Monday, October 03, 2011

In pursuit of the new normal

As of last night, my daughters have been home two weeks.

And I feel like maybe, just MAYbe, we're finally starting to settle in and find our footing again.  Maybe.  :)

I believe it was Melissa Fay Greene who used the analogy of the family as a mobile.  It's moving and somewhat flexible and everyone has their place, but then when you add a child (or two), the mobile is a bit off-balance for awhile as you attempt to find balance and structure again. 

Well, it's true.  The family is almost like its own system, really.  And as I've watched Tigist and Mekdes join our system, I've realized that each system needs to be able to embrace and adjust and sway and essentially absorb the impact of such a change. 

I've also realized that our own particular family is so very well suited for our sweet new girlies, and that we have been able to bend and endure some initial chaos.  I can't tell you how dang proud I am of my other five children...who accepted their new siblings, without condition, from day one.  They have been patient, flexible, loving, and helpful.  (Of course, Tigist and Mekdes are pretty easy to love.  Just sayin'.)

As for me, I have done my very best to keep up with our regular schedule, so that my kids have not had to give up activities on account of this change.  In other words, I've tried to maintain some semblance of normalcy in their lives amidst upheaval.  This means keeping up with their homeschool co-op, soccer, ceramics, a Friday night girls' group at our parish, and Mass.  Part of me would have loved to have locked the doors, shut all the windows, and turned out all the lights these past two weeks as I've attempted to get over jet lag and the exhaustion of parenting two new little ones.  But, I don't think that would have been healthy for me or for our family, overall.

And everyone seems to be evening out, life is marching on, and I'm just starting to get the hang of this whole thing.  Kevin went back to work today, another step towards normalcy.  We'll spend our day homeschooling and I also need to make some phone calls to the hospital, doctor's office, and early intervention people.  Whew.

Of course the irony is that by the time we start feeling normal-ish again, it'll be time for, you know, my daughters' heart surgeries.  But, like with everything else, even after our little family mobile goes all crazy-off-kilter, it will right itself again.  That's the beauty of family.  Experiencing life, both ups and downs, all together, and coming out better and stronger in the end.


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