The New Normal

The new normal is quiet, clean, and simple.

That's an exaggeration.
It is quieter, cleaner, and a little more simple.

In the new normal we are never late to school.
We drive places in Steve's truck.
We go canoeing.
We go on family bike rides.
We take pictures and everyone looks at the camera.
We have Family Home Evening lessons and everyone listens.
We read scriptures and everyone takes turns reading.

I go to work with Steve.
I go to lunch with Steve.

Everyone pours their own cereal.
Everyone pours their own milk.
Everyone wipes their own nose.
Everyone wipes their own bum.

Nobody uses sippy cups.
Nobody insists on using straws.
Everyone helps carry groceries in from the car.
Everyone has chores.

Things are not strewn about our house.
In the way that only a four-year old can destroy a clean room.
Things are rarely missing.
And Rachel and Lucy can finally leave their bedroom doors unlocked when they go to school.

I don't drop anyone off at preschool.
Or pick anyone up from preschool.
All of the kids go to school.
All day long.

Everyone carries in their own backpack from the car.
And everyone clears their own plates after dinner.
Sometimes people even invite us over for dinner.

Nobody takes baths.
Nobody plays with bath toys.
Nobody dumps cups of water onto the bathroom floor.

I don't shop in the little girl's section.
Which means I don't buy lots and lots of cute little girl clothes (or shoes).
Or wash them.
Or fold them.
Or put them away.

I don't spend nearly as much time washing hair.
Or brushing hair.
Or doing hair.
Or buying loads of expensive hair product.

Nobody rifles through my purse for gum.
We eat candy.
And drink juice.
And buy Nutella.

I go to the gym without any kids.
I go shopping without any kids.
Sometimes I try on clothes in a dressing room.
I could probably even go to the Treehouse.
Without other moms asking me awkward questions.

Tuesdays are just another day of the week.
I don't dread seeing Jasmine.
Or wonder if she is going to cancel her supervised parent time.
I don't know what is going on with Jasmine.
Or know anything about her schedule.
Or Derrick's.
Or Gcobisa's.

I don't keep binders full of notes.
Or talk to Kris Greenwood.
Or Joan May.
Or Jeramy Caron.
Or custody evaluators.
Or guardian ad litems.
Or put court dates on my calendar.

Lucy asks if she can go see Mykaeleigh* at her school.
Every single day.
And I feel a little empty.
Especially on Sundays before church.
Sometimes there are tears.
I feel like there should be one more head of hair to do.
One more girl in a cute little dress.
One more scripture bag to pack.
One more girl giggling.

There are hard days and there are hard moments.
I was her mom for three-and-a-half years.
Three-and-a-half chaotic years.
So far, the good outweighs the bad.
And we are seeing some progress.

I read this quote on my friend's blog:
Everything is as it should be.
And I think it probably is.

*Kaleigh is now officially going by the name Mykaeleigh.
Please bear with me as I make the transition.


The Ballard's said...

Oh sad, the new normal is good but lonley. That made me cry.

@udj said...

I was feeling a bit jealous at the beginning of your post, thinking you are so lucky... then tears welled up in my eyes. You have made both lifestyles beautiful and that is how it should be.

Natalie B. said...

So sad, why do you have to make me cry first thing in the morning? :) Thinking of your family in this time of transition. At least it is not a transition in which all the things on the top are WORSE. Little bonus to make it easier. True love is giving up what we want for what is right and best. We all can see how much you love them!

Stephanie Dirks said...

With simple words and simple statements you can make us all feel your sorrow. And joy. I hope things become easier each day. I love you, no matter the miles between, or the years apart.

Gloria said...

This touched my heart. I miss Mykaeleigh being a part of everything too.

Some day they will realize all you have done for them and be grateful! You gave 200 % of yourself to them.

All change is hard! It is good you are a strong women and will endure!

Gloria said...

I say 200 % because you went above and beyond when you count the sleepless nights, worry, finances, mothering, giving every opportunity you could think of, negotiating, listening, etc etc. It is a long list!

We pray for you and for Mykaeleigh, Derrick and Gcobisa that they will be happy and you will have a great "grandmother" relationship.

Kayli said...

I guess just a virtual hug? That's the best I can find to say because there aren't very good words.