Sunday, November 21, 2010

Back to normal

There is no normal, none at all.

You think it is waiting for you just around the corner, but instead there is only more craziness. Eventually you realize there is no set pattern for weaving through life.

I think I thought some day I would have the stress free lifestyle of Claire Huckstable* - with a professional career, a great sense of humor, a rich and entertaining husband, a gorgeous (clean) house and children that "oohed and aahed" over the wisdom I imparted.

Ha! Those TV shows and commercials and movies, they're all fakes. Even the more realistic shows can't mirror any one family's life, and certainly not mine.

I have almost eliminated the bad habit of assuming things will be simpler in the future.  I appreciate the classic story of "The Station," believing you just need to reach  your destination to have it made, but then realizing that the trip, the journey, is the actual destination after all.

With us, it's thinking that our schedule will get easier, more manageable.....after our jobs settle down, our kids can dress themselves or drive themselves, or after we've run out of life's surprises.

My first three kids are four and a half years, five school years, apart. I knew that as they moved in a pack through middle and high school that our lives would be hectic, but by the time our fourth child came through six years later, it would be a piece of cake. Right?

Now our baby is in high school. We've just finished marching band season, three months of 7:00 am rehearsals and extra evening and Saturday practices. And when your child does not drive, his schedule is your schedule, in addition to your own. In a two week period we made two round trip trips to San Antonio, several community rehearsals and performances and ended up last weekend for the final competition in Indianapolis. The band leaves on buses on a Wednesday night and arrives in Indianapolis Thursday evening after stopping for  a three hour rehearsal in Illinois. I flew up Thursday night, Ricky came up Friday afternoon. The band performed Friday morning and scored well enough to advance to the next round on Saturday. Saturday's performance put them in the finals on Saturday night. They finished third out of ninety plus bands. Each performance was better than the one before and Saturday night was awesome. After their final performance, the kids loaded up buses, leaving Indy about three in the morning.

Ricky and I floated back to our hotel room, pleased with the results and pleased with the end of band season. Life would once again be normal after our flight on Sunday.

At 1:30 a.m. the phone rang. Our son back in Texas had arrived home to his apartment to find the door kicked in and his electronics gone. Pretty devastating for a kid whose whole life is, or was, stored on his computer. Thank God he is safe and it was only stuff that disappeared.

Later in the day we got home (with only one TSA full body screening,) looking forward to no more 7:00 a.m. rehearsals. So the dog decides to go wonky on us. Winston, feeling ignored, quit sleeping peacefully through the night in his crate. It escalated during the week until Friday night, when I ended up rubbing his tummy for an hour, punctuated by putting him back in his crate, going back to my bed only to be summoned by his shrill, ear piercing yips. I ended up spending the night in the recliner, not that uncommon for me except this time I had a dog leashed to me. Unbelievable.

Now it's the weekend and holy crap! Thanksgiving is here! When did that happen? Obviously when I wasn't looking.

We made our major grocery runs on Saturday, the bird is in the house. And out of nowhere, a fabulous holiday is shaping up. My married kids had a change of plans so they will be able to share the day with us. My parents are heading down from Oklahoma. My older, single kids are a joy to have around, sharing in holiday jobs and dog duties. We are privileged that our older son is going to hang out here for a while, where it's safe and he can be secure while planning his next steps.

So life is back to our normal - a wonderful, wacky, wildly unpredictable normal.

* The first one of my kids to comment correctly on who Claire Huckstable is wins a prize.


Ricky Balthrop said...

It started going wrong when you didn't get the rich and entertaining husband. Better luck with number two.

Lindsay said...

seriously? that easy? cosby show, duh. P.S. got my FAR score today....97!!!!