Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Do you ever find yourself reading a really delicious book, heart rooted down in another world, so deep in love with the characters, your soul sinks as you near the last page? There are times I delay reading the last chapter of a horribly wonderful book. After blowing through the text, engrossed, neglecting important aspects of my life, completely caught up in the struggle of another, I near the end and need to step away for a few days before taking in the last few pages. I've read stories about brave men and women who hugged their families long and hard before boarding a boat heading to America. They sailed away knowing they would never see their loved ones again. Can you imagine? Even though it's not the same and can't compare at all, reading the last page of a brilliant story reminds me of those brave immigrants who waved farewell and traveled on with nothing but memories in their minds. Reading the last page of a really great book has never felt right. It feels final and sad.
That's not how this feels.
This, my friends, feels like plowing towards the end of the first book of a terrific trilogy. The story isn't closing. The author laughs and refuses to wrap up loose ends just because the pages nearing the back cover are thinning. The ends can stay loose and lovely because the conclusion of the story is a million words away. Instead, as we race towards the last page we sense a change. The last page of book one is nothing more than a dare to dive into book number two. The next piece of the story promises to be as beautiful and worth reading as the first. No good-byes or closed doors - just more hellos and surprises.
I've loved this season of my life - this one filled with growing and raising babies. Even the parts I swore I hated in the moment, I look back with such fondness I fear my heart may grow too heavy and break from the sheer weight of so many precious memories.
Thirteen years ago, I held my firstborn son in my arms and willingly decided to put my personal dreams on hold. Besides - I had a new, unexpected dream all of a sudden. This enormous dream weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces and was wrapped up tight, asleep on my chest. The decision to be home with my kids for the past 13 years has never felt like a choice or a trade. It felt like the sweetest privilege. A gift I feel so eternally grateful for, I can hardly speak of it unless you want to witness a terribly awkward cry.
No matter how much life insists on never staying the same, isn't it funny how surprised we always are when something changes?
After many months of discussing the possibility with each other, with friends, with family, and with our kids - it's official. I'm going back to school in the spring. This endeavor will bring big changes for our family in the coming months. Yet, we're "all in." All six of us. We're excited and the cool kind of nervous. Life will look different. Very different. Yet I feel as peaceful and sure about this choice as the one I made 13 years ago holding Anson's tiny body next to mine.
Being home for the past 13 years has felt like an extravagant gift. The opportunity to go back to school and study something I'm passionate about? That feels like an extravagant gift as well.
I'm grateful. Beware. I will be backtracking and processing these difficult decisions in writing soon. Real life is overwhelmingly complex. Fair or not, decision making for wives and mothers is incredibly emotional and weighty. The road to this place of peace regarding this change has been marked with many sweaty, sleepless, stressed out nights. This is the life of a woman, no?