I was enjoying myself.
And if I thought about how much enjoyment I was experiencing, I felt guilty.
We were in line for the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland. There is laughter all around me. A cool breeze keeps that Southern California heat at bay. My youngest, Abeni, is chattering away, gifting anyone within earshot with her vast knowledge of fairies. We have been going for hours. Abeni’s exuberance and excitement has not waned. We have not experienced any meltdowns or complaints – just the joy and wonder that I remember so vividly experiencing as a child as well at Disneyland.
Bella is not with us today. She is getting over a three week stint of a virus. But quite honestly – even if she were completely healthy – she would have chosen not to be here. The anxiety and fear of the unknown is overwhelming for her right now. She will tell you she has no idea why that is – but that is how it is. For her, today would have been perceived as a challenge, thus demanding our attention and focus.
And so, Bella chose to stay with her aunt today. And she was thrilled. She was looking forward to playing on the computer, going to the car wash and out for frozen yogurt, and in search of a new Beanie Boo while her cousins were in school.
As I stood in line for Peter Pan, it just hit me::
This is what it feels like to take a “normal” kid to Disneyland!
AND I LOVE IT!
which was closely followed by::
I feel so guilty for feeling this way.
Here’s the reality for me. I need to ditch the guilt. Our day at Disneyland was all about Abeni. Being the sibling of a sick kid means that often her needs can be overlooked or delayed. Martin and I are working diligently to ensure that Abeni’s needs are met as fully and completely as Bella’s.
And there is no doubt we knocked Abeni’s socks off at Disneyland.
And I look forward to many roller coaster rides with her in the future. 🙂
The day after Disneyland, Abeni stayed with her aunt, uncle and cousins (are you picking up on how awesome my sister is?!? Yep. She is!) and Martin, Bella and I made our way down to San Diego to finish training and pick up our Owen.
On our drive down, Bella’s nerves started to kick in again and she was already feeling anxious about returning to school. It took a toll on Bella’s body and she had to take many, many breaks amidst the training. We made it through and Bella and Owen passed with flying colors.
Upon arriving home with Owen, Bella became physically sick due to her anxiety about returning to school. Martin and I literally could not get her to leave her room.
I became a homeschooling mom.
I don’t want to do it.
I have been teary-eyed every day this week.
I went to bed last night at 8pm. And I am a night owl.
I am afraid that I will have even less of a social life than I do now, and as an extrovert, I long for time with girlfriends like I long for coffee and chocolate.
I am afraid that I will never get to live out my passions and advocacy again. Okay, that was dramatic, so let’s say at least unable to pursue those passions for the foreseeable future.
I am afraid that I will start showering only every three or four days, wear beat up crocs with two day old socks, and that Netflix will become my social life.
I am a public school teacher for crying out loud – the one who advocates tirelessly for our schools and staff. I am the one who encourages parents NOT to homeschool, but to get involved on their kids’ campuses. I am the one who is concerned about the inequality of homeschooling and how it is only a viable option in homes where the family can survive on one income, allowing for a parent to remain at home. I am afraid of where my identity will go if I become the homeschooling parent.
That was not a word in my vocabulary
until I had Bella.
Isn’t that interesting?
And in this fear, I turned to God. And this is what He has shown me this week::
Ecclesiastes 3 The Message (MSG)
There’s a Right Time for Everything
3 There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth.
9-13 But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly.
True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going.
I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life.
That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job.
It’s God’s gift.
14 I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always.
No addition, no subtraction.
God’s done it and that’s it.
That’s so we’ll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.
15 Whatever was, is.
Whatever will be, is.
That’s how it always is with God.
It’s the right time.
And God’s purpose for me in all of it will be revealed
in His time.
Thank you, God.