Friday, February 25, 2011

This Fading Present

A few weeks ago, over Valentine’s Day, I realized I couldn’t remember what we did for Valentine’s Day last year. I had no memory at all.

My daughter reminded me that we went sailing. Two of us wore shirts with hearts and she thought that was funny. And as much as I tried, I just couldn’t remember.

And that bothers me because I want to be present for everything and remember everything. It is one of the reasons I like to blog. It is why I take pictures.

These days are full of mundane details; dinner, dishes, laundry, conversations with friends, children’s heights penciled onto the wall like high water marks. It’s all so unimportant and yet it is everything because it’s our life.

I just checked through our old photos and calendar and I remember last year a little better. I think I ran about 12 miles Valentine’s morning last year. I had just started marathon training with Students Run LA. I guess we went sailing later that day, although I have no memory or pictures of that. Our friend Eric was staying with us. I’m pretty sure Kip and I didn’t go “out.”

But we somehow made up for it by taking a train trip to San Diego, just the two of us, for a couple days. My dear friend Kathleen adopted my kids for a double or triple sleep over and we skipped town.

I’m not sure why I didn’t blog about any of it.

This year Valentine’s Day fell on a Monday, and we were so exhausted from the weekend that we decided at the last minute not to go out for dinner. Kip made all four of us sandwiches and we had a picnic on a blanket in the middle of the living room. We took turns talking about what we liked about each other. It seemed perfect.

The kids examine their Valentine's Day cards from two different homeschool events and girl scouts. I don't think they have enough friends.
My lasts blog was Happy New Year, so what is life like now?

I feel like life is shifting under us and yet not really at all. Maybe it’s an illusion from watching our kids grow into adult-sized people. Maybe it’s saying goodbye to dear friends and acquaintances who are leaving LA.

We have already said goodbye to several friends this year – Kairos friends that we have know for the past 8 years, my Aunt and Uncle who have been our closest family in California, a homeschooling friend who moved her family to China. And it is just the beginning. Several other friends are packing up, planning their moves or putting their houses on the market. It’s a little like being in the waiting room near the end of the day. And it’s emptying out.

We have talked a little about our own options. It had never been our long term plan to live in a two-bedroom apartment with an almost teenage daughter and growing son. But I want to be patient, hold my peace. We came to LA with a clear sense of God’s calling and I’m not interested in moving anywhere, not even down the hall, until we have the same sense of mission.

So what else….

I’m running a lot and never confident that I am running enough to be ready for the LA Marathon next month. My weeks are full of shuttling kids to activities, different from last year, but seemingly about the same amount of time on the road. My homeschooling experience is shifting as my daughter is far more independent in her studies. I’m finding that my main role is often to help her manage her time and assignments. I’m focusing more on doing things with my son, but even that is different from what I did before. Today we played a long math game that involved super heroes and addition, multiplication. It even used negative numbers. It was probably the best way for any little boy to learn math. And I’m glad we had that time together today.

I want to remember that.