Thursday, July 16, 2015

Engaged

I ordered curriculum for the Little Man's next school year today. I also took both the big boys to the dentist, which somehow they enjoyed more than normal people should. Bee comes equipped with a stand up ponytail these days, and both twins are expanding their vocabulary by the day. Everyone is growing up, and they refuse to stop, even when I ask nicely, which I have to say is not very loving of them.

Anyway, you don't need another post about how "the days are long, but the years are short", no longer how true it may be, but I have been thinking about that lately.


The concept of quickly passing time has been resonating with me even more as last week we got news of our next duty station. Though orders are not yet in hand and we've known from day one when we'd be moving out, something has shifted and the clock has started ticking, whether I like it or not. I know this because I've started list making: things we want to do before we leave, ways to make Christmas fun while moving halfway across the country, and yes, what to pack where.

And yet, how badly I desire to not rush this. There are still friends to make, relationships to savor, routines to enjoy. Every morning I look out our windows and say, "How did I get this view?" The every day must happen, but with it comes the chance to truly relish where we are right now, and I don't just mean where, but when. This moment won't come around twice.


On my list of "things to do before we leave", sandwiched in between a day trip to the redwoods and more time at the beach, are these two words: stay engaged.

It is so easy to check out early. To be mentally planning where everything is going to fit in the trailer before it's even in the driveway. I mean this literally and metaphorically. And I'm not just applying it to the move.

We're only going to be in this house for 5 more months. I want to enjoy these beautiful windows and the brilliant blue bay in the distance. I want to say thank you for the closet space and the scratched up floors where we've played cars and had tea parties. I want to make the short walk to the commissary and the playgrounds as often as possible and be so glad that I don't have to get in the car for a few minutes of fun or a can of fire roasted tomatoes.


More importantly, I'm only going to get these relationships for the next five months. Sure, "in the Air Force, we don't say good bye; we say see you later", but a lot of these friends are not "see you laters", and I know that. I want to learn from them while I can. I want to bless them while I have the chance. I want to stay engaged.

In the same way, the kids are only going to be this age for so long and I'm only going to have a student-husband for another few months. I want to notice when Bee's ponytail tickles my nose. I want to pay attention every time Bruiser makes me reread Muddy Trucks (and all the times I make Littles read it to him instead). I want to snuggle Tiny before he gets too big for my lap even when he's digging his elbows into me. I want to pay attention to each one of the last few moments of Littles actually being little before they slip through my fingers unaware. I want to take advantage of the fact that the Man gets to be home.


Sometimes it's easy to check out early. To count the hours until bed time. To zone out as we go through the same things day after day: the same meals, the same books, the same tantrums. It's easy to dream about someday when things will be different and forget how wonderful now actually is.

I don't want that to be me. So, on my permanent to do list: stay engaged.

3 comments:

  1. I LOVE this! I am extremely guilty of checking out early or waiting for the next surely better phase without realizing how fun and wonderful this phase is. :) Love you!

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  2. Thanks for this. And y'all move so often!? The Air Force needs to settle down! :) y'all are awesome.

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  3. I stay very engaged when I can get lots of pictures of all the crazies. And they are all fun and sweet and you enjoy them well.

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