Saturday, December 31, 2016

Blog Year Five: A Personal End-of-the-Year Story

(Written between December 20-30th)

The final days of 2016 are here, and I am sick . . . still.

This is not what I had planned for my last weeks of the year, but God's timing is beyond my understanding.  And it is OK.



A PERSONAL STORY

Officially, I have entered the crazy-mom season of motherhood.  For twenty years I avoided the role, believing that women who spent more time in their cars, driving their children to lessons, activities, and sports, were out of their minds.  But I have since joined that percentage of women who live on the run, eat standing up, and can nap in the backseat of their minivan, in the parking lot of the dance studio.   

Attending a professional performance of The Nutcracker

My goal has always been for my children and me to be here when Dad arrived home from work, and believed we should limit our time away from home when he was here.   However, four years ago, his obligations changed, and now his time with us is limited.  His hours are unreliable, and he travels all over the U.S., Europe, and Asia.  Even when he is home, he is distracted.  Hence, I have purposefully given the crazy-mom lifestyle a try.

I had nothing to lose, except . . .

Watching Dad leave for the airport, again, 
before heading to Nutcracker practice

The Result: I no longer eat right, I feel run down, and it is probably the reason I am the only human being in this house of seven who has been terribly sick for over a week.

Meanwhile, back in October, my girls auditioned for The Nutcracker at their dance studio, and they received a few parts.  I committed to three-hour practices every Saturday for two months, including some Sundays and one Friday night rehearsal. That was in addition to driving to the studio four nights a week for regular dance classes, my son's weekly piano lessons, and occasional fall ball baseball practices and games.  When Dad was not out of town, he would take care of our son's baseball obligations; but sometimes games and practices fell on days when Dad was away.

Anyway, the big day was coming, and I anticipated the culmination of the consecutive crazy weekends of Nutcracker practice.  My eight-year old was a "little boy" party guest in Act One, and she and her older sister were candy canes in Act Two.  They danced with the sweet little bon bons that appeared from under Mother Ginger's hoop skirt.  I had only seen practices, but anxiously looked forward to the final result.

Holding the banner in the City Christmas parade

The day of the performance, we went to church in the morning, but by 12:10 PM, Pastor was still delivering his sermon; my husband signaled to me that we should leave, nonetheless.  The kids and I reluctantly followed.  I had to do the girls' make up, change clothes, and drop them off at the theater by 1 PM; and my husband had to take our son to his Christmas party at his piano teacher's house, which of course fell on the same day as the ballet.  Go figure.
  
In church, I had started not to feel well, but thought it would pass; I was not concerned that I lacked an appetite.  By 4 PM, it was much worse, and I thought I had to drive back to the theater to get my girls for the break between shows; however, they were to remain at the theater after all, and I had driven there for nothing!

The next show - the one that my family and I had tickets to, the one I had eagerly anticipated for two months - was at 6 PM, and by now I was horribly sick; I realized that I was not going to make it to 6:00 and decided to drive home, crying my eyes out.

One of many practices
Candy Cane and Bon Bon

What I am leaving out are all the details of this ordeal.  So many things were out of my control.  At the time, I did not understand why plans had to change, leading up to that day, but as I sat at home alone (still crying my eyes out), it became clear.  

God was working these particulars out in His perfect timing:

~why my son's piano teacher scheduled her piano Christmas party on the same day as the ballet;
~why we had to exchange our tickets to the 6 PM show;
~and why I had to switch my mandatory parent job, collecting tickets at the door on performance day, to decorating the set on Friday night before the show;
~why my husband and I ended up in separate cars the day of performance;
~why I did not get the memo that my girls did not need to be picked up between shows.

God had orchestrated all of these events to get me home by myself, on the day of the show, because I was very, very sick.

Had everything worked out the way it began originally, I would have been in a miserably compromising situation. So during my sickness at home, I felt great peace, even though my heart felt very heavy with disappointment.  

Yeah, I did this to myself.  I ran myself ragged, got sick, and missed my girls' performance in The Nutcracker.  But I clung to God, saw His Hand in this, and felt His perfect timing.  He reminds me that He is always in control of all things.  And it is good.

