There was a nostalgic but happy feeling that came to me as I crossed off 49 squares in my calendar today. My pencil made little slash mark after little slash mark though days I had been looking forward to for months... days that turned out to be so full of fun and emotion that they could never actually be represented by those tiny squares. Days of happy craziness as McKenzie filled the house during her school break (seriously, how does one child add so much chaos!?); squares of tiring preparation preceding seven squares marked with the capitol letters B E A C H T R I P ! ! !; squares filled with visits from family and then five more blocked off for O R L A N D O ! ! !; then, sprinkled throughout, there was a cookout and a carnival, a brunch and a bookclub, kindergarten activities and a healthy handful of playdates for the whole family. And though it's not there, each square could justifiably have a watermark that reads, 'Brian is home!'
I feel the whirlwind of the last 49 days dying down into a gentle breeze, and I'm a bit sad to see them go. I recognize the scarcity of times like these, times where we're swept off of our feet in a wonderful sort of chaos as opposed to the much more frequent overwhelming sort, and I have been quietly tucking these days into a chamber of my heart marked 'treasures'.
I suppose it's time to plant my feet back on solid ground again... we can't live ignoring the world and our calendars forever. But we're all home this time. Together. Finally enjoying again the peace that comes from living under one roof. Yesterday morning, McKenzie climbed the stairs of her bus after a week long vacation in Orlando. Her sweet bus driver called through the open door, "Welcome back! We missed you!" When I mentioned where we had been, she shook her head in a jealous fashion. "Oh, Ah KNOW you had fun down there!" she said. "Now the only bad thing about goin' on vacation is that you have to come back!" I smiled and waved to the bus as it went around the corner. Yes, I thought, you're right... but I think I'm ready to be back to normal for a change. The bus slowly drove out of sight and I started walking back to my house with a happy feeling filling my heart. With Kenzie on her way to school, Brian working back in town, Miles propped on my hip, and Carson holding my hand, I felt complete and whole again.
I find it interesting that the fierce winds that kept me down and rubbed my face in the dirt while Brian was away seem to be the same winds that recently carried me up and allowed me to soar. It looks as though Heavenly Father really did hear my prayers. Help me rise above this, Lord; please lift me and strengthen me. He just chose, in his infinite wisdom, to answer them along a different time table than I would have chosen for myself. If I'd have known that He would answer my prayers after Brian returned, I would have said He'd be too late...
But, you know, I think these soaring days were worth it.
I have scores of pictures to sort through and plenty of random thoughts that go along with them. And, don't worry, you'll get a smattering of them shortly. Because, you know, I know you've missed me and that your happiness hinges on that sort of thing.