pressing the pause button

August – the eighth month of the year. The beginning of middle school and then end of elementary school for us…at least until Anna arrives on the school scene in three years. The beginning of golf and football seasons. The beginning of another year of cub scouts and the continuation of boy scouts. The beginning of our journey as new members of our church. The beginning of our life with a pet, our new little kitten that Jonah named Scout (more on him, later). The beginning of Simon’s leap into the teenage years – he’s now a full-fledged, cell phone carrying member of the tween crowd. The beginning of a rather large percentage of our paychecks going to lunches, dues, fees and supplies. Ah, beginnings.

And now that we’re nearly done ‘beginning’, this mama needs a break, a brief pressing of the pause button. Fortunately, that pause is a mere hours away, coming in the form of a little getaway to the far-off and exotic land of Ohio.

I know. You’re jealous. While you’re tending to the laundry and shuttling kids to various sports events, I’ll be sitting back, sipping a Diet Coke and soaking up the…well, let’s face it, Ohio isn’t the Caribbean, but it is a couple of glorious hours from home and that’s enough for me.

How did I swing this, you ask? Well, you see, Matt belongs to a small group at church. His group has been meeting for a bit over a year, and it’s time for the wives to do more than meet in the lobby at church. His group leader has planned a mini-retreat for the small group guys plus wives and we’re mere hours from departure. If I’d had more time to think about it, I might be nervous to spend some concentrated time with new people. Truth is, I’m just happy to be getting a few hours ‘off’.

In case you don’t understand what ‘off’ means, let me explain this glorious and elusive term. This is a condition, a state of being, during which the woman of the house is relieved of being a cook, a housekeeper, a taxi driver, a butler, a potty assister and a launderer. As much as I will miss their sweet faces, there will be no coaxing to bed, last-minute requests for water or myriad of other anti-sleep tactics.  There will be no last minute, full house searches for the mouth guard that we ‘just had’ and now can’t find. There will be no refereeing of arguments.

However, there WILL be a couple of hours’ drive each way to just talk to my husband, without interruption. There WILL be adult conversation, without interruption. (Sensing a theme here?) There WILL be Bible study and rejuvenation. There WILL be a solid night’s sleep. There WILL be food that arrives on a plate and then that plate will disappear from sight, never to be cleaned or returned to a cabinet by me. There WILL be a chance to miss our kids and appreciate them and come home less tired and stressed. There WILL be thanksgiving and perspective and a refreshed desire to be a better, more joyful Jesus girl, wife and mom.

It’s easy to get so busy managing the responsibilities of the family that I forget to hit the pause button and appreciate the people in the family. I’m looking forward to ‘beginning’ again on Saturday night.

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