Shaun is home from school for about the last month, working from a makeshift home office using our patio furniture in the mudroom. We are loving him being home and I find myself sneaking in there during the workday just to see him for no reason at all. We usually have lunch together and although he's been busier than ever, it feels like a gift to have him here. If a strange car comes up the driveway, he's there to greet them. If a potty gets clogged or I can't reach something high or the kids need their dad, he's here. That part of this season feels like an incredible gift and I can't believe it's real. I will grieve when he goes back to the office. I have loved every minute of him being home.
Ellie got notification via Mike Dwine that her track season is officially over in mid-April. She knew it was coming but the day it happened, I was so proud of her. She sat on the couch with me and watch the press conference with tears in her eyes. They never spilled over but she talked fast very quietly, "I'm glad I know. It's good to know. I'm excited about cross country. I love cross country. I'm glad we won't have track in the summer. I feel so bad for the seniors. I feel so bad for (mentions every friend she knows affected by this). I can't believe this is happening." And all day she stayed close to Shaun and I and forced herself to be positive. But once in a while she would look at me with horror in her eyes when she realized yet another loss (the 4x800 team, the 4x4 team, the loss of her senior friends, missing her favorite meets, missing her memories-yet-to-be-made). Track is both a social sport and the sport college coaches look for when offering scholarships. It's been especially hard for her because due to OHSAA transfer regulations she couldn't compete in half of her track season last year and ran in only a few open races with bad weather. The pressure was on for this season for her to run fast and earn the chance to compete in college. She was running fast, in the best shape of her life when this all happened. It was a crushing blow. By the end of the night she was contacting all the friends she had who were affected by the cancellation of spring sports and telling them how sorry she was and how she's praying for them. She meant that and I think she was hoping someone somewhere was praying for her heart too.
Ellie started her two week break this week and running is a healthy emotional outlet for her, so I think this break will be both good and challenging. Good in that she can rest her body and prepare mentally for the next thing but also hard in that the endorphins she probably really needs in this season will be quieted for a few weeks. Her coaches really want a full body rest, so there walks are really all that is an option to her.
The other kids are thrilled with the potential reality of finishing the year at home. Max was struggling through first grade emotionally anyway, it just wasn't a good fit this year. We are happy and grateful to hopefully be done with a year that felt too much for him. We will read books, write letters and play math games and figure out the rest of his challenges after he's healed up a little bit.
Gabby is completely over her sadness at not returning to the junior high and couldn't be happier to finish up at home. She was a little sad about missing her throwing season during track, but really her heart was with her sister. She knows the heaviness Ellie is facing. She's an introvert, happy to be at home with her family and we are thrilled to have her.
Sam has already decided to attend Mason next year. Ending Lebanon on a quarantine has it's issues, but he's ready for something new and happy to move on to his next season with his dad and his sister. Sophie was already planning a home school year next year. It was little harder for her to not have a proper goodbye from some of her favorite teachers ever, but she's also very happy to be home.
In spite of the fear of the virus swirling around us, we are tucked in up here on the Hill. Happy, together, healthy and grateful. Here is will we remain until this pandemic passes.
We are always in prayer for our friends and family and our nation and world.
Jesus be near.