I have no excuse NOT to write, so maybe that means it’s a good time. We’re having a snowstorm here in New England, my husband is out of town, the kids are fed and entertained and the house is warm and cozy. I’ve got music playing on Spotify (Jason Isbell is a new favorite, and I’m able to listen to all kinds of similar artists). I really hate winter and snow in general lately, but today I was prepared for the storm and it’s actually been a nice day. Just one of those days where the flow is good, the energy is positive despite the weather and cold and the fact that February is my least favorite month.
But February isn’t all bad- my third child was born this month, so it has some redeeming value. And I’m still dreaming of the time when I’ll be able to escape to a warmer climate for the dead of winter. I’m getting closer to being a snowbird, I just know it, but I’m not quite there yet. My time is coming…and when it does I’m going to enjoy every moment of it.
So many things have changed since my last post (July! where does the time go…). It bothers me that I left things here on such a low note. It was a crazy summer. We were uncertain about the future and stress is always hard on relationships. We had moved back to Maine (from Colorado) in the spring of 2015, and my husband had gone back to work for his old company. I’m not going to go into all the reasons why we came back, it’s all here in the blog somewhere, but let’s just say that there’s some truth to the idea that you can’t go home again.
Maybe some people can, but I’ve never been able to. Everything changes. The life I left in 2012 was not the life I returned to three years later. It’s a little disappointing but I’ve already worked through it- I suppose it was why I took such a long break from writing, because I just needed to sit quietly with myself for a while.
I’m on the other side now, made my peace with everything that has happened, looking forward to the future. My husband’s job became one of trying to save a failing company, and he gave it a year and then saw the writing on the wall and prepared an exit plan. His old company (in Colorado) was happy to take him back, and he negotiated an awesome position that allows him to work remotely and offered him growth, flexibility, and new challenges. So, once again, it seems like things happen for a reason.
We moved to a beach house on the New Hampshire seacoast for the winter to give us some time to figure out the next step. It’s falling into place now, but it’s taken a few months and a willingness to go with the flow. Scott has to be in NYC a lot, so we will probably move closer when our lease is up here in June. I made myself crazy for a while thinking of all the options and possibilities, but I think we’ve settled on a plan for the future and I feel good about it.
So that’s our life for now. It’s a good life. We are comfortable financially, my big kids are busy making me proud of the people they’ve become, my younger two are a whole lot easier and generally fun to be around. We live close enough to hear the ocean, to walk the beach every day if we choose, and that is something I don’t take for granted. I stay busy facilitating the boys’ learning, the myriad activities that keep them growing and healthy.
Jesse has been in Brazilian jiu jitsu for over a year, in a class of adults. He loves it and I love the effect it has on him. He surfs- it was actually why we moved here this winter. Nick loves to ride his scooter, and we go regularly to our local indoor skate park. They like bouldering (indoor rock climbing that doesn’t require harnesses). We’ve started going to the homeschool session at a trampoline park, which they enjoy but Jesse always manages to hurt himself. Mostly anything to get through this long cold winter. The one thing we haven’t done yet is snowboarding, mostly because I’m apathetic about it but also because we have so many other activities that it seems hard to fit in. Maybe next winter.
Although we’re still very relaxed homeschoolers, I do make sure that Jesse has some structure now that he is high school age. He does a mix of online learning (New Hampshire has a nice virtual school that allows free access to classes for homeschoolers) and curriculum that I’ve picked out for him. He wants to make sure that he is keeping up with his schooled peers, and I respect that. My guiding philosophy as a homeschool parent is to do what is best for my child, and I have to say that I am loving this stage of the journey. Being able to share things with them, to celebrate their independence and passions, to have discussions on a deeper level, to sit and smile as Jesse kicks my butt at a game and easily calculates his score while I’m still hunting for my glasses… it’s a sweet reward for all those early years, the mess and tears and needs and nurturing that nearly emptied me out.
It’s a still night, heavy with a blanket of snow and the hush that a storm brings. I say that I hate winter, but I am reminded of its power to strip things bare, to leave only the essentials, to cleanse and renew as the earth sleeps and prepares for new growth. It’s a fitting metaphor for my mood on this February evening.