We didn't realise how busy we've been until suddenly, we weren't.
Jude's final performance as a raccoon twin in "Peter Pan Jr." was last Sunday, and this coming weekend will be the first since September that we've been able to spend completely at home. We've adjusted to the busyness of ferrying him to and from rehearsals every weekend and are eager to spend two days in a row at home.
Oh, how I love home!
I have a deep urge to nestle softly down at this time of year. I leave work a little earlier than usual in order to stoke up the furnace and the woodstove, welcoming everyone home into a space of warmth. I get dinner started and tidy up any messes that were left in the morning. We shift gears from rushing-to-and-from-school gear to home gear. Everyone seems calmer and quieter.
Our evenings have adopted a softer rhythm lately. Homework is done right away, and we're finding that a bit of humour and loving support goes much further in supporting their efforts than any lecture about "responsibilty" ever could.
Then they bring out their fiddles. Jude and Violet practice their new songs, and I'm always surprised that the sounds are not painful to hear. They both seem to have inherited their parents' ear and ease with music and self-correct if a note comes out sharp; I'm told they're both "naturals".
Magically, when all of the must-do tasks are complete, the children kind of disappear! Margot dons her evil cowgirl costume, Violet dresses as Yoda-Bird (a figure of her own making), and Jude grabs his light sabre. I don't know the details of this game, only that it occupies our children's thoughts all day long. Evening is when they finally have the freedom to play with loud abandon. Norah just runs around after everyone and we know she's in good hands.
We find ourselves looking at each other cautiously, afraid to even say it out loud: It's so peaceful. We can do our own thing. No one is asking us for anything.
And he takes up his Sudoku, and I take up my knitting, and we sit quietly with each other for a little while in our home. We take note that it is a little less cluttered and messy, that the children are indeed growing, and that we can foresee a time when this bit of free time won't feel so strange and new.