I was talking to my husband last night about why I've been feeling so dislocated. First, we have been sick almost continuously since, like, mid-October. (It's been so long I can't even remember when it started!) Usually, we get one cold in the house, share it around, and then we're good for a couple of months, when the process starts all over again. I thought we were all finally well again (except for Miranda & my allergies) when Alex woke up this morning coughing. Now, I let him play out in the snow this weekend (we had our first snow Saturday afternoon of maybe half an inch) but made sure he was all bundled up for it. However, after listening to his cough this morning, I'm not sure my efforts were sufficient.
Then, my parents just left after a long and wonderful visit, which included a long weekend away for Marshall and myself. If there's anything to throw me off my game, it's leaving the house without my children attached to me. Not bad, per se, just relatively unfamiliar. We did return feeling remarkably refreshed last Monday afternoon but I can't shake the feeling I'm still playing catch-up.
Out of curiosity, I just looked up the definition of balance and the most striking description in the rather long list is "mental and emotional steadiness." Now, perhaps December in the USA isn't the best time to be searching for balance amidst the rush of holiday parties and Christmas gifts (SO much fudge to make!) but my life has been all about managing Miranda's transitions this fall and now that she's settling in to school in Miss Barbara's class, I am finding I still need to make changes in how I approach my own time. True, both children go happily onto the bus at 8:20 am (she returns about noon, he comes home about 3:30) 5 days a week except for holidays and early dismissal days so I, technically, have my mornings free. Instead of running a zillion errands on the weekends and dragging Miranda grocery shopping with me in the mornings, I can now spread out the stops and appointments while they are both at school. What I am finding more difficult to "balance" is the emotional and logistical energy required to keep up with Miranda's schooling requirements.
This is Alex's fourth year at Springville and even though Miss Kim is our third teacher, the process and program has been similar enough from year to year that I've learned how to keep up with the relationships I need to maintain with his teacher, therapists, aides, case worker, bus driver, and bus aide (10 people in all and they are all wonderful!) When Miranda started, the number of relationships that needed maintenance nearly doubled. A new teacher, two new aides, two new therapists, a new case worker, the same bus driver (God bless Miss Linda!) but a new bus aide in the afternoon. That's 7 more people who need to know me and I'm finding it all a little overwhelming. Or, at least, I'm trying to find that new balance and develop a new pattern for staying in communication with all of them. It's a good thing I'm a logistics expert. :)