We started this summer stepping onto an old merry-go-round. Still, a bit rusted, and long out-of-use. I put in a couple of quarters and the gears began churning us ‘round at a slow and laborious pace. Eventually it seemed to find its rhythm and we began moving leisurely but steadily . . .
We started to find our summer way of living. We began to sort the shocking new space of freedom into routines, activities and relied-upons. Abe had early morning driver’s ed classes. The girls began finding ways to fill their time. We established some predictable activities like letting the older kids each bring a friend to do baptisms for the dead at the temple each Thursday. It looked like summer was set out clearly before us. We thought we knew what it would be.
But then, with no real warning and no gentle increase in speed, the merry-go-round simply took off – spinning at a dizzying pace: all of us holding on, clueless as to how it happened or how to slow it down, and unable to fully make sense of the ride at all!
My dad fell and broke his hip. None of us knew what that meant. What the road ahead for him, my mom, or us would be. The next weeks were the same type of blur for me that the sleepless first spell with a newborn are. Mike spent some of that time away for work. Abe was gone for camp. Our new routines were all put on hold as I struggled to be a mom and wife while abandoning my little family for several hours nearly every day (and several times nearly entire days) in my anxiousness to be with my dad. And then, after three weeks of that, he was gone. (An experience about which I’ve begun – and failed to finish – about 30 blog posts.)
During that time Mike received news he would need to be in GA for nearly all of August (St. Simon’s Island – a place we already knew loved). He wanted us all to come, but we didn’t dare plan or commit to anything while things with my dad were so uncertain. Then there was a week with funeral planning and family. Followed immediately by a week-long family reunion with Mike’s family. One small week home to unpack and repack, arrange flights and drives, register for schools, arrange for things we’d be missing, work on a flooded basement (the night before and most of the first day that Mike was supposed to have left with half of the kids on the drive to GA). And then, we were all here! 2000 plus miles from home. On St. Simon’s Island. When we arrive home again school will be starting (the next day!). And this summer will have come to a close.
I can’t quite wrap my mind around it all! When I think of us at the start of this summer – my expectations and assumptions. And then see the wild and in every way (hard, overwhelming, happy and exciting) unexpectedness of how it actually all has gone I feel . . . a bit in shock. Not only, I suppose, because of this summer itself, but because it strikes me so strongly that life can do this – that it can, with each new day, week, or month, become something wholly different from what we thought we saw on the horizon. Which is both scary and exciting!