It always seems just a round the corner for us, this "normal life". Pam and I don't seem to be able to exist in "normal life". In the 12 plus years we've known each other, we both lost spouses (one semi-voluntarily, one by death). We married each other (of course). We've made 6 major moves (not including moving around within the same area - then it would be 11 times). We spent over a year preparing to go into the mission field of China (God had interesting plans there - another long story). I went to and completed graduate school. We spent a month traveling around Europe using the Euro rail (with just backpacks). We adopted our first son together from China (spent almost a month there). We've adopted twice from Ethiopia (Dylan went with us once). Pam lost both her mom and step father within a year of each other. I've lost a job each time we were preparing to travel to go get kids (all 3 times!) All the kids come to us not speaking English (of course), so we've done the ESL thing each time. We got new kids, a new job, new house (new to us), new city, and new schools all over the course of this summer. Talk about pinging off the stress charts!
Tues is the first day of school. 7 kids in 4 different schools. 3 kids are at level 1 (out of 6) of the English language learning scale. We gave them the regular school's starting talk. We had the "no fighting" talk. I'm of the philosophy that we never start fights and that the other kid gets one push/punch free and my kid walks away. The next one costs the other kid a serious "throw down-make it worth it, cause we're probably gonna get suspended" butt kickin'. We had the "be respectful, be good, take your turn, work your hardest, this is going to be serious hard work" talk. This is what I think "normal" is. We'll see.
We'll watch as the 3 new recruits come home with big smiles from the new experiences, and blinding headaches from having to concentrate so hard. They'll be taking naps on the buses on the way home, they'll be so exhausted. We'll help as much as we can and do everything we can to make it as successful as it can be for them - without doing the work for them - of course. I look forward to the stories of the day. The new kids they meet. The new way of doing things that are different than on The Beach or in Ethiopia. The way the new girls are such snits and which cliques are worse than others. You know the saying about how young teen girls are the meanest creatures on earth? Being the new kids in school make my girls the easy targets, unfortunately. My oldest appears to be beyond that. I hope I'm right.
I'm settling into my job and am praying that it will be my last - ever! Well, gotta go. We're getting up in the morning to go to the beach for the day. I haven't been since June, so I'm looking forward to it. Strike that - it pouring outside and is supposed to rain all week!