It's been nine weeks. The last time I kept count like this was when I had a baby. It seemed to me that as a new mom you kept count until they were two, and then they were just two. Until they were two and a half...and then they turned three, and they remained that age until age four.
I wonder how long it will be until I stop counting Sundays and dates? Depends. I'm a counter by nature.
You see, I know that 15 years ago yesterday, we uprooted our new family of two years, from a suburb of Milwaukee, to Brainerd, MN. A decision that seemed so right at the time, and yet over the years, we often amazed ourselves that we actually did it; especially since Emily was starting her junior year in high school. We were either really brave or really stupid, or both.
We thought we were moving to a utopian small town. We found out that that town doesn't exist. The challenges of being a parish priest were the same here as there. The biggest challenge for my kids here was that they now attended school with the entire spectrum of demographics...a thing they have both verbalized as helpful in their maturity. But an adjustment, for sure.
Glenn and I spent most of the years after the kids were grown plotting about how to get out of this town. We never felt as if we "belonged" here, and yet, we were too old to just dump it and begin again. I have a great job and health insurance. Those are big deals.
This spring I applied for a job in a wealthy suburban Mpls school district. We thought it perfect...out of this small town, closer to three of our five children etc. They offered me the job with more money before we were even back to Brainerd. And yet, we choked. There were the realities of my mom's care, and how we would deal with that. We wanted to see the contract etc. etc.
Mostly in the end, we realized that we had come to believe that this IS home. I remember going to bed that night to read and the windows were open. I heard the newly returned loons calling out to each other on the lake across the street. I got up out of bed and told G that we couldn't move. He said, "You just heard the loons?"
I answered that I had. We both knew that we had truly, finally, found our home.
And it was, and is, more than okay.
It is wonderful.
We were, and I am, blessed to call this home.