Summer of Change

I’ve had a trying week for various reasons. Long story short, just days before the first day of school, we had to move our 4th grader to a new school. It was unexpected, but necessary. It stressed the heck out of me, but it was the right move and I’m peaceful about it.

The last week of summer is the hardest for me, because I am getting my teaching materials ready and driving to the university for faculty meetings and such, but my kids are still home, and they still need all the same things they’ve needed all summer when I was able to be fully present.

Lots of people mourn the end of summer, but I love fall, and back-to-school is particularly delicious for school nerds like me. I’m happy for the change, but the transition is anxiety-producing for the people in my family.

This summer has been complex. We have been able to travel more than any other summer ever. We have begun to make slow and steady progress on repairing our beat-up house. We have had far more daily downtime and peacefulness.

We have also been mourning the loss of Jack as a member of our household. This has not been an easy thing. Grief has been my weary companion this summer. I’ve floated on a river of sadness, letting the change in our family wash over me and through me. I’ve let myself feel the trauma of not having my special-needs thirteen-year-old at home. I’ve opened myself to all the hurt and all the emotion.

So this summer has been extraordinary, but also incredibly hard.

Jack left our home for full-time care.

Home life stopped being a constant hurricane.

We took vacations.

I turned 40.

Henry started driving.

We missed Jack.

We felt empty sometimes.

We grieved.

Jeff and I celebrated 20 years of marriage.

All 4 of my kids are attending new schools this year.

We have experienced change and are bracing for more.

I went to the temple this afternoon in an effort to dial down my own anxiety. It worked. It worked so well that I came home and passed out on my bed for two hours.

The moral of this story is, I suppose, ask God for comfort when you need it, eat a chocolate shake (which I also did today), and take a nap for Pete’s sake.

Life will look better. It just will.

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