....a new and glorious morn......the phrase from this song has captured my heart the past few weeks. Even before the official Christmas season began (which is still way too early) the thrill of hope was rolling around in my head and heart over and over. As time marched us closer to the actual day of Christmas the phrase continues to dwell within me like a mantra repeating itself over and over again. Like that song you heard on the radio that now is stuff in perpetuity. Yet my phrase is not one of annoyance like the radio song, but rather a it is a continual reminder that this season too shall pass!
It has been sometime since I have shared what is on my heart and the happenings of my bunch and I. So let this blog post serve as my Christmas letter as the budget did not allow me to indulge in my annual Christmas card campaign as it did in years past. This was yet another indicator of this most recent season of life. I think the best way to describe this past year would be the phrase, "Due Diligence". I conducted all my affairs in life with a sense of due diligence. Not as an urgent race to get it all done, but rather a steady stream of progress and crossing my t's and dotting my i's. While unstated this years journey has moved me toward to SIMPLE and learning to be ok with that. Which as crazy as it seems has been hard to accept.
The past few years have brought many changes and challenges and stress points and issues that have taxed my heart and brain beyond belief. Now I long and am moving into a season of simple!
The most interesting components of my life tend to stem around that of the Bunch - also known as Courtney, Will, Lyric, Alexis and AJ. Here is an update on each of them!
Courtney graduated from high school after much angst and stress he completed his required courses and received his diploma. While the process what not what I had hoped for him, he did what he needed to do and accomplished his goal. He has since been accepted to a couple of different colleges but is taking his time to determine the best next steps in his life. He is living at home and works at Subway making subs! Keep in your thoughts and prayers as he plans for the journey ahead.
Will's attempt to move back home permanently last December lasted a couple of months. After much worry and hesitation it was decided that now 16 year old Will would not be able to live at home with his family anymore due to the issues he struggles with in the family environment. This was a blow for me as a dad, but in the long run we believe that Will's long term goals are better met in a different scenario. He is still our son and we still have visits and talk regularly him on the phone. He came home for Thanksgiving nand will be back next wek for Christmas. We are hoping that a planned transition for him in early January goes accordingly as he takes the next steps towards his own independence
Alexis is what could be described as the darling of the family. This very intelligent 9-year old continues to amaze me in her resilience, especially since she is sandwiched between her older sister and younger brother, both of whom steal a lot of attention away from her. Lexi as we in the family are allowed to call her is becoming more determined and head strong in certain things in her life. She conquered her fear of heights this past summer when she did a 4 story ropes course all by herself while we were on vacation. I was so proud of her that day and she did it all of her own accord. She is her own little paradox when she goes from pretending to be a dog or cat when playing to having an in-depth discussion with me regarding the reason why U.S. Postal Carriers have to wear blue uniforms. She has a good sense of the world around her and yet stilll knows how to tune it all out when needed, including tuning me out!
Another bit of news, I have moved yet again. I am grateful to my parents who do so much for me every year. We decided to sell the house we purchased for me to live in and for me to downsize once again. We originally bought the house with the intention of Will and I being primary residents, well when that did not work out it became clear to me I did not need such a big house to maintain. The house sold and closed in under 90 days and I was able to move out and move on. Which leads me to the next piece of my story.
As you can guess from the above descriptions of my kids, their needs are continual and sometimes quite intense and requires the support of both their mother and I on the bad days. It was decided that I would move into the basement quarters of Julie's home and set up shop. I have been here in the Daddy Cave since October and for the most part it is going well. The kids enjoy having their parents under one roof and the hassles of kids transitioning between two households is no longer an issue. I am now officially co-parenting my kids with their mother and 95% of the time it works and benefits all involved. We don't see this as a long term arrangement (fingers crossed) and are doing this in an effort to support the diverse and unique needs of our children. We are learning boundaries and new ways of communication and learning to accept one another in new ways that we never did before! No this is not a step towards reunification, it is a culmination of Co-Parenting five amazing kids who need their mom and dad and sometimes both at the same time. I will probably blog about the co-parenting thing more in the year ahead. Stay tuned!
Returning to my initial thoughts of the Thrill of Hope.....all the things I wrote above set me into a funk or depression over the past few months likely most of the year. Having to downsize yet again and sell off many items I did not think I would ever part with (My Coca Cola Collection for one) have been intense times of growing pains. I now live in a large family room and one bedroom and a bathroom to call my own Daddy Cave. I am so blessed that Julie was able to put the needs of our kids over her own thoughts and feelings and allow this Co-Parenting thing to happen. This is also allowing me to reset some things financially and get better prepared for the future so yet another sorting out of things.