"Mommy, how do you say Grandpa in Spanish?" said the girl who should have been in bed.
"I don't know, go to sleep-o? Goodnight-o. Hasta manana? Really I think it's abuello. And now goodnight."
It really wasn't a very witty response. But I caught myself as I made it. The old 2012 me would have been annoyed at the girl who should have been in bed. Maybe exasperated even. But I wasn't. And maybe it was a particularly good day, but maybe it's just a little more.
We've successfully made the jump this week, from Christmas vacation back to school. And I know I'm grateful. Grateful that it was smooth. Grateful for the welcome routine. But there's something more, something else I'm grateful for. It's me. Yes, apparently my self esteem is just fine. Bear with me; I'm grateful for me right now in this un-busy season. Me with time on my hands seems to be a pretty good thing. Me overloaded with stuff, however good that might have been just led to an overwhelmed and stressed out me who barked orders and could hardly handle making it through the day. It seems that the less I have I on my plate the better I become. Pity I didn't figure this one out five years ago, before we started homeschooling.
Strapped by busyness I became short tempered, agitated, stressed and overwhelmed. Those are hardly stellar parenting qualities. But just a few short days of back to school have been enough to remind me that I've got to be aware of my limitations, and to be okay with the fact that I operate better when my plate is nearly empty. At least right now.
And I realize that I'm okay with a calm life. A life that flows according to my kids and the seasons. A life that is really a lot simpler.I know that there will be busy seasons. And come February I will be back in the kids classrooms, and I will love that. But right now, in this silent place, I'm loving this peaceful me. It reminds me of my need for margins, I guess those are things we all need. Space, peace, calm. Some have need of large margins. I am one of those people. Some don't need much of a margin at all. Have you met my husband? We have got to be true to ourselves.
Embracing the un-busy life is easy to talk about, but tough to actually do. I think my phone is whistling at me more than ever, and so sometimes I just turn it off. And that is just fine by me. If you want something bad enough you've just got to fight for it. So I am. I like this quiet place like I like the comfy sweater I wear on cold, snowy days.
So I'm gonna keep at it. Even the weather is cooperating with me today, cold and windy with large amounts of winter slush. Or snrain. You know, snow and rain all mushed together. Just when we were running out of snow, it seems as Mother Nature plans to restock our supplies.
I'll take it. Sit and watch the weather. And be still.