Even without the knowledge of what is coming with my dad, we're pretty busy this spring. Wednesday night and Thursday night Isaiah had track meets. He has soccer tonight. Isaac had soccer Thursday and has another game on Saturday. Esther-Faith plays on Saturday, too. And there is a track meet on Monday. Isaiah missed a soccer match on Wednesday because of the track meet an hour away. And we're fitting in D.C. trip meetings, orthodontist appointments, new braces for Esther-Faith. A kindergarten field trip to the zoo. Earth day crafts. And four hair cuts.
Something inevitably gets missed along the way.
I tell you all of that to tell you this... we're trying. Trying to go about our normal activities. Trying to play soccer and run track and cheer each other on. Trying to work, grocery shop, have FFFN, do chores, and plan. And even with the constant flurry of activity, we are still all struggling. Nothing is making us forget.
April is a HARD month around here anyway. Busy-ness and activities don't make it easier. Last night I think the teenager and I had one of the biggest arguments we've ever had. I couldn't sleep. I'm not sure he could either. The first thing he said to me this morning was, "Mom, I'm really sorry for the way I treated you last night." And I said, "Me too Isaiah. I'm sorry I yelled at you."
But you've got to know, that even though we're busy and hurting and active and struggling, this mama is pretty proud of her kids.
Let's start with Isaiah... He had a track meet on Wednesday night and an invitational (meaning only the top two kids in each event from each school get to go) on Thursday night. Wednesday, he placed first in the 100 meter dash (time was 11.8 seconds) and second in the 200 meter dash (time was 26 seconds). His 4x100 meter relay team placed second.
I didn't get to see him run on Thursday. He went to his track meet. Tim and Isaac went to their soccer game (Tim's the coach), and Esther-Faith and I went to Isaiah's school to fill out paperwork and attend the meeting for the 8th grade Washington, D.C. trip. But he did tell me what his times were. He placed second in the 100 meter dash (I think he said his time was 11.9 seconds), first in the 200 meter dash (25.8 seconds), and first in the 4x100 meter relay. After this week, Isaiah is going to switch from the 4x100 relay to the 400 meter dash. He also wants to try the long jump, but he'll have to wait until high school to do that. (He's been watching lots of videos of Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay, the U.S. Men's track team, Asafa Powell, and Carl Lewis. YouTube has been a great inspiration--and distraction.)
Isaac's soccer team won 6-0. I've yet to see Isaac play, and my Tim forgot the memory card for his special camera--so no photos. Tim said Isaac played exceptionally well and is really coming into his own on defense. Tim is especially proud because Isaac plays the same position he used to play. Isaac loves it, but he asked when I am going to get to see him play. Hopefully, I'll see him this Saturday.
Isaac has also been chiding Isaiah about soccer vs. football. Which is "REAL" football. Which is better. Isaiah is struggling with the coaches of his soccer team, and really, the players too. They are making choices that Isaiah would never make, and he will not bend to peer pressure (thank goodness!). That has made him an outsider. Isolated. He won't quit, but he's not sure he'll play soccer again. It is heartbreaking because six months ago all he talked about was making the World Cup team. Now, he lifts weights, eats a lot of protein, and is training with some football coaches who care as much about those hard choices (like not cursing, not name-calling, not participating in drugs, alcohol, or tobacco) as they do about football. They harp on him about his grades. They help him hone his strengths instead of sitting him out because of his weaknesses.
Both boys asked about Papa. I've decided that--however unpleasant or ugly--I'm going to tell them the truth and answer any questions that brings up. They didn't have questions. Or comments. Or anything. I think they are just curious and anxious about what is coming. And they love him so much. They always want to know about his pain. Making sure he doesn't have any.
We're busy, but there is an undercurrent of worry and hurt. We're active, but there is an unspoken ache. We're happy, but there is a sense on impending sadness. April is hard, but we are trying to see the beauty in it as well. We're trying new things. Getting faster. Playing harder. Making mistakes. Forgiving each other. And loving life.
We are learning to savor every moment we have with each other.