Today was the first day of school. It was infact, the first day I've EVER been alone with Eli. The house was quiet. Very quiet. My brain enjoyed it. I could feel myself slowly begin to unravel - just a little - from the profound and busy summer we've had.
So...what did we do today? The weather was so beautiful...just the right amount of "summer" left in the air. So we went for a long walk. I took a route I normally don't take. We enjoyed the sounds of dogs barking, the wind blowing, and Air Force Academy Cadets jumping out of airplanes over head...all things new to Eli. We walked along side walk paths and detoured onto the thick grass without our shoes for awhile. We picked wild flowers.
I enjoy my relationships alot. But I can't live without some quiet time. Really, if I go too long without quiet stints of time to think -- I sorta go crazy. Just ask ANYONE in my family. So this thinking time was good for me. What does Eli need right now? What does my family need right now? What do I and Billy and I need right now? All very good questions to ponder. My conclusion was that my family just came through a summer that was...well, profound...and we feel a tad bit tramatized over it. Elizabeth went on a long, international missions trip and has begun asking herself and the Lord all the big questions of life; Hosanna broke her leg and needed more help than she wanted, she grieved and she learned the lessons of contentment and perserverance; Billy took the series 7 test...twice and began a new career he's never even dreamed of having; We left our children in the care of others for 16 days -- and flew 1/2 way around the world to gather Eli....and from this whirlwind we are all still spinning. This summer was profound...blessed...and it made us very tired.
Having been home only 3 weeks, people ask us daily how we are doing. The last couple of days I have begun to answer, "We feel like we've just gotten our legs back under us...we're standing, but shakey...ask me again in 6 months when hopefully by then we'll be walking". I don't expect to run for sometime. It sort of feels like we've been holding our breath for a long time and have just recently decided it was ok to breathe again.
So...what do we all need right now? My thoughts today were that we need to continue doing what were doing....taking things slow...quiet...a pace and dynamic we're not used too. I believe that the next 6 months hold in store for us refreshing, renewal and regeneration --- and we will make it back to full speed eventually.
We weren't ready for this particular First Day of School. We all desparately wanted...needed more time....more summer. But it's ok. Today we took a few more baby steps towards slowly figuring out a new normal as we make Eli a part of our family and help him lose his instutionalized mindset....and even though we step slowly, we do step forward...with great peace.