Seated around the breakfast table with our kids this morning, it was hard to not get wistful for a moment. To take a moment to appreciate the last decade, the wonder of the ten years that have passed, a decade that brought us three more kids through the miracles of medicine. A decade that started with me in my second year of teaching, ready to give up on it all but instead beginning a blog, which led to a book and then three more books, and then to travels around the world trying to be a part of the solution rather than the problem. A decade shaped by new friendships but also lost ones. Of more love, of new wrinkles, of back problems and first world privilege. And a year that was for the most part uneventful in the best of ways, a year that came in quietly and leaves us in a flurry. As the kids made funny jokes, threw mini tantrums, and we celebrated Thea’s 11th birthday, we asked what they loved the most about the last year. What stood out?
A few things were crowd favorites; travels to Costa Rica , Taiwan, and New York, going to school and starting new classes (phew), getting Piglet, our hedgehog after many months of research. All extraordinary events that shaped our year. Events out of the ordinary. Events that we counted down to, saved up for, commemorated in our albums of pictures. And yet, it was in the moments after that my thoughts gathered. The little moments that make our years, the routine and ordinary. The life lived in the mundane that truly shaped this year.
Taking long walks with Brandon as we contemplated our lives and tried to figure out the everyday trials and triumphs of parenting.
Reading books in small moments, whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Text messages received from family and friends. Emails, phone calls, and letters.
A fresh cup of tea awaiting in the kitchen when I came home.
A car with heated seats, finally.
Friday movie nights ensuring us that our love of Star Wars was dutifully passed on.
Pool time naps.
Quiet work time before the students show up.
Thea trying out a new sense of humor.
Ida discovering her dyslexia super strength.
Oskar making sure to say I love you.
Augustine deciding that school is fun even it is work.
Saying thank you. Saying please. Saying yes.
This is when we lived. These are the moments that have shaped us. That will continue to shape us. All of the everyday decisions and breaths that we take that make up our entirety.
And while 2020 will carry many extraordinary events into our lives; Brandon’s graduation with a degree as a tech ed teacher (need a teacher in your school?), my 40th birthday, travels to Iceland and Puerto Rico, Thea starting middle school, it will be in the mundane that we live. In the moments for small contemplations. In the moments of quiet. Of loud. Of sameness, routine, and commitment. Of embarking on a year of yes and more. Of stretching ourselves to the fullest when we can and retracting when we want to. Of looking up, as Joanna Gaines, reminds me to do, of soaking it all in, of shutting down and tuning in. Commitments to a life best lived not in the magnificent margins but in the everyday extraordinaires.
I am so grateful for 2019, for a life lived in the daily. Perhaps our paths will cross?