Finding a New Normal
We have been living in DC for a little over a month now, and things are beginning to feel normalish. The learning curve has been steep, to say the least. This is an adventure that requires a certain amount of trail blazing. When you move to a major city, and decide to live in the urban core, no one is waiting, ready to hold your hand. You are left at it alone. Finding grocery stores, figuring out modes of transportation and navigating horrendous traffic is all best learned through trial and error.
One of the most difficult things to adjust to has been our living situation. We are in the top 3/4 stories of a Rowe home. We have party walls on either side of us and neighbors below. We hear them, and I am positive they hear us. In the beginning, I felt like I was trying to raise a family in Anne Franks apartment, but that feeling has passed. Sure, there has been occasional “shhhing” and “Please!! Do not clomp up the stair case for crying out loud!”, but overall we have managed to find a quieter rhythm. The key here is finding ways to get the kids out of the house. We have found the park down the street, Lincoln Park, a huge asset. The kids can run, and climb trees, they can bike and kick the soccer ball all with complete freedom to yell and scream and be as loud as they possibly want.
Kids and School and Friends
One of my biggest fears in moving to DC was not having a place for my kids to play outside. “What if they have a vitamin D deficiency?”, I kept thinking. In actuality, my children spend quadruple the time out doors here than they ever did in OKC. We walk them to school, we spend an hour at the park after school, we walk them home, we walk to dinner, we walk to get groceries… we walk, walk and walk some more. Since their legs are small and they enjoy whining, we splurged and bought them each a scooter to help with the long distances. This is how most kids travel in DC.
Each morning we scoot to school, and as we walk, kids and parents slip out of their houses, waving and talking and strolling the same direction. We have gathered up a handful of people we now know by name, and the kids run to catch up with friends most days. We pass by the colorful houses, each with its unique combination of paint and trim, admiring the old beauty. The leaves have filled the trees and the morning air is crisp. Horns honk and sirens whoop, but I literally feel like I am walking around in the pages of a favorite book, not in my own life.
All three kids have made quick friends with lovely peers. The school gave the kids a warm welcome, making them feel extra special during such a difficult time. Their efforts paid off. The kids love school. Through this process the Lord has shown me how much I enjoy controlling my kids’ lives. With this move, He pried my fingers off of them, and asked me to trust HIM to be their comforter, their provider, their friend… and I did, but not without a fight.
Giving God the Reigns of My Children’s Lives
Watching Him pave their paths has given me so much confidence in who HE is. They are old enough now, that their own seed of faith is sprouting. It dawned on me that my hovering could be preventing the watering, tilling and sunlight needed for that seed to grow. I must step aside so that He can do a good work in them. He cares for them more than I ever could.
I thought the city would swallow us up, but she hasn’t. Instead she has invited us in. She has quickly given us a sense of community and belonging. Her old beauty catches my eye, and I can’t keep from marveling at her chippy colorful details. Corner flower markets and dogs on leashes, Chinese carry out and Catholic church bells, houses of pink, periwinkle and plum accented with the greenest of leaves. Her streets are a circus for your eyes.
Faith requires equal amounts of fear and bravery. The portion of bravery paves the way forward while the fear forces you to the feet of Jesus.