Of what use was it to be loved and lose one's beauty and becomeReal if it all ended like this? And a tear, a real tear, trickled down his little shabby velvet nose and fell to the ground. ~The Velveteen Rabbit
Third in a series.
As I pulled away from the internet and the telephone, I became more aware of my home and the people in it. My goodness! They had all acquired some very bad habits, too. My little ones were bigger now. Technology had infiltrated every corner of our home. My television can do things that astound me. My daughter can text so fast and so frequently it makes my head spin. And we are all iPod Touch junkies, just ask Karoline. But this is not where I tell tales on them. Just know I'm working on sharing with them some of my own insights. I've also bookmarked just about every article or post that has come down the pike lately about this topic. Ironically, I've read very few of them, but I intend to read them all, when I have time to talk them over with Mike.
I have set some new limits on screens and such, but more than that, I've given them something else to do, to think about. I've gone room by room through my house with one thing in mind: I'm home.
Sarah Anne plays this sweet game where she takes a much-too-large-for-her tote bag and slings it over her shoulder. She walks across the kitchen, staggering a bit beneath the wight of the empty bag, and then she turns around and comes back to me. She smiles brightly and says, "I'm home!"
This is her reality.
This is my reality. This is what is real in my home during this season. It is a place of coming and going. For this baby, home is someplace where people leave and then they come back. Try as I might to stop the march of time and pretend that they are all little and running in concentric circles around me, "I'm home!" is what is real. It's so obvious that the smallest among us recognizes it.
It is time for me to recognize it. It is time for me to look again at the rhythm of our lives and establish our home as a place of welcome and soft landing. So, room-by-room, I went, looking with a critical eye and seeking to make this place a haven for all of us. My goal was especially to be certain that God was palpable in every nook and cranny. That doesn't mean that I stuck a statue and hung an icon in every corner. But it does mean that I ensured that my children will never doubt that home is a haven and that the transcendence of God himself will envelope them here.
Perhaps I will give you a tour some day.
Ironically though, "I'm home" often means I'm not home. Only two of my children are old enough to drive, so if the rest of them are coming and going, it means I'm driving. I hate to drive. My daughter takes ballet 9.72 miles from my home. It can take me an hour and 15 minutes to make that trip in traffic. Imagine what it's like during rush hour with a toddler and a three-year-old for company. Now multiply that out over five children who need rides four days a week. Throw in weekend soccer games, recently as far as 65 miles away...
Therein lies a huge source of stress. I am a homebody who is never home. I am a terrible driver who is always driving. I am a mom who believes in providing opportunity to her children who often wonders if they are over-scheduled. And my husband travels. A lot. It is a life of contradiction. A life of constant re-evaluation.
For now, it is summer and with the heat and humidity comes also a change of pace, a chance to catch my breath. We are seriously considering all our options for the fall. Exhaustion happens and exhaustion is often what I mistake for depression.
The whole series: