I wake up feeling unusually refreshed and satisfied with my night’s sleep. The window is open and the cooling autumn breeze fills my room. Summer is winding down and I feel energized thinking of the pending season. In this moment, my world is perfect.
Ammon, who is usually my child most likely to sleep in, has set his alarm for 7:00. It’s after seven now and he is up, waiting patiently for Andrew, who is making a quick trip to the store for the instant oatmeal Ammon is hoping to eat for breakfast. Later I discover what is keeping him so contentedly quiet: he has found my phone and is uploading a new game he is interested in. This seems typical of Ammon. He is a slow-moving, meandering morning person like me.
I hear the pattering of Peter running up the stairs. He urgently yells, “Ammon, what time is it?”
“7:26,” comes the response.
A moment later I hear the shower turn on. Ammon may have been the first one awake this morning, but it is Peter who doesn’t waste any time in getting ready for his day. His approach to a new day is much more like his dad. They both like to get up and get going.
I hear Ammon knocking on the bathroom door. He is in a devious mood and though only moments have passed he announces to Peter that it is now 8:00.
Knowing that they have somewhere to be at 8:00, Peter gasps and urgently responds, “Quick, wake Dad up!” Peter’s need to stay on schedule shines through and I can sense his change in demeanor as he rushes to finish his shower even faster now than he normally would. The interaction between my boys brings a smile to my face.
The garage door opens, and a few moments later, Peter and Andrew are in my room, showing off the football shirt that Peter is wearing. They both feel proud that they found the perfect attire to wear to cousin Michael’s pre-season football game.
I hear breakfast being easily prepared in the microwave, and the daily scuffle of looking for lost shoes. As I lay there, blissfully free from pain, I am ready to conquer the day. I consider the idea of joining them at the football game, but daydream instead of going to the park for a walk. The weather is my ideal. I can’t imagine a more perfect way to spend the morning.
I think of my sister-in-law running her first half-marathon in Logan today. What a perfect morning it is! And her mom is right there running it with her. I send them each a text offering my well wishes as I jealously imagine the beauties of Logan canyon on this very fall-feeling morning. The leaves probably haven’t turned quite yet, but I picture them in the beautiful reds, yellows and oranges that represent the change in season.
I’m amazed that I have been awake this long without feeling the baby kick on my bladder. We have known for six days now that our suspicions were true – this is our first daughter. It still seems surreal sometimes, but the anticipation of her arrival is growing. My stomach is getting bigger and I feel her moving every day. Last night as Andrew and I laid in bed, he rested his hand on my stomach and she kicked back at him several times. He still can’t feel her movement, but they are each aware of the other and I can’t help but think that the bond between father and daughter is already developing.
My family says goodbye, and I listen to them head off to the football game. I marvel at what a wonderful man Andrew is. He is such a patient, loving husband, a great father and a fun uncle, too.
In these moments, life feels so close to perfect. I take a moment to soak it in before thoughts of tomorrow bring up the uncertainties and the potential losses of everything that seems stable and ideal.
But slowly those thoughts creep in and I begin to wonder what the future has in store. For over a year we have desperately tried to navigate our financial distress. For over a year, as we have prayerfully sought answers and direction, diligently striving to follow promptings we received, we have felt like everything will work out. Multiple times I have looked into gaining employment. Several times Andrew has looked into second job opportunities. Countless resumes have been submitted seeking promotions. To this point it still seems all for naught.
Now we find ourselves pursuing an opportunity that could improve our financial situation, but wouldn’t solve it. It is a situation which would require us to leave our “perfect” home, neighborhood and life. A job which would involve a lot of travel and therefore require that our family be separated frequently.
I soak in the perfectness of now even more, wondering how long it will last. There is a part of me unwilling and un-wanting to let go of my comfortable, beautiful happy home while yet another part of me is determined to follow whatever path is shown us.
I am ready to leave my bed now, hoping against hope that I can seize the day. Having just finished ten days of being either in bed or on the couch, I am ready to get out and enjoy the weather. I get up without too much difficulty and stand upright. This is definite improvement – similar to yesterday. Then I feel the familiar painful twinge in my back as a hobble to the bathroom.
I head to the kitchen, each step reaffirming that today will have to be another day without much movement. I quickly make myself some of the instant oatmeal that was left, and find myself in my familiar spot on the couch. I look forward to starting physical therapy on Monday, optimistically hoping that with some consistent guided effort, my back will be stronger than ever and I will not only be able to successfully get through this pregnancy, but that I will have the strength to care for and carry my baby once she arrives.
I take my first bite of oatmeal and I wonder – are we about to embark on an adventure? Will we be prompted to “take the road less traveled”?
Yesterday I felt like I was in the midst of the desperate, confusing, tangled up part of a beautiful story. The story is a lovely romance and I am so lucky to be a part of it. One way or another, I know our story has a happy ending: Eternity – together and in love.
In the mean time, I just keep reminding myself that it is the twists and turns along the way that make our story even more interesting.
I think of the song called The Climb. It took a lot of effort and climbing to get here. It was hard and yes, in retrospect it was beautiful too. We are approaching our twelve year wedding anniversary. Life hasn’t come as quickly nor as easily as anticipated. We purchased our first home just over a year ago. It is a perfectly humble starter home. We love it! It has been wonderful to finally provide a sense of stability for our nine and six year old boys who are growing so quickly. Poor Ammon has already attended three different elementary schools. And though there were great experiences and wonderful lessons learned along the way, how I was looking forward to ending those transient days!
As I picture myself on a mountainous journey, “now” seems like an ideal, picture-perfect stopping place. In my minds eye there is a lovely lake surrounded by gorgeous trees and wildflowers. A perfectly quaint cottage provides shelter and comfort for my family as we are encircled by lovely images and everything we need. I don’t want to accept that this isn’t the end of our journey. We have arrived!
And yet, this perfect setting and backdrop to our life is starting to feel like more of a resting spot than a destination. Time to journey on, up through the rough terrain. There are more obstacles and difficulties to face along the way. Stormy struggles are ahead. I can’t really picture life in a more perfect setting than I have now, but somehow I know that if I am asked to take up this journey again, it is because there is something even greater out there – even if that “greater” thing is nothing more than the journey itself. A part of me is pleading that the money will come and we can just sit easy where we are. But… Come What May, and Love It.