The rhythm of my days has changed since we began fostering A. It's not unwelcome, but it's remarkable how quickly I forgot the intensity that parenting in the early days of your child's life entails. The difference this time around is I also know how temporary each stage is and how flexible you need to be as the changes come. You can also learn a lot from a two year old who insists on simply playing at her new sand table and then happily let's you push her around the block in her stroller while babbling about everything she sees.
What did we see? Many, many birds, nuthatches, bluebirds, chickadees, titmice, robins, crows, red-tailed hawks and more. We saw puppies (all dogs are puppies), the moon and lots of cars. We met many of our neighbors, also walking on a beautiful afternoon. We heard the peepers start to come alive as the sun began to set. We wanted bananas, juice, hugs and our sand table. So simple, but so helpful in keeping us both grounded in the beautiful and blessed present.
We returned and I had a lengthy phone call with my eldest, away at college, and got to check in about her day. I'm learning (Em probably wishes I would do so more quickly) to listen more and offer advice less, unless asked. I'd catch myself about to offer help or my version of a solution and the take a deep breath and instead just offer my love and understanding and it was a good lesson for me. I miss that girl like crazy though!
Watching Noah put together the sand table for A. I was amused to think that it wasn't that long ago we were assembling such things for him and for Em. Yesterday in the car he spoke to me about his philosophy of life. It was wonderful and complex and funny and insightful and thought provoking. That boy totally absorbed my decidedly quirky sense of humor.
John continues to get all the things done so that our little ship can run smoothly. I'd come up with more nautical analogies but it's late and that's another topic anyway, I'm just grateful is all.
Really, I'm just marking a little time here, how in six months we've all adapted to a toddler schedule, while respecting the high schoolers schedule and even occasionally getting naps ourselves. How I feel I've learned so much about my family and myself and that it's all good stuff and a gift. How on a grey and cranky day the laugh of my kids, either the two here or over the phone with Em can make everything ok.