September and October have been wild for us. We launched into a new year of homeschooling. We traveled to Wyoming with friends. We hosted a houseful of guests for a conference. I prepared a talk, edited and reworked about a thousand pages of fiction, and kept up a constant stream of communication with my new publisher about covers, bios, and book release details.
I’m not ungrateful. These have all been wonderful experiences, things I’ve looked forward to, things I’ve prayed for. And there’s something thrilling about stepping out of the ordinary into new challenges and bustling seasons of life. But when the last car pulls away and the fridge is restocked and the clothes are washed and folded, I find myself longing for the return to the mundane. These hectic, unusual days have touched the ordinary with a special magic. Or maybe the magic was there all along.
I wake up to a quiet house and hurry into the office to exercise. I spread the mat on the floor, stretch the kinks from my muscles, and listen to a sermon on courage. At this hour of morning, the sky is a pale, uniform blue, and the rest of the world is black. I listen to words of truth as the sun rises and the leaves are recast in green and gold.
I make toast and set the gummy bear vitamins on the counter. The kids bound from their room in their long-sleeved pajamas and Lorelei tells me how the princesses kept her up last night. Silas has plans for the day. He’s going to build something new with his K’Nex. A speedboat this time.
The morning’s schoolwork is written on the dry erase board. We start with prayer and a math lesson. Later on, we’ll divide words into syllables. Lorelei will sit with us at the table and work on her schoolbooks. She’s finished about a dozen Pre-K workbooks so far this year. I smile as she dives into a new one with a fat pink marker. I’ll need to buy some more.
Soon, we’ll take a break, have a snack, read a few books, and play. I’ll cut carrot sticks and apple slices and stack them beside cheese sticks and salty crackers, and we’ll sit out on the porch and eat lunch. The kids will ride their bikes and run up and down the hill to the road. Lorelei will lay down for a nap around 2 o’clock, and I’ll get some work done, or read a bit, or start on dinner while Silas plays with airplanes and Hot Wheels.
Jon’s workday will end, and we’ll have dinner together. We’ll clear the dishes and clean up toys and take a walk at Radnor Lake, where the turtles stretch their scaly toes to catch the last rays of sun while the blue heron stands in the shallows, waiting for dinner to swim by.
We’ll go through our bath and bedtime routines: toothbrushes and pajamas and stories and songs. We’ll kiss the kids and tuck them in and spend a couple of hours together before we fall into bed.
And tomorrow we’ll start all over again. Just a regular day. Not one word of it will be recorded, none of it used for sales or promotions. There won’t be any parties or big events, and we won’t see the sun rise over the snow-capped peaks of the Tetons. But it will be perfect, every minute. Absolutely ordinary, and absolutely divine.
Photo courtesy of Carey Pace (www.careypace.com)