The feeling is changing in my house. Things are just starting to work better. It feels as though we have climbed the mountain, and now are coasting down the other side.
I know it’s not linear, and tomorrow might be a bad day, but today was just so joyful.
To understand the depth of it, you have to understand where we’ve been. More bad days than good. An overwhelmed toddler, a cranky baby, a new full time step teen, and a strained marriage. It has been hard work every day, more work than reward. But my husband and I have buckled down and worked our Sanity Plan. And we got a taste of hope.
My husband came home from half business/half play trip. The kids were really happy to see him; they had missed him so much. The 21-month old boy was a tad shy at first but he warmed back up right away. Since the girls were at dance, dad got to spend some one on one time with him. My heart almost burst with love for them both.
Then the girls came sweeping in from dance, with grandma in tow. The excitement just filled the room.
“Daddy, did you miss me? Do you miss me when I’m not there with you?” the four-year-old asks with her arms around his neck.
The teen hangs back, waiting her turn. She is thoughtful. Asks him about his trip.
We all stay up later than usual; we are so excited to be reunited. The kids are happy. They actually play together.
Around the kitchen island, our teen shares something beautiful. She wanted to tell us that today is the first day that she really felt like a teen. That it didn’t happen on the day she turned 13, several months ago. But today.
Her cheeks are flushed and pink, her body language open and happy as she describes it to her father and I. Maybe it was the tour of the high school, where she was treated with respect and kindness by the older kids. Or maybe it was the powerful dance class she had tonight. The students had been encouraged dance freely through improvisation. To really feel and express the music. She says it was the best class she’s ever had.
And there’s me. Hanging back and drinking it all in. I am here and participating, but watching with so much joy that my heart hurts. I love this family. We’ve worked so hard to make it work. This is the nourishment my heart needs.