Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. ~Henry David Thoreau

I am breathing, really breathing, these days.  I feel like we are again at a new place in our life.  Grace is 7 1/2 and Max is turning 5 in two weeks. 

Over the past year, our rythyms have changed a lot.  There are years between us and the baby hormones and chronic lack of sleep and broken back from carrying littles, which helps in no small way to make life feel different.  In case you thought in the back of your mind that Max was only 2, he’s not at all.  He was born 5 years ago.  This isn’t new any more. 

The kids are so much more self sufficient and involved in a lot of kid things these days.  I have a sort of make-yourself-do-something-every-day-that terrifies-you workout routine with friends, which I love.  I don’t think it terrifies them, just me.  Friendships have changed, some in good and some in sad ways.  There are new people in our lives, who have opened their hearts and lives to us, and us them.  We learned that my incredibly strong, never-stop, do-it-all Mom has an illness that no one could have seen coming and no one knows how will go.  My sister is moving in with us this weekend to save some money for a bit, so our rhythm is sure to get a new beat again.  And I’m seeing a pattern now.  I’m learning to accept that life throws a lot of curve balls and that we are a strong species. 

I’m not quite as stunned on a regular basis as I used to be about our daily life.  I’m not quite as shocked about how much there is to do and how much love I have for our babies.  Right now isn’t so much about the awe of all that happens and changes with new life coming together as a family.  We’re in the thick of it and the focus is more about recognizing the kids’ spirits and accepting them (truly accepting them) as they become independent souls.  The clinker in there is that there’s a pretty big grey area in trying to discern their true spirit, that we will behold and protect, from what is simply insane, erratic, mess making, egocentric behavior that we should teach them to curtail, or override or channel or just stop already so they can function in the world.  It’s about not always being able to relieve their struggles because they are being challenged in so many good, healthy ways.  And maybe they’ll learn to accept curveballs.

What I’m noticing lately is that curveballs and grey areas are only there because we are lucky enough to be in the midst of a lifetime of love we get to share.  This is the lifetime of messiness that is a family, with illness and happiness and taking care of one another and opening our houses and taking trips and disappointing one another and wearing a dumb outfit and saying something hilarious.  And cuddling up on the couch as often as possible in hopes that that sort of physical closeness, along with really being aware of their true hearts, will insert a peacefulness deep in their soles.  So deep that it can fight through the disappointments and challenges and curve balls and grey areas as they start to depend less on us in the external world, and start to depend more on the pure love that has nudged deep inside them, right next to the place where god is in their hearts.

So we’re breathing, really breathing in the freedom of loving funny little (and big) messy souls.  And trying to take everything in for the blessing it brings.