Monday, September 12, 2016
It started to turn into summer and we thought maybe we would move. There was a chance that a position could open for Andrew to transfer to the Whole Foods in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We'd move back to the place where we first met. After working through my own struggles, a change of pace sounded nice. Good friends were still where I left them in Arkansas. Andrew and I talked. We dreamed dreams of land and cheaper living, a slower pace to life. But we knew nothing was for certain. So we should keep living here in Austin. I wrote in my journal abstractly that this "was a summer in Austin with my kids." I tried to look at it as if I was on holiday. Except I said yes to things I wondered if we would stick around for, like our Monday morning preschool co-op. And our weekly Wildflower hike. We found a church. I made more friends. We lived life. And we never left.
Maybe we will move one day, but for now, being here has made me happy. We are always moving. Year after year. Place after place. Not always changing cities, but at least the place we rent. Sometimes forever is too long of a time for my mind. So, just the summer seemed to be just long enough. I jump too far ahead all of the time. So, this summer, wondering for awhile if we would move, but trying to stay here in my mind, was the best thing. I feel as though I have lived life a bit more. Done things I knew I wanted to do. I may have even been more bold, wondering how long we would be here.
Several times I have written on this blog and said, "I have overcome postpartum depression." I think my brain always wanted to say it was over. But honestly, it has taken most of this first year. No, I wasn't lying in bed for a year. Or even seeing my counselor regularly for a year. But depression and anxiety can be hidden or look different to those around us. For me, I have recognized myself again. Found more of the person I was missing, even though I didn't really know I was gone. My humor is back a bit more. I say more awkward things in public, like the old days. I have started being silly more often with my kids. I have wanted to start thrifting again. And writing. And art. Oh, to be an artist. To be creative. To wonder and hope to create something worth seeing or reading.
I often doubt myself. But not in really recognizable ways. I don't just think, "I'm dumb. I can't do this." No, its more an all day self doubt on whether or not I should homeschool Blanche next year. If it's a good idea. Or if I have too many babies to do such a thing. Does anyone think I could do this? Should I even? But then after nearly crying and texting a good friend and then talking Andrew to death I have a small plan. Then that night, I watched a Netflix show with Andrew called The Chef's Table. I think all of the chefs I have seen so far are a bit crazy and true artists. They have so many ideas. Its all about the ideas. The show is more about art and philosophy than cooking. And while I watched it I thought, "You know, he just does whatever he wants to do." And it must be so freeing. To be confident enough to do such a thing. And thats why I wanted to homeschool in the first place. To do what I wanted. So maybe I could do it. And even if I don't its not because I couldn't. I can raise these babies. I can do this.
The next day we went and got free balloons from the grocery store. I wondered why I didn't do this more often. I think fear keeps me from just "hanging out" with my kids. I always feel like I need a plan. Because I am so outnumbered and you never know who may need to go potty. But, what if I just enjoyed them? What if we just got balloons and free samples because we can? Because I am lucky enough to just be at home with them every day.
I always overthink. And when I overthink every little thing in life it can get pretty scary at times. But when I stop and just write it down abstractly, like, "it's just a summer in Austin with my kids" I can see a bit more clearly. It's all like that. I'm just a mom. Taking care of these little people. Feeding them and clothing them. Helping them. Maybe I will even teach one to read one day. Sometimes I get so caught up in all these big things and the big ideas of it all. And then, there are my kids, just wanting juice and gum. Maybe a show. Maybe the park. Maybe train track building with me or a story. It can be pretty simple. It really can be.
Even though just published now (September) these pictures were taken this last spring. I had all of these edited and saved on my blog but no words were written and it was left unpublished. Now, looking back, I can really see my last year (Foster's first year of life) in literal seasons. We started with baby Foster in the hot August summer of 2015. And now in the summer of 2016, we feel much more on our feet again and Foster feels like he has always been a part of our family.