While at a wedding reception on Saturday (this will become a post soon, I'm awaiting pictures to be emailed), someone at our table asked me after recognizing Mikayla's age, "So, next year, when she and Brayden are both at school for the full day, what will you be doing with all your time?" This is not the first time I've been asked this question, nor do I think it will be the last. And, I gotta say, I really, really don't like that question.
Throw that little gem with the recognition that it's January - and I will admit, I'm floundering a bit. I'm not in a funk, I'm not depressed, my body is not doing any kooky things at the moment (outside of the norms I'm used to), but I feel agoraphobic - that would be the fear of open spaces. No, it has nothing to do with the tree being taken out of the house so now there's room, it's more the fear of the open spaces all over my calendar.
From late May through the beginning of January my life gets pretty darn busy. I go, go, go and plan, plan, plan for the next thing coming up. Those are my hey-day days, what I love most in a calendar year. But, now, I've got things coming up to look forward to, for sure, but nothing consuming (unlike the start of school or Christmas). So, it gives me lots of time to think - and lately, worry.
Is my daughter going to be where she needs to be (i.e. reading) for first grade?
Will she make friends, and more specifically, the friends I like, in first grade?
How will she feel about leaving me all day?
How will I feel about her leaving me all day?
Will I be devastated next September?
How fast would I opt for homeschool just to avoid those above feelings?
Is Brayden's current "apathy" for school going to be a bad thing when things get even tougher?
Why haven't I been working with him on his handwriting more?
Why haven't I been working with both of them on reading more?
Will Brayden continue to keep the great choices of friends he's had so far?
How long will my kids long "just to be with us" over any other activity?
Are they going to resent that I don't pretend/play with them more?
What will my heart do if they ever show signs of not caring/loving us anymore (i.e. rebelling)?*
And, that's just about my kids. Obviously, you can see that guilt plays a big part in a lot of these thoughts. Then, throw in the expectation that I do something worthwhile with my "extra time" and me not feeling particularly led to do anything but finally catch up with my laundry and have a clean house and time for daily exercise - that just leads to more worthless feelings.
I know that this is where God wants me, to take the time to seek Him and rest in what He would have me do vs. what is listed in my Daytimer. So, I don't see all this as a bad thing, but it isn't very comfortable. Like I said, I'm a bit out of sorts, and currently, a little edgy and self-centered as a result. (I'm sure my friends have noticed....).
So, there you go, that's where I'm at. Tomorrow, Brayden finally heads back to school, Mikayla will have her first "long-lunch" day since break, and I'll have some more time to reflect. Perhaps, tomorrow, I'll make the right choices, trust the Lord with my worries, and choose to be others-centered vs. all about me. Or, maybe not. By the looks of the calendar, it appears I've got plenty of time to keep trying......
* Last night (when Mikayla laid down next to me, willing to watch a sci-fi show just to be next to me) I asked Mikayla if she would ever get a tattoo or shave her hair off or turn it blue. She made it clear she'd do none of the above, except she hesitated on the tattoo - she told me she'd tell me if she got one. "What?!!" I responded with alarm. Then she went on to explain that she'd tell me if she put one of the "Duck tattoos" on her face ----- "Oh, honey, that's not what I'm talking about!", and I proceeded to explain what a real tattoo was and she was mortified. I then asked if she'd ever tell me she hates me and never wants to be around me - She once again, assured me, "No way!". But, just in case, I made her "pinky-swear". So, now I don't need to worry - she pinky-swore, so it's all good.