We're turning a corner as we're nearing a full year since we moved away for Mark's job. It hasn't been easy, and at times we both, along with our kids, have experienced the loneliness and isolation that being in a new, rural area brings. It sounds cliche, but through being alone with our little family we've learned a lot about appreciation, what makes us happy, and what we really want. Indeed, of the several new locations to which we've moved, this one has been the most challenging.
And with the transition to a new geography, we had a baby along the way. Michael is a blessing beyond words. I wrote about our second son, Paul, that having him didn't teach me to be a mother as it did the first time around, but helped me to embrace and love the sacrifice and joy that our days bring.
Having a single word like "embrace" and "teach" encompassed the first two children, and if I had to pick a word for the third, it would be a toss-up between "wonderment" and "freeze." Freeze, because I want time to stand still, I want to hold my growing baby as a newborn. I don't want him to start solids so soon, I don't want him to crawl away from me or cut a tooth. It's just happening too quickly.
And wonderment. What can I say? I started this post sharing the challenge of our past year. Then today I watched as my little one reached to grab a toy hanging over his head. It's so hard! He grabbed it, pulled it down and quickly put it in his mouth. The big boys were so excited, "Look, Mom! Look what Michael did!" We were so happy, and yet, it was such a simple thing. Still we marveled at how this baby is growing day by day, and the smallest of milestones brings us all wonderment as this very loved child gives us a greater perspective on the joys that every day can bring.
Cliche or not, I can't recall rejoicing when my first two reached for a toy and held it in their hand. Lesson learned. If the obstacles we've faced in the last year taught us anything, it was to appreciate the Wonder of it all. It's been worth it.