thoughts on life lately

Life lately feels...unexplainable. And I think that is mostly due to the fact that it changes so much, day to day, the feeling of life lately.

There are a lot of before and afters in my life. There are a lot of versions of me. There was my life before I graduated high school, and life after I graduated high school. There was my life before I met Dan, and then my life after I met him. There was my life before I became a mother, and my life after I became one.

There was my life before my brother died, and my life after.

Which is now.

And this, perhaps, is the most confusing and hard transition of all the transitions I have experienced into new versions of myself thus far.

Last year I was me, and this year I am not. Isn't that a puzzle, how quickly you can go from being someone to being someone else entirely? How quickly you can walk from one room through the frame of a door and directly into an entirely different room, just like that, while the door closes behind you and with it your entire existence from any part of who you were and the way you saw the world while you were in that old room?

Anyway. This transition has not been so easy. I was thrown into a new room without any map, without any idea of where I am going or how I am supposed to do life now. I just stumbled into the room and stood there, staring, taking in my new surroundings and trying my hardest to figure it out. Which felt for a long while an awful lot like one of those magic eye posters from the 90's, the images that you stared at until you saw the secret thing you were supposed to see, the picture hidden beneath the overwhelming mixture of colors and patterns.

But nonetheless, I am here. We are here! It is all new and confusing but the world keeps turning. Life lately has been new and hard and busy.

As you know by now, Jace started Kindergarten last week. The week was a week filled with change and him growing up all at once. Isn't it funny how it happens just like that? All in one weeks time he learned to whistle, he went down water slides all by himself and jumped in the deep end of the pool, he stayed home alone for the first time (for under ten minutes while I picked B up from down the street), and of course, he started at the big bad public school. ALL IN ONE WEEK. We were baffled. Who is this kid? This grown up boy who wants to do all of these things, who can do all of these things?

Baffled, and proud.

I was a little heartbroken about the whole transition, about his growing up so quickly. Heartbroken and scared. But when Friday arrived I had a very promising experience.

Fridays are typically filled with the same thing, me and the boys, lots of noise, lots of fighting and playing and running wild and exhausting mama. And the thing is, I never really have any alone time in my life. I am always either at work surrounded by people, or at home surrounded by people, and never ever is it just me. 

So when Friday came, when Jace went to school and Beck went down for a nap, when I had practically three hours of me time, why, I have never felt that I loved me time so much as I did then! I almost didn't know what to do with myself. But the truth is, I love tranquility. I need quiet. I need simplicity. So being a mother of two energetic boys, fragments of quiet and simplicity are like pouring water into dried up dirt beneath a potted wilting plant.

It was quite lovely, the realization that I will see a fragment here and there now.

In fact, Friday was so very lovely that I feel this will become my new weekly Friday routine. I will make sure of it, that every Friday is the same as the last, that at the end of the school year I look back fondly on a year filled with Fridays.

Fridays that begin with waking up slowly, sipping coffee on the patio, kissing Dad goodbye as he leaves for work and then packing the car so we can drive to a familiar trodden trail up the canyon for Rockie's morning walk. We bask in the shade beneath the trees and wade in the river while Rockie chews on sticks and chases ducks. On the way home we stop at a local bakery for a straight-out-of-the-oven loaf of honey whole wheat bread. We eat lunch and then drop Jace off at school. Once home, I tuck Beck in for his afternoon nap. I put You've Got Mail in the dvd player and fold warm towels from the dryer while the opening credits roll. I boil a pot of soup on the stove and sit to eat it, curled up in a blanket, dipping a thick slice of our freshly baked bread. The sun shines through the windows and the house is quiet, calm, perfect.

I am still one-hundred percent smitten with our current village. It is temporary, our being here, but I am already dreading the thought of leaving it in two years. I love everything about this place. I love the trees lining the sidewalks. I love how all of the building groups have different colored stucco. I love the view out our window while I am sitting on the couch. I love the birds singing outside in the backyard trees every morning. I love the potted tomato plants on the patio and the gate opening in the vinyl fence where we can sneak in and out from the grass to the house. I love all of the dogs in the neighborhood who are all quickly becoming Rockie's best friends. And I love all of the friendly faces we see every day. Everyone is so neighborly and kind.

I shattered my iphone screen. It is a spiderweb of glass shards and I am still using it despite. I haven't figured out why yet. I tell myself it is because I have been so busy, but is that really the reason? Or do I secretly like that I am viewing everything through a broken screen? It makes me feel more connected to life behind the screen, when I am looking at it all through lines and breaks, when I am being slow and careful not to slice my thumb every time I unlock it. It feels like my life, really, watching through a broken screen and feeling it to be a new reality and coming to terms with it all, this new view of life.

Though, that is slightly dramatic. I will fix it soon. I will!

And then there is our Beck the bear cub who I can not leave out of this life lately update. Beck has grown up so dramatically, as is to be expected by now. He is the sweetest boy and the brightest ray of sunshine in my life! I can not get enough. I can't get enough of kissing his baby chub cheeks that are still holding on strong. I can't get enough of his chattering and the way he says "DA-EEE" like a little british boy. I can't get enough of his obsession with his big brother, how he wants so badly to do everything Jace does, how he follows him around like a little puppy, how he cried and cried "jaaaccceee no buuuhhh byyyyee" on the first day of Kindergarten drop off. The smell of his hair and how he holds my hand when we walk and the way his hips swivel to the side when he runs with his short little legs. I can not get enough!

Anyway. This is life lately. It is rainstorms and butterflies and all of the in between! It is discouraging and lovely. It is stark contrasts between painful and beautiful and I am okay with that. I am grateful to experience any of this, to be, to know what it is to hurt while also knowing what it is to feel happiness and have love.

In eat, pray, love, one of my favorite books of all time, one that I own three copies of and still re-read each year, there is a quote that has resonated with me lately:

"Someday you're gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You'll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing... Take this time, every minute of it. Let things work themselves out."

I believe that is what I am doing here with life lately. I am letting things work themselves out. I feel full of change and promise. It is all rising up inside of this new version of myself, and since I am irrevocably planted here now, I am embracing the possibilities of life in this new room.

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