What do you see when you read the title? I have written this down on sheets of paper and asked people to read it. It’s interesting because it’s a pretty evenly split response between
1. Life is nowhere.
2. Life is now here.
As I look at my family’s life this week, I think a convincing case can be made for either. Therefore, I will start with evidence for the first option, the “nowhere” option. My kids and wife are losing their best friends in 2 weeks as they move to Africa for two years. At the same time, they are losing their home visiting therapists whom they have worked with for the past 2 years. If that is not enough, they may also lose their other therapists as well as they are promoted/reassigned. It all makes a tough way to start a new school year.
I tried speaking with the director of the at home services about the timing of the change. When told they had needed to change/end this service for months, all I could ask is why they waited until now to tell us? Had we known, we would have ended the service at the beginning of the summer when they still had their friends for months. As I said this, he told me we must teach our kids people will come in and out of their life. Learning to deal with this is a skill they need.
Do they need to learn everyone will leave them save J and me? At the same moment? This does not feel like a healthy concurrence of events for children who already have attachment issues. That these issues are common for foster children in no way makes them less difficult with which to live. I do not understand how a director of a project whose mission is to provide mental health services would so casually dismiss the strain the timing of their withdrawal is causing.
As their bodies start showing some of the signs of strain of stress and lack of sleep, their behavior becomes fit to make a parents hair curl every afternoon. At this point other parents avoid even customary greetings too my son after school because they know they could expect nothing more than sour grumbles in reply. As my head hurts more and more often towards the end of my infusion cycle, I feel less able to string ideas together, which can make programing at work take longer. I am having a harder time dealing with multiple situations at once, so with our kids at home I take longer and longer to get things done, whether it is getting them bathed or cleaning the dishes. Yes, times like this feel like life leads nowhere.
In times like these, I am thankful for Dire Strait Why Worry lyrics, “There should be laughter after pain. These things have always been the same. So why worry now?”
(For a more positive side, continue on to the next page)
2. Life is now here:
Both kids had double birthdays of fun celebrated first with Grandma and Grandpa and then with our friends down the street. We have had lots of cake. Grandma made some awesome cakes designed to invoke memories and smiles from some of their favorite moments of the last year that they both enjoyed last weekend. Then during the week, we had a cookie cake (for A) followed a few days later with a tie-die colored cake covered with purple icing in honor of the Ravens (for O). Sharing them with their friends made for a fun filled school night.
Then over the weekend, we all took part in my mom’s wedding. While they did not sleep well the night before, they did have fun running the dog around the house until its tongue looked permanent hanging out the side of its mouth. People commented on how calm Rodger (the dog) was, and we chuckled because even a young labradoodle is no match in energy to the waves of energy our kids brought to the game of chase. In fairness, it was three on one. K also had a great time picking up the beet played by the piano player and joining (uninvited at first). It turns out she has a gift for music. In our next house, we will have to make room for a piano.
As for which reading is correct of the original “lifeisnowhere,” I think I will stick with my original reading. When I first read it, I said, “Life is here now or life is nowhere.” We have only now to pull what joy we may. Sometimes, that means making the best of difficult times. I think we continue to do so, making the best memories possible from stress-filled days.
This blog will soon be moving to thelifewelllived.net.