I have entered the world of crazy.
But I think we all knew that would happen.
Earlier this week my rose colored glasses were broken.
Luckily for me, the world still holds beauty without them.
This weekend I took our little girl to a birthday party.
Which turned out to actually be a giant family reunion of a huge Mexican clan.
I sat the whole time, thankful for Joey and his cute face as a buffer and slightly alarmed to be the only white person in a room full of extremely friendly, but difficult to understand, grandmas and aunts and overly-friendly uncles.
I did get a spontaneous hug from what might have been the oldest looking woman I have ever encountered. She didn't seem to mind in the slightest that I had never met her before. I was standing, so I should be hugged.
The awkwardness I endured for two and a half hours was all worth it to hear that I was part of our five-year old's very first time ever going to a friend's house. As we drove to the party her legs bounced and her ponytail whipped as she tried to look out of all of the van windows at the same time.
She very shyly admitted that she had never been to a friend's house before.
When we arrived she hid behind my legs, even when her friend ran to greet her. Throughout the party she would come find me and ask if she could participate in different activities. By the end of our time her cheeks were pink and her eyes were sparkling.
I was exhausted from smiling and making halting conversation, but she was full and that made me glad.
I am thankful to have had that moment of satisfaction, because the weekend went down-hill from there.
Without all the shocking details (truly, shocking, I mean ... like worthy of an episode of some crime drama), I will sum up the last three days by saying that we have had two boys suspended from school, found drugs in our back yard, called the police three times in as many days, had two children removed from our home by the police and heard more profanity than I have ever heard strung together in my life.
The first night of chaos, I felt battered. I was confused and obsessed with all the things I did wrong that only made things worse. The second day of chaos I thought, I've seen it all before (how quickly I am learning) and the third day, today, I just feel sad.
It is sad to see so much brokenness.
I have begun to learn to pray in new, desperate ways and to invite God into my home at every moment.
I am grateful tonight for my mom and dad. I am thankful for support from friends old and new, and I am amazed that God's word is so alive and so powerful for today.
I was going to end by commending all of the moms and dads I know and emphasizing what an important job it is to parent, even imperfectly - but I realized that inside of me a soapbox is growing in huge-monstrous proportions and standing on a soapbox after three days of no sleep and heightened emotional levels is not wise.
So instead, I will end by saying that Jack and Joey are doing well. Joey is the star of the house and everybody wants to be the one to sit next to him in the van and help carry him into church.
Jack is finding his place in the house slowly but surely. Most nights I wake up and find he has snuck into my bed at some point in the night. When I discover him I relish the warmth of his wiggly little self next to me and kiss his buzz-cut-head. Then I usually carry him back to bed so I can sleep.
A few times I have actually just gone to sleep in his bed to save the effort of moving him from his comfortable and safe place.
We all are making our adjustments, but we are intact. We have met new friends, Andy and I have laughed and smiled and worked together and I haven't even made him listen to me cry (yet). We are tired and my brain is so full that new bits of information are temporarily being turned away - a problem - yes, but nothing a handy pen and paper can't take care of! Through it all, we are meeting God and meeting each other.
The last days have not been easy, but they have a purpose, and I am content in that.
And how could I not be finding the beauty in my days with these blokes about?
Jack, if when you are older you wonder why there are three pictures of Joey and only one of you - it is because you are miserable to take a picture of. You are too fast and usually are stuffing food in your face. And when you aren't eating, it is probably because you are coloring.
On your face.
In ink that is very hard to wash off.
But I adore you still my funny, sweet, clever and artsy boy!