There is a tremendous awakening of what we're doing, and I have an eye-to-eye view of the courage required to start over. But I will not shrink back, and I will not allow fear to have his way, because I know that in spite of that security that comes with the known, if I continue in it, I will never be satisfied with who I am being in the world. I also know that the perceived security with the known is no more secure than the unknown, I'm just more comfortable with it.
The greater risk for me is to take no risk, and death for me would be to choose to keep my dreams alive only in my sleep. So we go, daring to create, willing to face whatever circumstance may come, and knowing that life turns out the way it does.
We know now that we have lived life by default, but now we choose to live life by design, and I would rather fail at this than succeed at anything else.
My kids have been on "overdrive" for a few weeks now. There's so much change and stimulation for them, and they're learning how to process all of it. A few nights ago, I was getting something out of the garage when my oldest daughter came in looking for me. I had my back to her when she told me that she wanted "to go back home to San Antonio," and so did everyone else, as she started crying. Our house in San Antonio was the hub of all the neighborhood kids, and it wasn't uncommon on any given evening to have 15-20 kids playing in front of our house. Plus, she had 2 really close friends who lived in the neighborhood, and the move has been especially tough on her.
So I have to confess, I got frustrated with her, not because I don't "feel" for her...but she had cried almost every night since we moved into our new home...when it was time to go to bed. The first 3 nights, I held her, hugged her, encouraged her, listened to her, told her we were going to be okay, and assured her that we are all in this together. We even talked about the future and meeting new people and having new friends, plus we have family around us for the first time since we've had kids. By the 4th night in a row, I felt it was more of a ploy to stay up and not have to go to bed, so I told her, "We're not going to do this every night, and not everyone wants to go back." (If you're a parent, you probably understand these ploys that kids create. Some are totally hilarious, while others...well, you know, they're frustrating). Anyway, she walked away quietly, and I immediately felt bad, because I had been too hard on her.
Within about 2 minutes, I went back in to find her so I could talk with her. I found her in the boy's room, helping them clean. She was bending down to pick up a drawer, and as she raised up, big tears were streaming down her red face. I looked over and saw both boys lying on the floor, one totally covered with a blanket, and the other with his head covered. I walked over to my youngest son and uncovered his head. I saw his face, and he too had big crocodile tears running down his face. I then uncovered my oldest son's face and he too was crying.
So here I was, with my 3 oldest kids, all crying at the same time, because they wanted "to go back home." They miss their friends, they miss our house, and I was totally blown away at my youngest sons articulation of what he was feeling. If you know him, you know he goes about 100 miles an hour and is a tough little boy, so this was a different side of him for sure. Ashley was gone to the store, so it was just me with them. I got all 3 of them around me and pulled them close to me. They all cried, literally sobbed, and just held on to me, all 3 piled on top of me. I tried not to paint too much of a picture of what could be in the future. Instead, I just sat there with them, my arms around all 3, and as tears filled my eyes, I told them that we're all going to be alright, we're all in this together, and we are going to make new friends. Ashley got back from the store and walked in on the scene. She was obviously caught off guard as she joined our tight little circle. As they settled down, they began to tell us stories of playing with their friends. They talked for about 30 minutes, sharing memories of things they had done and we all ended up laughing by the end at some of the really funny stories. My heart was both broken and full for them, and much of the time, it was in my throat.
I moved around a lot growing up, so I really remember the pain and challenge of leaving friends behind at such a young age. In some ways, I totally understand where they are. And I must also confess that I do miss our house, I miss our friends, and I miss hearing the doorbell ring from the neighborhood kids asking if our kids can come out and play.
But we're all going to be alright, in fact, we ARE alright. They are doing much better, and have already met a new friend in the neighborhood. I am focused, committed, and ready for what we're doing, and I'm ready to go! There are amazing things on the horizon, and that horizon might be closer than we think...
I'd rather fail at this than succeed at anything else.