There are certain traditions in my life that I consider normal: morning coffee with cream and sugar; smiles and laughter with Eliot; nighttime routines of Travis and I trading off rocking and diaper changing; music blaring through the household at most times of the day; long conversations over meals or during movies; cooking together as we unfold the events of the day; welcoming in the sunshine through the giant window in the living room; cleaning the house and enjoying it; peaceful living.
These past two weeks have, through the vision of my tired eyes, been robbed. Last weekend I had food poisoning, this week Travis had the flu. We’ve barely spoken, it seems, between catching up on sleep, trying to heal, and stubbornly attempting to understand what’s happening in our lives.
Tuesday was far from normal. Eighty degrees in the middle of March, a picnic at Wilson Park with a precious friend and her mom. It’s amazing what a little fresh air can do for the spirit.
All week Eliot forsook his normal routine of two-hour naps. Tuesday he took one, and I slept. In all honestly, if I hadn’t, I would have been on the verge of a breakdown. Yet I woke up completely revived. I woke up joyful.
That evening more friends came, brought me dinner, held my son, laughed with me in the living room. And I thought to myself, what a great day…
Normal is listening to Jon Foreman and Sara Groves because they speak into my depths.
Normal is attending the Global Prayer Gathering every April, and it’s, for the most part, knowing what happens next. But this year we won’t go. This year doesn’t look so normal.
The past two weeks have been a harsh and painful lesson, and we learn once again that we have no idea what’s next. Our bodies are weak and tired, and our lives appear unstable.
But I remember that it’s Spring outside. Travis loves Spring. And I remember that friends can bring us bags of ice and Chic Fil A and love on our baby and tell us that they are glad we are here, even if it means losing the dream of Somewhere Else.
Normal is snippets of conversation with God, a dialogue between Father and stubborn, selfish, desperate child. Things aren’t completely back to normal, but today I plan on opening that window, laughing with Eliot, and enjoying the company of my husband. And maybe, as time rolls on and on, I will realize that it’s okay not to have what I deem normal; maybe at some point I will crave the adventure of the unknown and embrace every trial with passionate gumption.
But until then, I’ll drink the coffee.