Friday, June 10, 2011

Life As We Know It

Has changed.
We've graduated both Kindergarten and Seminary, gone to the beach, packed our home, said good-bye to so many wonderful friends, moved, set up a new home, and have started a new life in Charlotte, NC. It's weird and exciting and sad and promising and frustrating and fulfilling. We're starting to meet people at the church and in our new neighborhood, but it's nothing like Sewanee. In Sewanee, everyone naturally comes together because we have nothing else. Either you're all in the same boat or you've been in the boat before and want to make it a better experience for others. In the "real world", as we like to call it, you have to find where you fit all over again and people have their own lives established and don't naturally reach out to pull you into their lives. People in the church have been wonderful of course and we're getting offers from young families to come to dinner or go swimming, but it's hard to go from having this 3 year built-in community to starting from scratch.

One nice thing is that we have been able to re-establish what it means to be a family. In seminary we had constant friends around, the kids' friends and ours, which is wonderful, but it can be hard to be a family. There were times when extroverted *A* would crave other people so badly and not understand why we were having a meal with just the 4 of us. It has been just the 4 of us for almost 2 weeks now (with occasional meals or playdates but nothing like in Sewanee) and it's starting to feel like we have our own routine again. Moving has done a number on the kids' behavior and we're having to re-learn a lot of manners and rules. If we didn't have this time together, it would not be as easy to reinforce those things to the kids. We're trying to get into a summer routine because we don't have constant activity like we used to with no time at home. We have LOTS of time at home now (with fancy cable tv) so we have to set some parameters and stick so some kind of schedule.

This week they have really gotten into the swing of things, especially *A* who seems to thrive on routine and rules lately, and it has helped with behavior. My favorite part of the day is right now, rest time, where we all go to our rooms and rest for an hour or so. Sometimes they sleep, and if they do we get to stay up late and do fun stuff like catch lightening bugs or have a movie night, but if they don't we all get a quiet break and they play better in the afternoon.
So, it's going well and it's getting easier. We still have boxes around but we're slowly unpacking and getting things organized. We try to take a break in the late mornings or afternoons to explore the city. The kids and I found these "spraygrounds" around town that are free cooling-off fun. And summer starts today for public schools here so I'm sure we'll start seeing more kids around the neighborhood and such. We have a huge YMCA next to us and we hope to join so we can add swimming to our daily routine. Library summer programs start next week too, so that will give us some fun things to do too. Another thing I've learned is that in the "real world" you kind of need a paycheck (which we haven't had in oh so long), so once that starts, we can breathe a little easier and keep finding fun things to do. This city is full of family-friendly places and activities so we're excited to be able to explore all summer long. But in the meantime, we'll keep running through the sprinklers, riding our bikes in the evenings, catching lightening bugs, drawing, reading library books, and making yummy treats that don't involve turning the oven on.
Enjoying the Latta Park sprayground!
And now that I have rest time, hopefully I'll be able to share more here. I've missed this space and I apologize for the long absence and the fact that I probably won't be able to catch up on all the great events that have happened to us in the past months. Hopefully I'll be able to throw in a few catch-up posts about the big events that I actually have pictures from like graduation and such.

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