This year, I chose the word refine as my focus.
It's eight months into the year, and it still doesn't fit.
School's been in session for three weeks now, and I've been feeling lost.
I thought I would love being alone all day every day. I thought I would get so much done without little kids underfoot as I tried to fold clothes or clean the kitchen or run errands or do homework. I thought I would set life on fire and take no prisoners.
It's nearly impossible to explain, but I haven't found it in me yet.
It's weird, suddenly being alone all day every day. It's hard to do laundry or dishes or errands or homework when there are 6 1/2 solitary hours spread in front of me. No carpools or time restrictions. No naptimes or surprise plates. No telling time by the PBS schedule--in fact, no TV playing in the background at all.
One morning, blurry-eyed Evie and her starfish head wandered down to breakfast, lovingly burped her baby before she dusted her French toast with powdered sugar. I was busily serving breakfast, helping Micah prepare lunches, listening to Hyrum practice the piano, and generally commanding the commotion that is school mornings.
For an instant, I stopped and looked at my youngest child, no longer a baby but a big girl who needed to eat quickly, get dressed, comb her hair, and grab her backpack before rushing out into the world for the day. And in that instant, all I wanted to do was snuggle my baby in my lap, lovingly pat her, then spend the day with her--folding laundry, doing dishes, running errands, telling time by PBS, making surprise plates, and reading stories before naps. It was so overwhelming that it took my breath for a moment. I wanted her to stay home from school and PLAY with me and be my shadow. In that moment, I felt the loss of all of my children's babyhood and toddlerhood and preschoolerhood, and it hurt.
And because she is now a big girl, I had to swallow my hurt. Instead, I looked at her, scooped her up, squeezed her tight, then sent her upstairs to dress for the day--in a twirly pink tulle tutu skirt that still-little girls love but grown-up girls now wear to kindergarten.
August was not of month of refining for me. It was a month of refinding--refinding who I am, refinding how to manage my days, refinding schedule and motivation without someone around to care for 24 hours a day.
This growing up stuff is hard on moms.
If you need me, I'll be home. Alone. Waiting for the bell to ring at 2:15.