Sunday, January 2, 2011

In The Year of Our Lord, 2010: A Review

In October of 2009, we move for the fifth time in fifteen years. And in January 2011 we are still settling in. 2009-2010. That dash is a crazy blur. Daily, I tell the kids, "Don't get used to this. It's about to change." (Usually referring to what cupboard we keep the peanut butter in or where we hang the coats but the truth is, we have lived in CHAOS for many, many months.)

We move to what might be the homeschooling capitol of the world. These wunderkids speak three languages, and memorize Shakespeare and fit dancedramasoccer between co-ops. Is it okay if my kids only speak English? Their mothers pick a hundred quarts of blueberries and make strawberry jam and ask me if I garden. Does pulling up roots count?
(One of about fifteen trees that we ripped out of our new quarter acre yard)

I dig through our boxes for math books, dig through our boxes for pencils, dig for notebooks. Start school at noon, finish at two, drive five kids to dance, sit in the car for two hours until they finish. People ask me my philosophy of education. First I think, Is survival a philosophy? And then I think, I've forgotten your name. What is your name? Unpack a box, shuffle furniture, paint something. Find a doctor, find a dentist, find a grocery store, find a church. Again.

We buy a house. A fixer upper.

Undersized and featureless in the front, Oversized and European in the back or it would be if it had window boxes instead of pink brick and blue shutters.We put the fridge in the living room because it won't fit in the kitchen and we leave it there for a year.

We take down emergency lights in the dining room (and every other room. R2D2s, we call them.) We unhook the panic button over the bed but not before our realtor summons emergency personnel. We scrape away faux wallpaper windows from under all the emergency lights.

We remove wallpaper and walls...

...and take a jackhammer to the living room.

Stuart travels to Brazil, to Sweden, to Mississippi, to Texas... I mumble goodbyes and hellos under the covers in the dark. We care for parents. We eat in the basement, wash dishes in the driveway, cook on the grill in July and in December.

I pull into McDonalds for the twentieth time and think back to the days of schedules, menus and order. Menus, schedules, bah! Frivolous things for people whose calendars and crockery are not in a jumble on the basement floor thirteen months after a move.

The children grow...and grow. I look at the babies in my blog header and realize a photo update is long overdue. John is six inches taller than me and three sizes larger than he was this time last year. He's old enough to drive. Faith looks me in the eye. Charlie reads and plays the piano. Time marches on and is not recorded here. Maybe in the year of our Lord, 2011, I'll come up for air.