Six weeks ago, I had the privilege of officiating a wedding on the shore of New Jersey, a trip that included a day exploring the boulder field of Hickory Run State Park. The morning after the wedding, we drove 8.5hrs to deliver a few of our little ones to kids camp, where I spent the week serving as the cook.
Two weeks later, we were back in New Jersey for another wedding, a trip that included a day exploring Manhattan in the rain, sealed with garlic rolls from John’s Pizzeria.
Last week, my wife and I enjoyed 24hrs alone in Chautauqa, NY with 4000 friends listening to the Avett Brothers. We stayed at a fantastic B&B in Sherman (randomly with two other couples who had attended the concert), explored an antique bookstore and then came home.
Today we started school, and it was a breath of fresh air. I love weddings, and I have a deep place in my heart for those who see fit to welcome us into such a wonderful day. I love driving, and spending time with my family where the only screen we see is the windshield. I love exploring, especially a city like the Big Apple! And man, I love the Avett Brothers. But today has been a breath of fresh air.
It was fresh because I also enjoy structure. We are blessed to travel from western PA to the east coast multiple times and just wait to see what happens. But as I sit here with a bit of french pressed goodness and a little background music (you’ll never guess who), a day of school in the rearview and hours until dinner, I am equally blessed.
I sat in the dining room greeting #1, #2, and #3 with catechism, a hymn, and prayer. We opened the door of Greek history. We held our breath as Polly and Digory opened the wrong door in the Magician’s Nephew. We met the Sassafras twins and Bobby Fischer. Honestly, this stuff is exciting, people!
#4 started kindergarten at the public school, complete with a ride on a short bus from the front door. #5 laughed, played, squealed, screamed, and eventually went down for a nap. Is this not every bit as much a dream as a walk through Strawberry Fields in the rain? I would argue yes.
I have four and a half hours until dinner. There’s a bit of house wiring waiting for me in the kiddos bedrooms. (gutted since May) There’s probably a bit of a daily harvest in the garden. I know there’s laundry. (There’s always laundry) I have a handful of design work waiting for the church. Luther’s Lectures on Romans are calling my name, among 8 or 12 other books active on the shelf. None of this happens without structure.
I even knocked out a blog post.
I’m excited for the school year. I get strange looks when I say I have way more time once school starts, but it’s true. In the chaos of summer, some other project or opportunity shines brighter than what is necessary or good. After three months with distraction as a way of life, there is a lot of joy waiting in the regularity of this homeschooling life.