Well, we've moved. We're in. And has it been almost a month already? It seems ages ago.
Despite our much smaller living accommodations, I'm grateful we're back in the same flat (the European word for "apartment".... "apartment" is a clunky word. "Flat" sounds sophisticated) we started out in when we were first married. The shadows of our old rhythms and routines greeting us and helping us to settle in.
Though it was funny to think of me sitting at our dining table 12 years ago, addressing our wedding invitations. Never did I think we'd be bringing four children back to the same place, eating at the same table. And I would never have imagined Dave and I making the sun room our bedroom with its nine (!) windows or that our old bedroom would house two of our energetic boys in a new-to-us bunk bed.
We've returned. Older, larger in family though smaller in frame, and, happily, knowing God is at our side - He was a relative stranger when we first left.
There are some other things I wish I could return to. Like the years when my grandparents were both alive and living in their duplex on Northfield Dr. I find myself missing them greatly and I'm not sure why exactly. My Grandpa died more than 12 years ago and my Nan 3 years ago. Does missing loved one really grow stronger with age or is it something else?
Perhaps I'm missing is the simplicity of childhood and early adulthood. The times where I couldn't exactly do what I wanted, but I didn't have to pay the bills or prepare the meals or be responsible for keeping the clean. I miss the days of someone else caring for me instead of me caring for me plus four other precious souls who need their bodies and spirits fed.
"Sit on my knee and tell me all your troubles?" An invitation my grandpa often extended when we visited. And I would smile and giggle to myself because very rarely would I have any "troubles" to share. I miss hearing that now - when I really do feel burdened at times with the decisions and doings of being a full time mother.
I have a sneaking suspicion is using this dull-grief-ache to remind me how fleeting are the years of childhood and how I am to make the most of them right now. Not mine of course, but those of our four dear arrows.
As Brianna approached her 10th birthday it stunned me to think we already were approaching one decade (!!!) as parents. Ten whole years with the next ten threatening to zoom by in a flash. Will we be able to make the most of them? To squeeze in enough kisses and cuddles and laughter and stern words of correction to train them in the way they should go. To press into the challenging times of whining, complaining, arguing, tantrum throwing and blatant disrespect when really, I'd rather bury myself in a book, the bed covers or chores or just plain walk out the door in search of a new job description.
And I've now run out of any creative ways to wrap up this post, save to ask you a question: Is there any time or place in your life you find yourself wanting to return to? What do you think God might be speaking to you through this desire?