A lot of people around the blogosphere (and gah, how I hate that word) talk about "a new normal" as they learn to embrace this or that, an unexpected hand dealt them. I tried to think of a less cliché way to check in with y'all today than under the pretense of "learning to deal with our new normal" but I come up empty, so please, forgive the triteness here, as you also forgive (I hope) my absence lately.
We are learning to deal with our new normal with the foster babies and the book project, learning to morph what started out as survival-mode chaos into functional, adapted, thriving life. I am learning how this thing works and how to roll with the punches around here in the interest of not-just-getting-by.
I know now how to do dishes and take a shower every once in awhile without my house being burnt to the ground, and this alone is progress. I know that shooing them out the door after breakfast to play before the air gets thick and hot is the key to getting my daily bearings, that a bunch of stickers and safety scissors and washable markers will get little feet off the carpet just long enough to vacuum. I know which one gets diarrhea if they drink apple juice, which ones have seasonal allergies, which ones hit when no one is looking, and which items around my home are shockingly edible.
I know that (surprise!) the 2-year-old can dress herself completely and climb up into the car seat all by herself if I can exercise the patience to let her do so. I'm working on it, and my back is grateful. I don't (apparently) know how to find time to blog or write (yet), but I'm working on that too.
I know that teeth-brushing time is a highlight of the evening for them and for me. For them, the splash and giggle and spit business is just too fun to suppress a squeal and for me, it signals bedtime, which signals breath and Husband and I have even found time to giggle and watch a movie or two. That feels a lot like my old normal, and I'm grateful for a few small anchors like that while this ship spins and swirls, even while we're learning to "Wheeeeee!" about it all the while.
I know, too, that the little one will say, as I close every storybook's final page, "Amen" instead of "The End" and that I won't correct her because there are days where this alone keeps me from unraveling, the tiny, squeaky reminder that every one of these stories is just a prayer out loud, just living this out loud… Once Upon a Time… Amen.