On the day you came out

When we told the world how our family had been wrong,

We held hands, held our breaths, tried to be strong.

We expected some things, but I never knew

On the day we came out, you’d be coming out, too.

You came out as cowards, so passive-agressive,

You came out as loving and surprisingly progressive.

You came out as pensive, you came out as delighted,

You came out as here for us, though torn and divided.

You came out as needing to speak and be heard,

You came out and walked away without another word.

You came out with one feeling, then turned to another,

You came out and stood beside your baby brother.

You came out and left some things in your wake,

You came out and reminded us, God makes no mistakes.

A wise woman once said, “When someone tells you who they are, believe them,” and it’s true;

On the day we came out,

You all came out, too.

The Last Mayday.

This time six years ago, we found ourselves in a bit of a situation. Long story short, Branden’s post boot camp timeline for school and a first station were indefinite. The only thing we knew for sure is that Baylor would be in three schools in one year, and that felt like too much. We mentioned homeschooling, and all that tension our 7 year old was feeling melted away.

So we homeschooled. And we kept homeschooling. And then it was Jolee’s turn and she homeschooled, too. Every May we look back on the year, and then forward to the next, and the kids and I decide: we doing this again?

For five years, the answer to that question was a yes. This year, for both bigs, that answer is a no. Both Bay and Jo have chosen to attend their local public schools in the fall. They took me up on the offer that was always on the table.

It was hard for a moment, because it felt a lot like letting go, and I suck at that. I guess in some ways, that’s what it is. I’m also wrestling with the feelings you inevitably feel when a chapter is over. I’m trying not to buy into the guilt trap of time past and whether I was enough. I’m also already nostalgic about the whole experience- it wasn’t perfect, but it was wonderful. It was ours. I feel like I got to hang on just a little longer than I would gave guessed, and I’m thankful for that.

This fall, it’ll just be me and E- an experience the other two had, and one I’m excited to share with him. He has big plans for his kindergarten debut, and so far the communication I’ve had with the school leads me to believe he’ll have a happy one.

We are heading into a new and exciting chapter; a different season for our family. Until then, I’m going to soak up the one before us: summer. I hope to make it a great one, I hope to finish well as I step back from mom/teacher to just mom again. I hope they know it’s with love that I held on, and with love that I watch them go.

That, and math. I hope they know some math.

To those of you who joined us on this journey, thank you so much. I remember the hesitation from some when we began, most of whom are sad to hear it’s over now…funny how that works. If you’re reading this and we’ve talked homeschool, I hope this in no way discourages you on your own journey- keep on, it’s all so worth it! I have no regrets. It’s been an incredible ride.

Grace.

Six years ago, I read a blog.

My sister in law and I found her as we tried to learn as much about our new lives as possible.

She was a military wife and she was fabulous. She had recipes and furniture plans that made me feel like maybe I could build (I cannot, turns out), tips for making base housing feel like a home, and an amazing attitude about navigating an unusual way of life. She was honest and relatable. We were both pretty hooked.

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Upward.

Our family has a new addition.

It’s seven flights of stairs. 

Between our new church and a new therapist, seven flights. Taking us through new thresholds. Greeted by new faces.

Thanks for climbing, they say. 

You’re so welcome. You’re so welcoming. 

Thanks for inviting us, I think. 

Up, up we go. 

Sometimes hopping and skipping and singing, sometimes begrudging and slow and holding on to the railing like it’s all that’s holding us up (no, really; ask anyone who’s been behind E on some type of morning). 

However it happens, we land on strange ground, growing more familiar under our feet with every trek. The climb, however joyful or hesitant on any given morning, has the benefit of a new view. Some things are larger, some smaller. Some things we are seeing from eye level for the first time. It’s a lot, but it’s a good lot.

I’m thankful that God is meeting us on the steps. I’m thankful for longer staircases; halls that keep winding upward to thresholds we aren’t to cross right now.

We have time. There’s room to grow here. To rest here. 

To take in the view.