Sisters

2016 REVIEW

Now, this is the end of my year.  In between being a crazy mom, I managed to read 50 books.   (I would have read more if I had spent less time napping in the back of my minivan at the dance studio, but I digress.)  I planned to read more books, but they never happened; and a few books I started but did not finish.

While I dropped two reading challenges and fell short in two others, I completed the biography portion of The Well-Educated Mind Reading Challenge, and three books for the Woolf-Along; but my favorite challenge of all was The Little House RAL.


BLOG YEAR FIVE

Finally, on January 1, 2017, this blog turns FIVE, which also marks five years that I have been reading through The Well-Educated Mind list.  This year I will begin the histories portion, which I am very excited because I keep saying, "I love history."   I have added non-fiction Christian literature and some Russian literature to my reading diet.  And I joined Back-to-the-Classics again, although I failed this past year; nonetheless, I will try once more.

Again, everything is in God's perfect timing, and all of these are just my human plans: I plan to blog another year, I plan to read these books, and I plan to continue being a crazy mom.  But if it is not His will, my year will look differently in the end.  And that is OK, too.

P.S.

By the time The Nutcracker was over, I received a text from my husband.  He surprised me with a little video of the candy cane dance.  Even in my affliction, I could still experience joy.  : )




(My girls are the last two candy canes on stage, the tallest and the smallest.)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

13 comments:

  1. Your children are SO cute! Thanks for sharing their triumph and your lesson. I think a few of us are planning more personal blog posts this year.

    All the best for 2017!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome.

      Thank you, and you, too.

      Delete
  2. You have beautiful children. I enjoyed hearing about your personal trials and life. I'm amazed you can do so much with plural children. I raised one son and he took up all my time. I mean, I was a single mom but it sounds like you are largely functioning as a single mom as well so kudos!

    I feel your pain. In laws came and visited with bronchitis and I dodged that bullet. Then my parents came getting over head colds and now I have a yucky head cold. I can hardly keep my eyes open.

    Have a wonderful new year and hope you feel better soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. : )

      I do feel like a single mom - although a single-mom friend of mine made the distinction between my life and hers b/c she had to also provide an income; so while my husband may be physically absent, he still provides for us - and I try to be grateful at least for that.

      My cough is all that is left, so I am not feeling run down anymore. The cough is just annoying. : (

      Get some rest yourself.

      Happy New Year.

      Delete
  3. So good to get a peek into your family life. Sorry to hear about you being sick - rest up. Everything stops here over the Christmas break and doesn't really start up again until late January so it's an enforced rest for a lot of people. All the best for 2017 in your family, reading life and health. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you in Australia, too? After the month of December, it would be nice to have another two weeks off to recover around here. But we're taking one more week off before officially getting back into our usual schedules, so hopefully we will all be good as new again.

      Happy New Year.

      Delete
  4. Hi, I've just discovered your blog recently, and have been enjoying your posts about classic books. Are you a fellow Aussie? Sorry to see you've been unwell. I can relate to your disappointment, being a homeschooling mum too. My children are older now, and your post makes me nostalgic about old times, which were so sweet but could also be filled with anxiety.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Paula. Thank you. No, I'm in California. My health is definitely improving.

      As for parenting, yes, it is like that; and it doesn't help when we overwhelm ourselves. : (

      Delete
  5. I hope you're feeling better! Love all your pictures. Here's hoping for a good 2017 :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I am feeling better; just trying to live with this cough.

      Happy New Year !!

      Delete
  6. Oooooof, and I thought having a cold for three weeks was rough! All I missed were a couple church services. I love how you used this as a way to learn to rely on God more -- that's wonderful.

    Here's to a happy new year full of books and learning and joy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hear, hear !! Happy New Year, Hamlette. I was really down for two weeks, but now all that is left is my stupid cough. I hate it so much. : (

      Delete
    2. YES! All I have left is a cough, and it just Needs To End.

      Delete