Slowing down isn’t really my thing.
Ever year for the past three years April or May comes and I get very sick. Like in bed for a week or three and fairly unable to care for anyone. Cumulative total of a years worth of homeschool and all the rest of life. Added up to a debt that demands paying. A forced, hard stop. No option. No pressing through. Just an involuntary shut down.
I’m squaring off with April and May. Staring them hard in the face right this minute. Wondering if or how this time I could bypass that sort of unpleasant craziness. Daring to say out loud that the answer just might lie in not multi-tasking to the nines. Not saying an unwise “yes” where a no is actually in order. Not saying “maybe later” to my two year old who wants to take my hand and “come see” something. Not saturating myself in obligation and instead simply loving what and who is in front of me at that very moment. Not worrying about the next moment and simply welcoming the present for what it is.
Even if it involves sitting outside my grandpa’s room with silent tears streaming down my face. Because big love means big goodbyes and those don’t ever come easy.
Even if it means simple, repetitive dinners because that’s the only way I can get food on the table for 8 people. Embracing the truth that food love doesn’t have to be big and showy to still be love.
Even if it means one (or five) too many dark chocolate peanut butter cups eaten after kid bedtime when I really should be following a stricter diet and working out every day.
Even if it looks like milk stained jeans and tee-shirts (like today) from the thrice daily milking that consumes a good part of life this week….pretty sure my Pinterest page that is titled “If I had a style…” it didn’t include this weeks attire as assistant dairy maid.
Because for all those even-if’s and adjustments that keep being made, there is stunning and simplest beauty to be had if I have eyes to see.
There is a bug called a click beetle that bends its neck and makes a captivating “click” sound. Caleb found one and brought it to me while I washed a zillion dishes this morning. We stood in the kitchen and watched it snap it’s clicking neck back and forth.
There is a spirited and feisty two year old who will not be missed and who will not miss anything. Who loves to read to newborn goats…
There is a boy who found flowers growing out back and thought they would look nice in a pot, so he found one, dug it up and made this for me. Beauty, tiniest blue flowers, brought right to my feet. Undeserved and perfect gift.
There is a blue-tinted moth that thrives here and we find all the time. Someone thought it wise to use my water pitcher as a bug house. Imagine my surprise when I found this as I went to make a pitcher of ice water:
There is couch time. Three cup of coffee mornings where all I do is help feed bottles, do more dishes, drink more coffee. Though incredibly work-heavy and surely exhausting in the deepest sort of way, something wonderful happens when you are handed crisis (baby goats who look like they are about to die, beloved ones whose time here is waning, hard stuff of any and every sort). You have a choice to make. You can get angry and bitter and callus and run away. Or you can laugh and cry at the very same time as you tackle the hard/impossible thing together. This is family. Family says:
Yes. This is painful, scary, difficult and unfair…but we will face it together.
That meant kids who sat quiet through Sunday lunch with grandpa. Keenly, heartbreakingly aware how dramatically different it was from the past 40+ Sunday lunches we’ve enjoyed with him over the past almost two years. They hold a front row seat to this part of life’s journey we are walking. Together. Joy and delight mixed with loss and heartache.
There were the quads born on Thursday…
and then surprise Saanen twins born Friday. I wrote dates down wrong. Like three weeks wrong. Absolute shock to walk outside and see their white, wet, just-born selves laying in the grass:
And Hope. There is always Hope. After her big (tiny) debut on Thursday, she is being loved and nourished and has made an amazing recovery. Largely thanks to Rylee and her incredible goat care-love.