Part of the reason why I cannot wait for our departure on this Beyond Wildwood adventure is because the last month or so has found me and mine shockingly busy. Unusually so. Schedule stacked sort of busy.
The kind of busy I have spent the majority of my parenting years actively avoiding and orchestrating our family’s life in an opposite direction.
I know some of this shift is natural with the rising ages of my children. Also, with the sheer number of children in my house. (Not that the number seems big to me.) Not even every child currently has an activity or a sport or a hobby they are pursuing outside of our four walls, but several of them do and those numbers and plans multiply in a hurry.
Some of the blame lies with the month of May herself. The season for wrapping up school and big projects coinciding dangerously with inviting spring weather and summer planning.
Some of the fault is with my undertaking the start of a business. That business growing and the truth that any small business run independently can occupy every minute of your time if you let it. Constantly more could be done, more could be attempted, more could be written. And when your office is your front porch and your living room and your kitchen table, well then, the work follows you around as you make strawberry jam and sweep the floor and fold laundry. It’s hard to silence the thought stream.
I’ve certainly allowed this onslaught of change to take the lead in our home lately.
I’m ready for a reset button.
I don’t really plan to pull the plug on anything in particular. I’m just hoping this stepping away, this car ride and ranch visit and family reunion will all serve to offer camaraderie back in our midst. Will give me opportunity to breathe and to put my pen down and to not be forming stories as I walk and move. (Well, I’m not sure I can cure that one, but at least the pressure to get the words out of my head will be lessened.) My to-do list that keeps a steady record of what’s next can take a back seat and what’s next can be – ride a horse to Helen’s Rock and eat dinner with my dad.
I don’t mind if I am in the car for a couple thousand miles. Kansas doesn’t scare me. I’ve got podcasts and good company and a rotating shift of eager navigators and pro peanut butter and jelly sandwich makers.
In fact, trapped with those five wonders is exactly what I think I’ve been missing in my month.
I’ve been running circles, working hard, staying up late, waking up early, forgetting to exercise or eat well and generally giving myself wrinkles and ulcers and early hair loss. (I hope I’m kidding about the hair loss.)
When I return I hope I remember how to say no and how to say yes. How to do the right things in the right order. How to talk to my kids without rushing them to the ends of their stories. How to love the life I have been given.