I’ve been very tired and crabby the last couple of days. “Apparently” it’s difficult to move with two babies during the last month of the semester! It’s the first time I’ve ever moved into a house with babies in tow (my parents’ house didn’t count, since they already had all the essentials unpacked), and it’s tough! There are certain things that cannot wait to be unpacked, you know? That first day or two is craaazy, like where are the wipes? Where are their clothes? Where are the diapers? We’re out of them? NOOO!!!!
We’ve also had an immense amount of grading to do (although not much prep, admittedly, since they are working on their papers instead of having reading assignments). Jesse has the additional
burden benefit of needing to prepare dozens of little speeches (he’s presenting a few awards at baccalaureate tonight), along with his big key-note address for the Senior Graduation tomorrow!
Since Anthony is going through an extreme case of, “HOLD ME 24/7 OR I WILL SCREAM!”, this last week has found him in my Mei Tai wrap, sometimes for the majority of the day, while I do dishes, while I sit at the table grading papers and even while I run around the backyard with Gregory. My mom and I took a break from our labors (she has been doing a lot of yard work in preparation for a graduation party they are hosting at their house this weekend) and walked to a huge rummage sale around the corner, Anthony in his wrap, Gregory in the stroller. It actually worked quite well.
Last night, we also hosted an icecream party for the teens who helped us move. It was a very fun time, especially since most of them were seniors, graduating tomorrow. They had a lot of thoughts about their high school experience, and it was fun to be able to debrief with them. Jesse, in particular, is so great at listening to them while also providing needed criticism and insight.
But they didn’t leave until 11pm. So, here I am, dragging, trying to keep Gregory entertained while I grade a stack of thesis papers, Anthony asleep in my wrap.
Long and short, we are really worn out. We cannot WAIT for our summer break (only 5 more days of school for Jesse, 1 for me! And 4 of them are half days!).
But despite how grumpy I’ve been, God has given me beautiful glimpses here and there of the life we have now. These little snapshots are key, because all at once, I realize it– I’m living my dream.
A few examples:
— Last Sunday, at Gregory’s baptism, we were surrounded by our families who had all driven 1+ hours to sit through 3+ hours of church. All because it was a special day for Anthony, and they wouldn’t miss it. Anthony’s godparents travelled thousands of miles to be there, because they love us and they already loved him. Watching everyone laughing and having a good time afterwards in the parish hall….I realized that this was one of my dreams. The privilege of having our big family around us, celebrating one of the more important moments in my life. They were all such a tangible reminder of why it is that we moved here. You can’t buy beautiful moments like that.
— Yesterday, teaching my high schoolers, I realized how blessed I am to have such a terrific group of kids. They recited Evangeline passages that they’d prepared, and most of them were flawless– not because they are super-geniuses with photographic memories, but because they are HARD WORKERS. They spent hours listening to the recordings I gave them, practicing their lines to anyone who would listen. I was even more proud when, in continuing a discussion started by Tim when he lead my class on Tuesday (he is studying Longfellow in his PhD program, so it only made sense that he taught a little of Evangeline!), it was apparent that they had gone home and thought long and hard about the question. Their answers were not brilliant, but they were insightful and from the heart, showing that although their education MATTERS to them (over-achievers!), their souls matter more. I always dreamt of getting to teach kids like this, and they have made this year beautiful and blessed.
— This morning, making eggs for Gregory and I, yawning the whole way through, trying to find my coffee through half-closed eyes, I suddenly realized that this was another one of my dreams. Waking up, making breakfast for my boys (both of whom happened to be independently entertaining themselves, Gregory with his new train, Anthony in his floor gym– a rarity!!!), hanging out in our little house, my little messy kingdom. This kingdom has been toddler-ized”, as I put it, but it’s also cozy and cute. Our life together while Jesse is away, the 3 of us, is downright beautiful at times. Sure, just yesterday I was pulling my hair out and asking my mom to come over early or so-help-me I was going to LOSE it, but…I have two kids! Two beautiful boys! One of them is incredibly smart beyond his age (he’s counting and sounding out words!), but also sweet and loving with a great personality. The other is HUGE and healthy!
What more could I ask for, really?
I’m so thankful that God provides these reminders on a daily basis, despite how hard things seem whilst “in the trenches”.
For so many years, I dreamt of what my life would be like when we finished “x” or found “x”. Now, due to God’s graciousness, we have nearly all of those things that I dreamt about! We are not in a “waiting” stage anymore, it is here. I get to experience it. And I feel so blessed.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have papers to grade. And a lion and a zebra at my left, waiting for me to play pretend.