Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Great Between

I can step back and see our family in sort of a snapshot right now.  This moment in time, these days we are living, are so great.  With every day comes new adventure, lots of love and laughter, memories being made and sibling friendships being formed.  There are no newborn babes keeping us awake at night (I love my kids, but the baby days are not my forte), everybody is healthy (how is that even possible?) and my big guys are big enough to be independent but not enough to cause us any real grief yet (let's keep it that way!).  Our oldest is 15 and our youngest is turning 2 on Sunday.  We're not just starting out our family and we're not anywhere near finished raising them either.  We're in the Great Between.  The spread is large and loud and lovely.

(and hard)

We are changing diapers, getting home for naps and bed times, driving kids to sports practices and games (so.many.teams!), bringing kids to work, setting up time with friends, getting kids to Mass to serve, starting piano lessons, etc. etc.  I know this time is especially busy with the overlapping of sports seasons (summer basketball playoffs while fall soccer practices have already started and golf just finished up this week) and it just makes me long for simpler, slower days.  

But realistically, how can we achieve that?  We have seven kids.  They have needs.  We are their need-providers.  We are just in this phase right now where everybody either seems to demand our time physically (the little ones) or emotionally and needs us to drive them places (the bigger ones).  We look forward to when JP gets his license and can start sharing some of the driving duties, but with that comes it's own set of headaches, I'm sure. 

Oh my goodness, Colleen, can you stop complaining?

I know!  I know!  That's the problem, I'm like Waaaaahhhhh my life is so hard and busy, but then I see my coworker having to deal with her son's cancer diagnosis, another friend suffer a miscarriage, and a relative going through a really rough time in their marriage, and I think THANK YOU BABY JESUS for all the blessings in my life.  I'd take this craziness over any actual problems.

This is where we are right now.  The beauty and the struggles of family life coexist and it's too easy to focus on the difficult over the good times.  When I had only little ones, every day felt so, so hard but looking back, I miss their excited squeals for anything we were doing, when keeping them happy was so simple and our days were relatively schedule free.  Now if we get one night a month without a practice or a game, I'm in my pjs by 7pm ready for bed!  But of course, back then I couldn't wait for my little nuggets to get involved in things, and would often think ahead to all the fun activities they might choose as soon as they were able.  

And you know, as many times as virtual strangers would tell me to enjoy those slower, simple days, I couldn't truly appreciate them without going through the craziness of now.  Like so many things in life, there's no way to teach that lesson without having experienced the future first.  We too easily take for granted our blessings until they are gone.  And so we go through our stages and learn by trial and error alongside each other.  We try to enjoy the present knowing the past is gone and the future is uncertain.  I've heard that one day, I'll actually be missing these busy days and longing for a bunch of needy bodies all sleeping under the same roof.  I'm sure I'll complain-write about it when it happens, God willing.  These moments now, this Great Between, are the stuff families and memories are made of and I need to step back, see that bigger picture, and count each of my blessings right now.  How lucky am I that I can count them by name?  God is Good.  All the Time.  And All the Time?  God is Good.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh boy. You are totally entitled to complain but you are making me so thankful that at least one of our kids shows no athletic proficiency. Just hearing about all those games and practices and having to be a spectator at even a chunk of that makes me a little itchy. But I love that you still see the goodness!!


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