Forty & a Half

SO…

It’s only been about 21 months since I’ve posted anything about what is going on in our lives. The amazingness of our five children. The craziness of our schedule. My healing (and lack thereof) and my lack of style, (hair, clothing and otherwise). My fears and worries. My hopes and gratefulness.

Mostly, I’ve had a major change in my life since I last blogged. Like, really blogged.

I was scared of turning 40. Now I’m 40-3/4 and I’m still scared of it. Inside I feel like that I might not have much more life to love my husband or children, much more change to be in the world. Mostly I find my insecurities in “life” growing while my joy is dwindling away by this paralyzing fear.

Not too long after I wrote thirty-nine, I was taking a walk from the Starbucks to the Staples while the sun was melting the clouds and I was stressing about money. Again. I have spent many years contemplating what my “next” career step would be – get my Masters degree in Social Work? Theology? Become a Dietician? I don’t know, and every time I thought about it I would get excited and overwhelmed in making any forward moving decisions.

So that April mid-morning, with a hot cup of coffee in hand (and maybe a kid or two in tow, but that I don’t remember actually) I was just doing my usual “I wonder what I should do” thinking and sort of asking the air (I may have been talking to myself while walking across the parking lot – which is maybe why I hope I had kids in tow), when I LITERALLY heard and FELT God say

“You are Mom.”

And from there the flood of what being a mom of 5 kids meant. At that time, Cora was just barely one year old. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to keep looking to the future and worrying about money (although I still am and do) but trust that God has me EXACTLY where I am supposed to be RIGHT NOW.

Not two weeks later I realized that my daughter’s frequent calling-home-sick-after-lunch were actually migraines. That my son’s outbursts towards his sisters before we even left the playground after school were MUCH more than my inadequate parenting. There was something going on at school. By the end of April, three weeks after I heard from God that I was supposed to BE MOM and not worry about DOING so much – I KNEW that I needed to homeschool.

Now, yes, part of it was the un-fun-ness of the 45 minutes of fighting with my daughter to get her to walk the 1/2 block to school. Or the tears late in the evening when we finally discover that our son felt like he wasn’t smart enough to ask a question in class. It didn’t help that after a full 6 hours at school, and an hour on the ice, we often had 2 hours worth of HOMEWORK for my primary students. Sometimes having to teach what they were supposed to be able to learn in the classroom. My kids both had SEAs and it wasn’t enough. My kids are not only easily distracted, they need to move A LOT (so restricting recesses is a VERY bad idea if you want them to be able to listen during class time) and if they aren’t able to pay attention, they BECOME distracting. It’s a lot for a teacher to take, so my kids, who may have had great teachers, became targets of their peers. Because they can sometimes be socially awkward. Or ask questions that were just answered. Or forget a step in a process. Or can’t sit still. OR maybe because they are adopted. They don’t look like me. Or my husband. Or their little sisters. They have 2 moms…

SO, now my life is full of planners and student learning objectives that get fleshed out but I’m already weeks behind. Lots of driving around to therapies (that the school district had my kids on wait lists for – but never received – and probably would never receive). They are learning self-regulation. They are learning to co-operate with each other. They are learning that the GREATEST socialization are those people who are with you forever – family. They are accepted. We are learning as we make mistakes. Lose our tempers. Have “AHA!s” as we learn to read, add, clean the bathroom, do laundry, share, be hospitable…

I’ve also struggled in the last year with a lot of illness and injury. I’ve realized that maybe my disabled diagnosis is an actuality and instead of fighting it so hard – I should take care of myself a little bit better. I spent most of the winter months sick. Most of the spring months dealing with neck issues (degenerative discs, pinched nerves) and most of the summer at a pain clinic being needled and learning about pain, nerves and muscles, how to move…

I’ve also been given a few respite opportunities to get away with my beloved. A night in Whistler. A weekend in Manning. I discovered that I kind of like camping. I love my extended family. I have the best teenage daughter in the world. Really. I do. I wish I had money so she could do all the things she wants to do (and have the cool rugby stuff).

I’ll share more later. In more depth. With more thought – with more meat. But that is my frizzy-haired, busted-glasses, broken-bodied 40-year-old life right now.

It’s also my grateful for my cuddly kids, my cookie-making-neat-freak teenager, my dancers and my hockey player, my rugby player, my leaders, my figure skaters, my photographer, my coffee bringers, my cleaner-uppers, my artists, my singers, my actors, my beauties.

I’ve been so blessed by this family. This house. This opportunity.

Being a Mom is SO hard. Too hard most days.

But really, it’s blessedly beautiful doing this eternal work.

Worship

I wrote this back in October, but haven’t felt ready to hit publish. I’m a little afraid of writing. I’m scared it will take time away from my kids, from cleaning house, from prepping homeschool lessons, from doing all I NEED to do. But, let’s roll with it and see what happens.

2 responses

  1. Thank you for you beautiful honesty!! We are new to homeschooling and I loved your post!!! It’s not an easy job being MOM and teacher but it’s the BEST job!! God bless you!

    • How are you doing with the homeschooling? I’m in a Direct Learning Program (so my kids have supervisor teachers) and I haven’t updated any of their “what we did this week” logs since November. Of all the things, it is what I feel worst about not keeping up on.

      But watching them learn and put their Sunday School learning into practice is THE BEST!

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