This is the downtime. The calm. The ordinary days.
It's hard not to see this time as the absence of something. In the place of glitter, glitz and celebration, we have preemie lockdown, snow delays, and children with no good outlet for exercise. I am tempted to wish for the return of the cozy buzz of Christmastime or to long for the sunshine and freedom of the spring that lies ahead.
But I'm trying to embrace the ordinary, recognize the value of balancing our uptime with this downtime.
The children are learning to fold laundry. I am absolutely swimming in it. Drowning, more like. So, we're spending our very ordinary afternoons matching socks and kissing corners and toting little loads to drawers.
They are learning to play cards and board games. To find each other worthy opponents and satisfying playmates. To choose teaching over abandonment when they find another's skill lacking.
Sometimes, I feel like running from the screaming and the whining, turning my back on the conflict. Sometimes, I find myself hissing at them to CALM DOWN and STOP SCREAMING and--most laughably--to EXERCISE CONTROL of themselves. Agh. Pot. Kettle. Black.
So, I remind myself that these ordinary days are life training. For me and for them. There will be conflict in life, there will be confinement in life, there will be sacrifices and missed opportunities. There will be ordinary.
The beauty comes when we embrace it.
Our Christmas was quiet and lovely. We couldn't travel because of Warrior and both our families were elsewhere, so it was just our little family.
In fact, all of Christmas vacation was quiet and lovely. I was so looking forward to the children being home because I felt like I missed summer completely. We had movie night every single night and fresh-popped popcorn on the nights the Mister was home. We only left the house for doctor's appointments, so pajamas were the uniform from one bath to the next. We read book after book and art-ed all day long. It was so great.
My brother and his family came for a quick visit, which made it all the more festive.
And the twin cousins finally met! My sweet niece was born on Warrior's due date, so they are perfectly paired.
The Mister planked. With some assistance.
Just before Christmas, Little Guy turned six.
It was the first year our shy little soul has ever wanted to celebrate with friends. He invited a few school buddies and his brother to go bowling.
It was so much fun to see him enjoying it all and so sweet to meet the friends we've been hearing about at home. Kindergarten has been so good for him.
As soon as school started back, we finally got some snow!
These ordinary days are life. Sweet and tiring, freeing and stifling, too long and too short.
They are part of the whole. And we are living them, loving them.