Last Thursday evening, just before 6 pm, the sky grew dark. The black rain clouds looked menacing as they made their way east and without much of a warning the sky opened up and unleashed its fury. Hard, hard rain, hail, and cracks of thunder. We stood at the door and watch it unfold and then hurried to the tv, just to make sure there wasn't a bigger threat. Severe thunderstorm warnings were scrolling across the bottom of the screen and yes, most definitely, these were severe. But it only lasted a matter of minutes, maybe 10 - 15 max, and then it was over.
The sun didn't come out but it was apparent that the storm had moved on and so the boys went out to play in it. The puddles that is- jumping and running and screaming. As I stood there watching them I realized this is a good metaphor for our lives right now.
The aftermath - getting wet and dirty in the puddles.
As many of you already know, just over two weeks ago Collin's dad (the boys' beloved Papa) had a heart attack.
Thank God it happened at home and not when he was alone at the job site.
Thank God his mom was able to get him to the ER quickly.
Thank God the ER staff was quick and diligent in their care.
Thank God we have a hospital with a reputable heart and vascular center within driving distance.
Thank God that hospital has amazing surgeons.
Thank God it played out as it did.
As always there was/is so much to be thankful for, even in the midst of the storm.
But every storm, every crisis, brings puddles.
Collin is now back to work full-time, finishing the house his dad has been working so hard on this summer and working up bids and prices for work on potential future projects that have been coming in these last few months. It all makes sense now, why the decision to have Collin quit his job at the beginning of the summer came so easily to us. Yes, it was because of the hours of his last position. Yes, it was because we wanted the kids off of the rigorous schedule. But most of all, we made the decision because it felt right, even if we didn't fully understand it. As Ember said to me last week: "He knew, Kate. He knew that Collin would need to be free'd up." And she was absolutely right.
Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that Collin is in a position to step-in and take over. I'm thankful that he is being called back to doing the work he loves. After all, this was our plan all along.
There's always a but, isn't there?
We weren't ready yet. I'm not in a position to quit my job. I'm not even in a position to scale back my job. This is all happening at lightening speed and we weren't ready.
What this all means, of course, is that now we have to find someone to watch the children during the day while we are working. It's hard for me to put into words what this is doing to me mentally, emotionally. It sounds melodramatic but I feel like my heart is breaking in two. Six summers ago I remember walking down to the end of our road, newly pregnant, trying to convince myself that it was okay to be a working mom. But here's the thing, not once in six years has this ever felt right.
Sure, there have periods of time where I've accepted this, this working mother roll, as my lot in life, but not once has it felt right.
Last summer, our first taste of a true "summer break" it felt the worst. It was a horrible time for me full of guilt and anguish. This summer, although I'm still working, just having them in the house with Collin has put my heart at ease. Sure, there have been some rough moments and of course we didn't get nearly as much accomplished around the yard/house as we had hoped but the kids were here, at their home, on a leisurely schedule, and our family life has improved dramatically because of it. And now it all has to change again and we're not ready.
Last week I was so sick over all of this that I just wanted to scream and throw things and curse God. And I'll be honest, I did every single one of those things. I lost it. It was not pretty. And then I sunk down to the floor, wrapped myself into a tight ball and cried. I cried so hard. I cried and cried and cried until I had nothing left in me. I was left feeling hollow, but it felt better than sad or mad.
(I'm feeling better this week. I've done some praying (and listening!) and I know things will be okay. I don't know yet what we are going to do for daycare but we're meeting with a potential nanny next week. I'm praying it will all work out - at least then they would be in the house and I feel like that would be the next best thing to me being home with them.)
Last Thursday, an hour or two after that storm hit, I backed the car out of the driveway and realized the puddles had already dried up; there was hardly any trace of the rain left. I know this too, these struggles, will eventually dry up and disappear but for the moment I feel like we are still outside splashing around in them. For the time being we are still running, jumping, and soaking wet.