A few times now our high-schoolers have gotten themselves on the bus. Our bedroom is right above the front door, and I’ve been jolted awake by the bang of the door closing behind them. Ninety percent of the time I wake up before them, but every once in awhile Harry’s teeth bother him through the night or some other reason makes me turn off my alarm. The front door will wake me up every single time. From taking full advantage of our flexible homeschool schedule to waking up by 6am each morning and getting out the door on time every day, they truly are some of the coolest, strongest, best teenagers I know! I love hearing all about their day, and seeing them grow. Last night while I was out with Jack, Nadine pulled out the cookbook and made chicken parmesan from scratch. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of weariness and hunger being met by a delicious aroma wafting through the door, before you even open it, and knowing that aroma came from the loving labor of your own daughter. On the flip side, it’s strange for me to be in the thick of toddlerhood once again. I am swiftly being reminded how much disaster a tiny two-foot person can make in five seconds flat. It’s been six years since Betty was at that stage, and she wasn’t ever that messy. It’s been ten years since I had a little BOY that age, and I am getting daily flashbacks of how Jack used to be. From painting our freshly laid wood floor with white paint, to swimming in mud puddles, sometimes it’s hard to believe this strong, disciplined young man is the same person. Take hope, young mamas!
Jack is in the middle of wrestling season and was chosen to be on an all-star team this weekend. He is the only elementary kid from our school district to participate. It’s been so much fun watching him get stronger not only physically, but mentally too. We’ve had a mild case of the stomach bug floating around our house. It seems to have worked its rounds thoroughly, and it’s wonderful to be feeling strong again! Betty had it last, and sometimes I wonder at her strength. She is a running commentary of hilarious tidbits and comical statements. She loves to help and has just about mastered making pancakes all by herself. All on her own accord, with the encouragement of Elsie, she decided to stop sucking her fingers. So they cut off all the “taggies” on her pillows, stuffed animals and blankets, to help her break the habit. It’s been a month, and she is doing fabulously. I’m so proud of her determination.Elsie is beginning ukulele and voice lessons next week. She has been waiting a very long time for this, and we’re so thankful to at last be able to open this door for her. She practices constantly, and when she isn’t practicing, she is sweeping the floor. Ever since Matthew refinished our downstairs floors, they have remained spotless, thanks to this girl. She is the epitome of helpfulness. She can make Harry giggle (which is hard to do) and has a beautiful voice.When Elijah gives me a kiss, I’m taken aback every time. Not sure how this teeny tiny boy grew up and surpassed his mama in height. How his soft baby cheeks have the hint of manly roughness to them. I am so grateful eyes never change. He still has the same gorgeous blues, so I can feel for at least a moment, the same way I felt the first time I locked eyes with his and was in complete awe that this little boy was mine. I say that loosely, because I know none of them are truly mine. They belong to God, and He has blessed us to raise them, then release them like arrows into whatever He has planned for their lives. Watching them get on the bus every morning has been a small taste of that letting go, and it fills me with the oddest concoction of feelings.Matthew has had a whole round of doctors appointments this week. He had pre-op yesterday for surgery on Monday. When his doctor scoped him Tuesday, he found his sinuses to be clean and not needing any cleaning on surgery day. This was good news! The trouble he has been having catching his breath and breathing is all due to scar tissue and shrinking of the subglottic area of his throat. So he will be sedated (not put under!) and they will balloon open his airway and laser some of the scar tissue away. He has never had the laser done before, and the last time they did the balloon was 4 years ago. For it to have lasted this long is fantastic. All of his blood work came back great yesterday! So, even though he sounds and feels tight, thankfully (according to bloodwork and examination) the disease is not active right now. I don’t think either of us have been THIS excited for him to go to the hospital before. They said he should feel immediate relief. This year I have cried many times. There have been so many unexpected blessings, even through an intense month of work for Matthew. We haven’t even celebrated our 16th anniversary yet, but we will. I’m keenly aware of the battle for our marriage, and am so grateful for the challenges we’ve experienced which have brought us closer. This year my word is fearless, and his word is overcome. I am bursting to share more, but it will have to wait a little longer.