Where to begin with this one...did you read Monday's post? I mentioned that we have been praying about what to do about Bubby, and a few hours later, that prayer was answered in a most unexpected way...let me explain a bit more. Kayci went to daycare (Mom's KinderCare). It was great for her, great for us, great for Mom & Dad, too. About a year after we moved here, she started going to First Methodist VERY part-time, because I knew I wanted her to go there for Pre-K (and she was still going to KinderCare the days I worked in Houston...it was a crazy time, looking back). Never a problem. PreK? Awesome!
Along came Noble. We had prayed and prayed for another child and just when we gave up, gave all of our baby stuff away and started making other plans for me professionally, God answered that prayer. (He has a sense of humor, we know.) What a blessing Noble has been, from day one. Kayci wished for a baby brother when she blew out the candles on her 4th birthday cupcakes...and in Noble's first ultrasound, the start date of the pregnancy was 6/18/07 (Kayci's 4th birthday). I am grateful that I had Noble when I was older, for one, and had more free time and just more time to BE and reflect instead of just react...he has been a much different child than Kayci since birth. I won't say he's hard, but he's definitely more of a challenge. He's so different than I am, it makes me really stop and think about why he's doing what he's doing and how I should react...whereas Kayci is exactly like me, so right or wrong (mostly wrong), I tend to parent her on instinct. With Noble, it's not quite that easy. Instead of instinct, I've had to learn to stop and really listen for that still small voice inside for guidance. I've had to learn to really pray about what's right for Noble and for me and for our family...and I'm grateful that professionally I'm at a point that offers a lot of flexibility. From the day Noble was born (early!), I've needed that flexibility for my sanity. Let's see--he was born early, right after I started a new position at Region 4, then when he was 2 months old my Grandma died (after 2 weeks of driving back and forth and ups and downs and...you know). When Noble was 4 1/2 months old, Dad was diagnosed with cancer. The next 9 months were defined by Dad's illness and death, and Noble and I spent a lot of time on the road and in Houston and at doctors and just hanging out with Mom and Dad. Noble was great medicine for all of us, and provided a wonderful distraction sometimes when we needed it most. One of my favorite pictures, ever, is a shot of Noble riding on Dad's lap in one of those power carts at HEB. We took Dad to the store on Good Friday to get groceries for the big dinner the next day, and it was the last time he left home. (He would be gone 8 days later.) Noble's grin in that picture is priceless...and Dad's joy at just BEING with Noble is unforgettable. Oh, but I digress...
When I go back and read my blog posts from Noble's first year, it becomes apparent as he grows that I'm struggling to find time to work and be a full-time Mommy. (Mind you, I had started making other plans when it looked like we were only going to have the one wonderful child, and I thought when Kayci went to Kindergarten I'd work a lot more, write, etc. Ha!) So, we prayed about it and it looked like a local church day school was a great place to start. And Noble did well there as long as he was in the baby room with Cindy and Madeline. After that, not so much...he regressed, stopped talking, threw fits, and generally just turned into a little caveman on days he went to school. After a year, we finally listened to that gut feeling we'd had all along and pulled him out. Unfortunately, we'd planned to pull him out on Wednesday...that Monday, an unsecured wooden shelf fell on him. His face was cut, but he was fine other than that. Needless to say, he didn't go back to finish the week. (Right after that, a toddler was killed in Arkansas, I think, when a shelf fell...that was sobering.)
So, we tried the full-time Mommy thing again. As fun as it was, it was still causing problems for my work. Luckily, Heather was looking for something to do and watching Noble while I worked on Wednesdays worked well for her family and ours. It was such a blessing! This worked well for all of us, but we knew it wouldn't be permanent. Since September, Heather has been in school and subbing and Noble has been hanging out with me. He's been a trooper about going back and forth to Houston, but once again, while it has worked out well, I can't do classroom visits the way I need to with the Bubby in tow. So, I've been praying and wondering what's next...how to balance what I need to work and what Noble needs. We've been able to juggle and wiggle and bend, but I'm kind of wondering what's next for us, where I need to be professionally, personally, all that big stuff.
I think I've mentioned before that we put Noble on the waiting list at St. Paul's this year. It's so hard to get in there if you're not a member--like, people wait in line overnight to get spots. Yeah. That's a big part of the reason we've not had either kid there before. :) But it is a great school and most of our little friends go there, and it seems to be a great potential fit for Noble. We just talked about it this weekend, in fact, that we would suck it up this year and camp out to get him a spot in the 3 year old class next year. And then the call came on Monday...a lot of that is Heather's story to share. It turns out, we've both been standing at a crossroads, trying to decide which way to go. One phone call on Monday answered prayers for both of us, and gave us the direction that we had been searching for. She asked, again, about a spot for Noble at St. Paul's--and this time, the answer was "yes." Imagine our shock after months of "no" and "not yet." We thought about it--for about half a second--and prayed about it...but it just felt RIGHT. So yesterday we took Noble to visit his new class (he cried because he didn't want to leave the playground!) and again, it all just felt RIGHT. Today he woke up at 4:45 because he was so excited! Of course, 3 hours later by the time we dropped Kayci off he had worn off some of the excitement...there may have been a couple of "I NOT going to St. Paul's!" from the backseat, but once we pulled up to the church he was happy again. He didn't shed a single tear, and neither did I, I'm happy to report.
Now here it is, 10:15. I opted to work at home today just in case he needed me to pick him up early, or he didn't nap there, or he cried...but I don't expect to get that phone call. As much as I prayed for this time to work, now that it's here, I'm still in shock and quite frankly, feeling a little lost. Next Wednesday I'll drive in and Daddy will take the kids to school and we'll start our "real" new routine. Today I will be up late to make up the work hours I've spent taking kids to school and blogging and just trying to wrap my brain around the new order. Noble at St. Paul's--answered prayer. Now I need to be a good steward of this time, this blessing, and get to work! :)
Still reading? Thanks. I know I sound crazy--why not just pop him in a daycare and quit my whining? It does sound easy, doesn't it? But I feel very convicted that what Noble needs most is time with me...and that he also needs time away from me. Structured time when he can stretch his little wings a bit in a safe, Christian environment. I hope that St. Paul's is that for him, and if not, we'll go back to the drawing board. But like I told James and Heather, at least that way we'll know and we won't be in limbo anymore, waiting to see if it's an option.
Please keep my Bubby in your prayers today. He was very happy when I left him this morning, and I totally expect him to balk when I pick him up this afternoon. Fingers crossed! :)