Life is slowly adjusting to our new rhythm of work and school. Mark and I have worked out a pretty decent way to care for the kids, me spending most days shuttling them to and fro while Mark works; then I take them to the theatre to hand off to him so he can feed and put them to bed while I work. They almost always have a parent caring for them (when not at school, of course) and only one day a week have I turned to a friend to help make it all work. I don't get to sing them to sleep anymore, unless it's my night off from the theatre, but I always sneak in a peak at their little faces and sometimes get a sleepy, "Mama" sigh from one or the other. They've started sleeping together, both smashed into Anya's single bed, and I cherish seeing them tucked into each other, one had resting on the others chest or their backs lined up against the other, their breathing in an almost perfect unison. We're making plans to redo their room so that sleeping together will be easier, while they still have the option of sleeping apart if they so choose. Besides, that room is ready for an over haul, especially if it means we can get rid of a bunch of their broken, unused or simply annoying toys.
Anya has found another ways to cope with my sudden return to work and her sister's return to school. She tells me endless stories of her teacher Ella, a woman she tells me wears flowy dresses, has beautiful long blond hair and blue eyes and tells her about all thing important. Ella, she tells me, once talked to God and found out that neither God nor Santa Claus can die. Ella also explained the intricate details of how a bridge is made, which Anya relayed to us with startling accuracy. Ella is a fantastic teacher, even if none of the rest of us can see her and I'm very grateful someone is teaching Anya such useful things.
Lily is coping with all this change by immersing herself in art. Her teachers have been allowing her plenty of space to explore the creativity she finds so comforting and often pairs her with the school's art teacher for some one on one time. Ms. B sends Lily home with art ideas and projects and makes her feel like an "honest to truth" artist, which we are happy to encourage. I am so grateful that she goes to a school where they can not only be sensitive to a child experiencing a rough transition, but can find outlets for her that build her confidence and encourage her to express herself. Some days are pretty good (today) while others are very not (Monday) but she's making progress and feeling sad less and less, happier that in addition to her art time, she is also asked to do helpful things like water the plants outside the classroom door. She's not totally comfortable yet, but doing really well walking, sometimes haltingly, towards a more peaceful school year.
As for me and the Mister, things are ok. The schedule we've worked out allows the girls to see plenty of us, but not for us to see each other. Last night we crawled into bed together at 10:30 and giggled like kids, poking a finger into each others arms and saying, "You're here!" and telling bad jokes and discussing everything we could think of and just enjoying being with each other while we're both awake and happy and not so tired we want to simply pass out. It was indescribably beautiful to fall asleep with him rather than next to him. I feel so very lucky that, after almost ten years of marriage, we still really like each other and genuinely enjoy being close.
And while this is causing a strain on everything, this job couldn't have came at a better time. Just a month or so ago someone was asking me why I'm not more panicked about Mark's job ending in January. I replied that something always turns up for us when we need it and I really didn't have a reason not to believe it would this time. Only a week or two after that conversation did the job land in my lap. I have to believe it was the universe answering that faith and while it's not as much as Mark makes, it'll go a long way towards replacing his salary when it goes away. Things will shift again. And that's OK. Right now, we're rolling with it. Right now, it's still OK. Right now, I still have faith that things will work out as they are meant to. Even when I am exhausted and missing my Mister, I can see how very fortunate we are.
While I may be pretty quiet around here lately, we are OK. Tired and still recovering from being sick and juggling more balls in the air than should be allowed, but full of faith and hope and totally in love with my family. This ball is Lily and it is full of color. This one is Anya and is built to last. This one is Mark and it's so silly I giggle when I see it. This one is the job and it's heavy but fly's nicely. This one is my house and it's a wee bit ripped and worn, but structurally sound. This one is Lily's school and it is soft and kind of full of unexpected treasures. This one is my sanity and it's a bit frayed around the edges but holding together. This one is sleep and it is so very small and fragile. This one is all the things I fear I'll forget and it's shaped like someone sat on it, but I haven't dropped it yet.
So many up there.
I wonder how long I can keep them moving?
I was in a totally groovy mood when recording this one. Listen to my sleepy voice, you know, if you want to.