This is me. Sitting on a park bench with the baby. Watching the middle boys play on the playground. As the toddler tries to keep up. While the oldest chooses to sit alone in the van. And Jeremy is at work.
I had these ideas about LIFE.
LIFE was the thing we were working towards for the first ten years of our marriage. It was a plan that we were dreaming up, a set of values and principles we were drawn to. Our vision of a good life, and a life that was Good.
LIFE was what we were going to do together. How we would spend our days when we had children, had a job, had a house, had cash instead of credit.
I failed to realize the manner in which real life gradually unfolds and moves along and changes and is different for each participant, and it's taken me almost two years to figure out where I went wrong. There is never going to be a point where this LIFE I had been planning for my family would "begin," and when we would all "do" or "live" it together just as I had imagined.
In reality, my oldest is about to turn eleven--his childhood is practically over-- while my baby has barely begun to interact with the world and people around him. The way in which he is experiencing our daily events is completely different from his brothers.
I want Peter to have the type of LIFE for a young child that I dreamed of, yet now I'm realizing that Owen is "aging out" of that particular phase of LIFE.
Additionally, I failed to fully account for the proportion of Jeremy's time and effort that would provide for the LIFE we wanted. Jeremy and I have been blessed to develop a common vision for our family over the years, and yet, I failed to realize how little he would actually participate in it.
So while I had this plan for our "LIFE as a family," I've now realized that I was wrong. My whole underlying premise was inaccurate. So now I'm just trying to figure out--where do I go from here?
How can I provide for Peter and Rory the childhood of my dreams, with plenty of unstructured play, outdoor time, and Wonder, while I try to honor the changing needs of his older brothers in terms of expanding social circles and developing skills and talents outside the home? How do we include Jeremy in our days while the majority of his time and energy is spent in the consecrated activity of breadwinning (and another large portion in church service)? How do I pursue personal development and goals (on my own or with Jeremy) in my adult life? And finally, how do I come to act on the realization that, as the manager of our home, and nurturer of the children, most of the responsibility--to see that any of this happens--falls on me?