For all intents and purposes, our summer should have ended Monday. But, seeing as how life has been chock full of things that have left us feeling less rested than we’d like heading into a new school term, we decided to exercise our ability to push everything out a week.
It was a very, very needed thing. I’ve found myself breathing many deep breaths. and relaxing back into the rhythm of family that feels best inside my own skin. Every time my lap is empty, someone (sometimes even teenaged someones!) seems to come along and fill it, and I know they are enjoying the extra time, too.
Fall term starts back next week, but until then…
We have been able to host quite a few families here at the farm, be it via bi-weekly church potlucks, extended stays, or playdates while friends pick up eggs and fresh veggies. As someone who came to embrace the Biblical call of hospitality later in life, I’m delighted to be at a place where we can share the abundance God has given us, as well as fellowship with others, offering them a glimpse into what great things God has done in our midst.
The “play fort” continues to evolve, being deconstructed and reconstructed several times a week. Sometimes it’s a pirate ship. Other days it’s a pioneer store. Watching my children enjoy it has been one of the simplest and richest pleasures of this season of parenting.
My older boys insist on hurtling towards manhood. Mathaus has begun Dual Enrollment at Bryan College, and is managing an A average quite handily. Jack is a Flight Sgt. at CAP now, and just sat in a promotion board for his first NCO rank. Both have happily found spots on the church’s rotation of worship musicians. Meanwhile, they are driving and fixing things. Jack decided to delay his July break until August due to Mathaus’ DE schedule so they will hit pause just as we end our break; I’m more than thrilled that their relationship is such that they prefer four weeks off together rather than separately.
Mary Hannah has added more local students her her French classes, and is looking forward to a fall filled to the brim with classes: taking them and teaching them. She’s over the moon with eight baby bunnies in the barn, fields full of vegetables needing tending, and two markets per week. She’s the perfect farmer, happy to spend evenings researching animal husbandry methods and organic pest control methods. Our last batch of chicks just started laying, and it was harder to tell who was more tickled with those first tiny eggs: her or her father.
Much of our days, of course, are spent out of doors, doing farm things and living whatever bits of life we can manage in the fresh air.
Monday, the littles ones and I will gather around our red reading chair, pray together, and begin. Not that we haven’t been learning all along, of course. But the state of Tennessee says we need a schedule, a start date, a plan. So Monday, August 7 it is. Summer will end… and life will go on.