The title of this blog was GOING to be “a whole lot of normal.” And then I remembered…historically, whenever some ridiculous comment about our life being “normal” flies out of my mouth, things do not turn out well. I might as well sign some form that says, “I hereby agree to have the upcoming week from hell.” Well…no thanks. Normal is just a setting on the dryer. To avoid saying things are feeling suspiciously normal, I will say that we happen to be really in a good place right now. Having lived for quite some time in “the opposite of normal” land, I am just feeling incredibly lucky and blessed. Our kids genuinely love each other. We laugh a whole bunch. Our kids are healing in front of our eyes. Or melting, as Jax calls it. We have fantastic meal conversations (that now only 35% of the time includes a shocking conversation topic that makes one or both of us spit our drink out and/or horrific manners). Single parenting just got so much easier, and we can now (guilt free) take turns having nights out.
My hypothesis: having to be so intentional about teaching things that most people just naturally model has changed our whole family dynamic, I think. We quite literally teach empathy in our home. We teach kindness. We teach boundaries and feelings and conflict resolution like most people teach reading and math. If/when we bring another child into our home, I want to continue to be intentional about it. It was the 83rd blessing in disguise for us. (Kind of a big disguise initially…just sayin’.)
Last week, J came upstairs hours after he went to bed. Scared the crap out of us…neither A or J has ever come up to get us in the night…that trust just hasn’t quite been there. Even when violently ill in the night, J didn’t think to come get us. It honestly panicked us…”WHAT?!” we barked at him (super encouraging for him to do this again, right?). “There’s a bug in my room.” Charlie started muttering what I can only imagine to be profanity, when I elbowed him. “HE HAS NEVER GOTTEN US IN THE NIGHT – GO KILL THE DAMN BUG!!” An hour later he was back up. Why hello, monster we just created! “I just couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about how much I love you.” Melt my tired heart!
We are not naive about the work ahead of us all, but we are sure enjoying this little lull. We are all just HAPPY. Lucky. Learning to trust each other, day by day. At bedtime tonight, “A” told me out of the blue…”I just wish T lived with us.” Ugh. Me too. Before I could say anything, she added – “But I know that you and Dad tried as hard as you could.” I think she might believe us.