I had an unexpected day off today...sort of. Faith and Bailey both came down with the same cold that Bri, Krisalyn and I managed to survive so I decided to let all three of the girls stay home from school today. I was able to get quite a bit accomplished because the deal was that they could stay home only if they were willing to take it easy and rest all day long.
I've been on Spring Break for over a week now. It's strange how I look forward to these little breaks in between terms but then when I'm on break I'm simply anticipating the next rush of adrenaline that seems to accompany a new round of courses. I can't tell if I'm eager for classes to start next week because the mental stimulation makes it easier to get through the mundaneness of my day-to-day life or if it's because once I finish these classes I will officially be considered a master of something (whatever that means?!).
Something of this day spent at home with all three girls reminded me of what it was like when they were all very young and I spent much of my time at home with them. I was technically working full-time, but it was work for the church so I only spent a portion of my time at the actual office, but the bulk of my work I was able to do from home. They were wonderful years...and very difficult and lonely years. I had two kids by the time any of my girlfriends or family members joined me in mommyhood and I was the only mother of small children on staff at the church during those early years. To say that I felt alone is an understatement.
My babies were the greatest gifts of my life. And yet, they forced me to face myself, my loneliness and isolation at an age when most young women are off at college somewhere having fun and taking their time making some of the decisions I made before I was even able to legally have a glass of wine or a hard cider.
Graduate school has distracted me from that place of loneliness periodically throughout this season of my journey...but it's always there. It is easier to bear now, though, I must say...and I'm not sure why. It's not a loneliness that can be cured by hanging out with people or even by having meaningful conversations - though such encounters are a sort of balm at times. It's a loneliness that seems to stem from living a life that cannot be fully known by any other human being. I thank God that Brian and I discovered that we have to always strive to understand and know each other more fully during every season of our lives, but even we are a mystery to one another.
I felt something of the loneliness that seeps out of my pores and bleeds all over the mundaneness of my life today. And you know what I did to soothe that feeling? I cooked pasta. I ate comfort food. And it filled my belly. And sharing that meal with the gifts of my life helped slightly fill that hole in my soul for at least one day.