So...Felicity graduated from preschool today. It was wonderful-she sang and danced and waved to us at appropriately cute times. And then, of course, my heart broke into millions of pieces on the floor.
I have cherished this time with my children so much. I have loved being home, trying (and failing a lot) to be June Cleaver. If you stepped into my home on any given day, no, it is not the neatest or the cleanest in the world. As much as it was my goal, no, my children did not create their own murals, grow their own food, or never ever watch more than an hour of television a day.
However, we did those things on occasion. I would like to hope that more than occasionally my house at least appeared clean. Yes, as I look back on it, most days were pretty monotonious-but pleasantly so. We read a lot, we sing a lot, we pick up for what seems like hours, we play, we laugh, we watch way too much TV...it is, quite honestly, my idea of heaven.
I am sad about this bend in the road. I want to plant my feet firm and scream and get my way. I don't want my girls to grow into teenagers who roll their eyes at me, who think that my silly songs and dumb jokes aren't funny, who don't want to be read to.
But God has made painfully clear to Nick and me over the past year that this bend is necessary. We have struggled mightily this past year, more so than any other that I have been home and he has been working. God knows that a lot of the time, I need a good swift kick to understand that this is happening, it is not a choice.
My life used to be one of a girl wishing she lived in a Meg Ryan movie. For 21 years I wished and hoped and prayed to fall in love, and not just in love, but in love like a movie. And then one day I meet Nick Johnson and I fell head over heels, nutso in love to the point that we made other people sick. It was like winning the lottery-all of a sudden, I could have this family that I had always wanted.
So I keep trying to remember that. Sometimes something comes along that is so wonderful, you forget that you didn't have it all along. I'm hoping that this next bend is something that I can't remember living without.
I will never regret staying home with the girls. Even though we have had to do without, even though there are many, many days that I would love to feel like I'm contributing to our income, for us it was the right choice.
I recently told someone it is hard to say that I loved my choice without somehow inferring that their choice was wrong. But I'm not trying to say that everyone would be happy staying home, or even that everyone has that choice. For me, though, it was the best choice, and I'm forever grateful to my husband for allowing me to do that, even though it has meant that he can't have an iPhone. And I'm so thankful that I have the parents that I have, who are always there for me, holding me up when I need it. I have realized as an adult that not everyone has parents like I have, parents who still to this day put their children's needs ahead of their own.
They are my example, it is my turn to contribute to this family in ways other than just taking care of babies all day long. And so this fall I will be trying my best to earn a paycheck, to help to allieviate some of this stress from my husband. I'm hoping to be able to substitute teach, so that my schedule will mesh with the girls.
In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy this summer. We're going to scrape through, and we're going to embrace the bend in the road as best we can. And yes, I am going to be sad as I see my girls growing so much faster than words can describe.
Someone told me, back when Betsy was a baby, "These are the longest days and shortest years of your life." That is the truest statement that I know. I can't believe how quickly nine years went by.