer was even cooler with the lazy days and Missouri heat resting on us like a wet blanket.  There were many, many days spent at the pool with the then toddler sister and the big boys.  We lounged in the TV room and watched all the kid shows I had only heard about.  I dusted off my cooking skills and was definitely caught up on laundry.

By the time December 2003 and baby girl made her afternoon appearance on the 1st, I was well trained in my new role.

The economy continued to drag on in certain industries and when she presented with major illnesses by the time of her first birthday in 2004, I moved my business suits to the back of the closet, packed up the high heels, filed away the resume, and filled my planner with playdates, library trips, and school activities, I was a full-time mom.

It is funny how seven years flies by.

The oldest two are living their lives as young adults, one is recently engaged.  The youngest son is now a junior in high school trying to cut these strings and says "mom, let me handle it," when I gave him advice about organizing his study area.  The girls walked to the corner and crossed the street alone to go to the school.  The baby girl took off running ahead of her big sister, eager to embrace the undiscovered mysteries of all day school.  I stood by the van, parked in the middle of the block across from the school, and watched them grow up.

These things were running through my mind this morning when they were all packing their backpacks, grabbing lunches, running down the stairs to get in the van.  All of them were chatting about the adventures awaiting them that day.  I smiled to myself and wondered if I could capture the moment.

My house is quiet.  I had a two hour meeting for the summer program.  I brought a missing lunch to the first grader.  And I mopped the kitchen floor.

This is the first time in seven years when I have been home, alone.

Now it is my turn to discover, investigate, and appreciate this new season.

Time really does fly by.

It it is

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ten Years

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary.


Today I also learned that Prop 8 was overturned as unconstitutional.

Marriage is a civil right, according to the mayor of Los Angeles.

I can not believe I have been married for ten years, my previous status as  Mrs. didn't last more than a year.  I was young, bold, and just got out of a bad situation before I was in it too long.  I did end up with kids.

It is funny, I sat down one day and thought about what has kept us married for ten years.  Certainly there were circumstances and situations that would have made me throw in the towel and move on.  Marriage is not for the faint of heart, there are peaks and valleys.

We certainly experienced our's.

I was married before and brought children into the marriage.  He didn't bring children.  That affected us, then we immediately had the girls.

The wild antics of teenage sons, financial loss from two professional jobs gone inside of two months, the addition of more children, the stress of family death, the uncertainty of a child with a major illness, status changes from employed to not...for years, moving, things that happened in this decade since.

We are comfortable now.  The youngest three are not babies anymore, the baby will be in first grade in a couple weeks.  There is familiarity with our routine and ways, the things that come from being with someone for fourteen years - he counts our tenth anniversary as back in 2007.

I wasn't sure how I would feel this morning when I woke up.  He gently hugged me and kissed my check, gave a dimpled smile and said to be ready for a dinner surprise, we have reservations at 7:30pm.

Ten years, that is a lifetime.  We traveled, we moved, we did a lot of firsts, including buying what was a first house for each of us.  We finished graduate degrees (actually a few months before we were married).  We ministered together.  Too many family gatherings to count.  Dinners out, cards exchanged, and more jewelry than I ever had in my life.

Today we celebrate, honor, and reflect.  August 5, 2000 changed both our lives.