As change wafts through the branches of northern Illinois and has painted us beautiful pictures of God's creations, we Smiths find ourselves letting the natural seasons of our lives dictate how our days look as well...even if that means letting some of our favorite things that just don't fit into the current season fall to the ground.
Since my last post, 3 areas of my life (that all rank higher than blogging and even brain development) have shifted dramatically enough to beckon for more of my attention for now.
Supporting my Husband: Brent and I are so grateful for the months God gave us to focus on miscellaneous projects while Brent was out of work for a year, but about the time I last posted, Brent jumped back into the saddle with two hard-working, successful feet (like he always does when he starts anything). His new full-time job as a facilities manager for 22 of our church's northern Illinois buildings is keeping him busy, but is a huge blessing for us. It feels comforting to have long-term work that pays for our basic needs and I'm especially grateful I can now send my husband out the door each morning to a lower-stress, service-oriented job that he truly loves.
Although most work is done by contractors, Brent enjoys getting his hands dirty and fixing breaks and leaks to his heart's content. He occasionally brings our kids along in "Daddy's gay tuck" (that's what MaryAnn calls the grey pick-up truck he uses for work) to visit various buildings, which makes them each feel grown up and very happy alongside their Daddy. Sometimes towards the end of the day, I drop the kids off at Dad's office (which is at our local building that's within walking distance on fair-weather days) to play basketball in the gym while Dad wraps things up...and then joins them for a game of HORSE. And whenever necessary, Brent customizes his schedule so he can serve those in need in our church congregation and community, attend the millions of recitals, games, and concerts our kids keep having, OR report to the home-front if I raise the red (or white) flag. Even though it's a major pay cut from Corporate America, it's a dream come true type of job that we hope to enjoy for a long time during these precious years of raising our children together.
Brent supported me so graciously in getting a good start on writing up Present Parenting and in sharing more on this blog during his lay-off period...but now the winds have shifted. Of course I like to soar once in a while, but probably because I absolutely adore my husband, I also find great joy in lifting him as the wind beneath his wings.
Educating my Children: Since my last post, Carefree Summer ended and a new school year is in full-swing, which swarms me with learning and practicing and extra-curricular activities all day...every day. We continue to maneuver between a combination of home-school mixed with several public school classes.The few short minutes of computer time that I might squeeze into a day are consumed with communicating and coordinating with teachers and coaches and directors and principals. Juggling schedule conflicts feels like a full-time job...as does the taxiing that's required to keep all the balls in the air. And oh, how feeding everyone in a timely manner keeps me literally twirling on my toes.
Creating Life: But most of you already know that what's keeping my body the busiest right now is something far more meaningful than making it to a ballet class on time or reviewing that violin piece once more or getting a gym suit washed before tomorrow.
I'm creating another precious human being and it's exhausting. I need more sleep. I need more time to sweep the floor. I need to sit and just breathe more often and take the time to entertain lots of "Is the baby about this big now?" and "When are you going to be this fat?" questions while little hands connected to giggling bodies rub and poke at my belly. I need to retire to bed by 9, which wipes out any potential for evening hobby time.
While my energy goes to our new little miracle, I need to take the time to soak in my children's overflowing energy because whenever I start to wonder if it's all worthwhile, it is the simple, but focused attention I give to my children that make it so. I simply can't afford to spend very many minutes self-absorbed behind a screen...it would eventually drain me completely.
Prior to getting pregnant, I imagined that I would very much enjoy documenting my thoughts on pregnancy throughout these blessed 9 months and sharing why Brent and I continue the eccentric tradition of adding yet another child to our family. I do hope to still get to a journal entry on the why, but I can clearly see now that a daily or weekly or even monthly update is too far beyond my energy level. And because my biggest battles in pregnancy are typically not gagging over food and leaning over the toilet (I'm so lucky!!), but instead include frequent washes of fatigue and a thrilling emotional roller coaster, my posts would probably just be a big alternating mix between "This is the most glorious time in my life! These years won't last forever..." and "What was I thinking?!! If we could turn back the clock, I would vote for a different path..." anyways.
And this world already has enough drama methinks.
So...While we both feel that Brent's new job came as a divinely inspired career move packaged personally for us at this time in our lives AND we deeply value our children's education and the attention they each need every day AND we jointly feel inspired about adding another precious bundle to our brood, each of these pieces all naturally add up to less opportunity to play around with our Present Parenting site and this here blog for now.
We still love those projects and we still look forward to setting aside time to answer specific parenting and discipline questions received over here on our site. Please feel free to drop us a line--it was a joy to interact with a couple who asked about sleep issues with their 3-year-old recently. I would love more parenting and brain development and discipline questions and insights from friends, family, and readers! It keeps my mind moving in useful directions and makes me feel like I can positively influence the world beyond the walls of my own home occasionally...and that's important for a mama...even one who sincerely loves giving most of her minutes to her little ones 24/7.
But overall, we must feel content with our lack of cyber-space time during this current season.
We expect that spring may emerge again for a more detailed sharing of our parenting moments, philosophies, and tactics here and at Present Parenting (because my love of brain science and emotional regulation and the potential parents have for spreading world peace through present-minded discipline is still burning bright inside my heart), but we will wait patiently and see.
And we trust that dormant seasons have a divine purpose as well.
**But do check back occasionally because posts may sneak out here and there...I'm not sure I can keep from posting about our big 20-week ultrasound that is scheduled just in time for Christmas on Dec. 23...We're having a family debate about if we should discover Baby's gender that day...we probably will...