Obviously much has changed since the last post, since it was about a year ago. But more has changed than we bargained for! On a strange day in August, a tornado whirled thru our neighborhood, taking down scores of huge 100+ year old trees. None in our yard but our neighbors on either side had oaks down on their homes. In a few minutes, what wreakage! Then Justin walked in. At 3:30 in the afternoon. Did you hear about the storm, did you come to check on us?
But he had been doing a phenomenal job--not just an opinion, the numbers were proving it. They had fought to hire you (a bidding war for my man), moved our family, watched us buy a house, invest in it and the community (shoot, we had our own stimulus package going here w/ the renovations we did to this 80 yr old house), put 4 kids into its schools, got involved with a local church, and then a dispute among the higher-ups and they clean house? Men who worship their own hands--we're all prone to it but imagine how much more tempting when it appears you hold the power of life in your surgical gloves--can crush everything around them as if the wind were in control.
That was three months ago, and there have been ups and downs, a stream of interviews punctuated by Sophie jumping to conclusions "we're moving where?" She'll be the saddest to leave so soon after an awesome transition into high school. Katrina and Isabelle will move more easily, if indeed a move is in store.
But I feel badly for Nicholas. After spending 2 years who-knows-where in Kaz (best case with a loving mother or grandmother who got sick; worst case, with some witch who eventually left him in the street); 1 year in an institution for tiny kids where every minute was scheduled and watched, where he was paraded in front of potential mammas and pappas, hoping to be picked; a year of joys and adjustments in splended Naperville; a year in dreary Cleveland, where I was sick for 6 months with sinus migraines; and then, following surgery and all the work to the house, much of which was for greater energy efficiency (heat in the snowbelt!), just when we were ready to sit back and enjoy all this and the comfort of familiarity: bam! The "For Sale" sign goes up, and though we prepare for showings, no one is looking.
BUT. You know with me, there's always a BUT! And it makes all the difference. What did Einstein say when asked if evil exists... "Cold is the absence of heat. Dark, the absence of Light. Evil is not a thing in itself, it is the absence of God." So we continue to do our best to walk in the light, the heat, with God.
In the process, we've learned that fallen branches make great lean-tos! And we still have more than we need--we're "more than sparrows" for whom God provides everything, and yet, the sparrow cannot sit on his branch calling out all day! He needs to get busy, search for seed, gather twigs, build that nest.
So we've made some adjustments that are just what the Great Physician ordered. Rather than sending Nicholas off to Kindergarten early or to a third year of preschool at a special (very pricey) school I'd identified that would help w/ some of the residual attachment issues, we've kept him home, and he's getting his fill of mommy and daddy-time.
Justin and Nick have taken up Ultimate Frisbee--he's great at it! Nicky is understanding more about using freedom to make good decisions about how to spend his time and what it means to feel grounded in a home and family--things we may have employed a professional to undertake had we been able to afford it! Nick and I do jobs around the house together all the time. He's both my buddy and my little pain in the butt! There's that "but" again! I continue my editing/translation work and we've rented out the carriage house, seeds and twigs.
And last, but so important, is that Justin is continually amazed by the circle of friends and colleagues he has who have encouraged him and connected him. He has said, more than a handful of times, "I've worked with great people, I have great friends, there's no question about that." Thanks to all of you, from all of us, and the photographer (Justin). Steph