In Between

April 16, 2017

Right now our family is living in between.  In between making decisions and those decisions becoming the fact of our lives.  In between being here and going.  In between the present and the future.  This applies mostly to Grace and Whit, both of whom will be going to new schools in September, but also to Matt and to me, because the texture of our daily lives is going to change.

Every season of life has its own rhythm and this one is jerky and discordant. I am trying to hear the music that exists in the dissonance, because I know it’s there, but I’m struggling. We’re all a bit more explosive then usual, unexpectedly grumpy or surprised by our own emotions at different moments. The shadow of what’s coming is occluding the radiance of right now, there’s no question about it.

I am finding this moment difficult to live in.  I walk into Grace’s room and hug her, just because I can, and then start crying without being able to stop. I set the table for Saturday night family dinner and have to sit down and weep, because I am aware of how few dinners like this lie ahead.  Grace and Whit are squabbling even more (way more) than usual and I’m not handling the bickering well.

I am definitely someone who experiences the cliche that the anticipation is worse than the reality.  Almost always.  It’s why I can’t really stand roller coasters: that endless ascent at the beginning?  I cannot bear it.  And this anticipation, this click-click-click rise to the top, with an inevitable swooping, heart-stopping descent on the other side, is longer than any I’ve ever lived.

These changes are all good.  I know that. But what’s coming is new, and it marks the undeniable end of something. Neither newness nor endings rank high on my list of favorite things, and to combine those with a wait under the cloud of what’s coming creates a phase that is not easy for me. I am breathing. I am taking photos. I am trying my best to be here now. That is all I can do.

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  1. Posted May 2, 2017 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Hang in there. I haven’t been there yet, my girls are just a bit younger, but I can imagine the way these days tear at your heart. Keep being present xoxo

    admin Reply:

    That’s all I can do … I’m trying. xox

  2. Sarah
    Posted May 2, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Hi Lindsey 🙂 I believe you’re a James Taylor fan too if I’m remembering correctly; I love his lyric “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.” It’s a beautiful take on the bittersweetness of time passing and seems to remind us that change just is, and is not necessarily good or bad. A lesson I’m still trying to learn myself! Thinking of you xo

    admin Reply:

    I am! The James Taylor lyric I keep hearing in my head is “once again a time of change … the change makes music …” (I might be paraphrasing incorrectly. I love the one you cite too. I’m trying! xox

  3. Posted May 2, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I’m reading some of Emily Dickinson’s letters, and this passage, which she wrote to a friend when she was sixteen, seems particularly relevant to the place you are now in: “Let us strive together to part with time more reluctantly, to watch the pinions of the fleeting moment until they are dim in the distance & the new coming moment claims our attention.”

  4. Posted May 2, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    We’re kind of in the in between right now, too. Two of my children are experiencing major transitions. One definite and major. The other temporary, not quite certain, but certainly big. Patenting can be so hard. I like anticipation of the good, but this isn’t fun. I love the rollercoaster analogy.

  5. Babette
    Posted May 2, 2017 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I love your writing… but sometimes it seems there’s an elephant on the page. You don’t have to send your children away to school. I know the pressures all too well.

  6. Amy
    Posted May 2, 2017 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    I wish we were neighbors and could talk across the fence. I’m a few years ahead of you with my oldest a sophomore in college and in my opinion you’ve got it all right – the anticipation is worse than the actual letting go (although that’s a sucker punch in the gut no matter how much you try to prepare) – the tearful meals, looking forward with dread and back with longing while trying to be in the moment – the rattled nerves as everyone shifts and pulls away and then fears the void and grabs hold. Yes, it’s all good, necessary and right. And yes, we will do our best to embrace it, but the only way forward is with tears in our eyes. We are the lucky ones. Our life with our kids has just been THAT beautiful.

  7. Posted May 3, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m in between right now, too. My transitions are different than yours, but the rhythm is also jarring over here. Listening for the music with you. xo