It’s been a week. I haven’t even been sure what to write. The kids started school, which I hope will be the last major hurdle of “adjusting to life back in the U.S.” I’m not saying there will be no more hurdles, just hopefully none so high as this one that threatens to pull some muscles.
Pull it has. Monday was our first at home day, and since we were jumping in to the middle of things, we didn’t have quite as much as the other kids. We wrestled with feelings of anxiety throughout the day. I was trying to keep a positive outlook, but when we put the kids’ books into their fresh new backpacks right before bedtime and they didn’t all fit, all the wind got knocked out of my sails. Unfortunately, the kids were sailing in my boat, so we all sank a little bit.
By the morning, after a quick online order to L.L. Bean for larger backpacks, we were back on track. We were ready 1/2 hour early, God be praised! I am expected to help in each of their classrooms 2-3 times per semester and the only open day for Megan’s class was Tuesday. No, I don’t sit by the side of the pool and acclamate. I jump in!
It turned out to be just what Megan needed to calm her nerves. I sat in the corner and graded papers while her teachers amazed me. I saw Ethan at lunch and he was happily sitting with his best friend and some other 7th graders. All seemed well.
And then Wednesday happened, when they had to face the reality of what days at home entail, except we got to throw in things like “daddy’s gone” and “we’re still in major transition” to make it more interesting. Lets just say there were a lot of tears and a mom who needed a bath and a stiff drink by the end of the day. Not pretty people, not pretty.
Today was another school day, and they loved it. I dropped them off, ran some errands, came home and thought, “Wow. Now what?” then proceeded to do a little work and a little fun (hello OPI Samoan Sand on my finger and toenails). The kids came home and decided they love school and hate the work they have to do at home. I hope that evens out a little as time goes on.
Stretching emotional muscles. So often this week I just had to sit and cry with the kids and say, “Yeah, I get it. This is really hard. I think it’s going to get easier. Let’s remember that we’re in process here ok?” But there were plenty of times I wanted to say, “I can’t do this any more. I have my own mess. I don’t know that I have anything to give you in yours.”
Even as I type that I am reminded that His compassions are new every morning. That’s what I need to remind us each day – that He sees us in our process, He cares for our hearts, He will carry us through.