When I took typing in high school (on an ACTUAL typewriter), I was taught to leave two spaces after a period. I’m not sure when that changed, but, now, it is proper to leave only one. That’s where we are right now; we are inside the space after the period.
I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed this time. I squeezed in close to my kids; I bought some chicks and started a garden. Pulling-up-the-drawbridge healed something in me that I didn’t know was broken. I found the margin.
This time will be forever-divided into before and after. Before this began, we came off of a (GASP!) cruise to the Caribbean. My kids were in the middle of rehearsals for two plays. Edwin, my oldest, had the leading role in both of them. We were juggling homeschooling, Adventure-schooling, guitar lessons, voice lessons, dance lessons, and 4-H clubs. My amazing husband and I also own a sixty-year-old furniture store in our small-town of Clarkesville, Georgia. I had TWO nannies and a housekeeper. Life was so busy!
Change is in the air. At the beginning of 2020, we made the huge decision to send our kids to school next year. They will all be attending Rabun Gap Nacoochee School nearly an hour from our home. This is the first time that I have publicly declared this information. I feel the weight of judgement that this decision brings. Why did you stop homeschooling? Why aren’t you sending your kids to public school? Why didn’t you choose the Other private school? How could you put your Pre-K’er on a bus and send him an hour away to school?
You don’t need to ask me, because I’ve already gone through all of this myself.
I’m so nervous, y’all. My family is the greatest thing since sliced-bread. Seriously. We ROCK. I’ve got these amazing kids. Our teenager actually likes us. My kids love spending time with one another. I don’t want to mess this up! I’ve been at this Mom-gig for fifteen years now. I have fourteen more to go before the last one leaves the nest. When I had two kids that I was homeschooling (and no outside work), it was manageable for me. This year, I added teaching-a-kindergartener-to-read and learning-a-new-career to the balls that I was juggling. Next year, a pre-K’er will be tossed into the mix, as well. I. Can’t. Do. It. All. Anymore. Whew! There I said it.
I have some paths that I want to explore. For ME. It felt selfish to want anything more than the perfection that I have, but I need to explore some interests of my own. A couple of weeks ago, we went to drive-in church. Our pastor was talking about using this time to explore career changes. I think he was probably directing this towards people who are out of work–thankfully, that isn’t me, but I listened anyway. He said, “What would you PAY someone to let you do? Do you have a talent for it?” An idea popped into my head. I’m still tossing it around. Kevin knows. My kids know. It’s something that I want to explore, but I needed the space to see it.
I can feel life revving up again. I know that it won’t be long, now, before we find our “new normal” in the world of the virus. What will be my Takeaway from all of this? Will I repack our calendars and to-do lists or will I sit in this holy, creative space a little longer? It’s so much easier to hear God’s whisper when we sit still, isn’t it? I pray, as I sit here inside the empty space between the Stop and the Start, that I find the right place to begin again.