such a place known as the land of in-between does exist.
not that i'm knee deep in, but i'm certain my feet are on the outskirts.
in the land of in between the onesies that folded so tidy in the drawers are distant memories.
in the land of in between the basic colored fisher price toys have been sold at a garage sale or happily passed down to a friend.
in the land of in between gone are the nights of rocking the children to sleep for their feet either drag the ground or the rocking chair can’t hold the weight anymore.
to some, the land of in between seems far far away.
to my seasoned parenting friends, you have closed that door, triple locked it and thrown away the key!
it’s starting to make sense to me now as to why.
for i now take up residency in the land of in between.
just over the hill and around the bend you can see us with our children who have moved us into such a place.
here’s how you know if you’re in the same zip code as me...
your kids can fix their own breakfast (and more than that, if you can help it)
they require showers daily and not because you just need something else to fill the time before they go to bed.
you aren’t having to do as much for them these days, but what you do need them to do, you have to tell them to do it 87 times.
they don’t need you to sit down with them at playdates, but they need you and your wheels to get them to their friends.
i’ve known for a short while that we were on the cusp of this land and i’ve watched strangers and friends alike in the land of in between move about and grow gray hair or lose their hair and laugh their hardest and throw their backs out of whack and have the time of their lives, yet really struggle.
i see why parents at this stage throw their hands up and give them the $20 for the movie and just drop them off or why summer camp for the whole summer is so enticing or why you just give in to them and let them “drive the bus.”
i also see why parents move into a coaching stage with their kids as they direct them and point them and model for them how to live life.
i see why empty nest depression can happen because of the bazillion hours you pour into their lives in the land of in between that when they are gone, there’s nothing left.
our calendar is at capacity with dates as a couple, one-on-one time with each of our kids, their activities, and space for our own sanity.
it's predominately family stuff and not because we have kavita home, but because we have a middle schooler and 4 kids in prime modeling/shaping years.
it's predominately family stuff because where these 4 go and who they become and how they get there is the most important stuff in the world to us.
1. they need us more than ever (whether they like it or not)
2. there is dry land over there, for i am convinced that in the in between, rest assured we're in between something! just haven't quite landed on what those somethings are!)
3. i don’t have a number 3.
i'll be honest and say that as i stand on the outskirts of the land of in-between, it looks really sunny and blissful behind me. it's as if cartoon characters prance to and fro with delightful catchy tunes playing in the background.
the land in front of me has strange noises and it sounds like a stampede from time to time. it's hard to see everything, kind of like a jungle, but i think that's the lay of the land.
in the land of in between, i don't want to be afraid.
i heard a momma of 7, lisa chan, ask a crowd of us recently, what will we miss out on because of fear?
i wanted to raise my hand frantically and shout, "the tween and middle school years!"
but i know the greatest discoveries are in front of us.
yes, i will cherish their first steps and first words and first birthday.
yet, i'm awakening to the very same thrills and emotions that hit me in my adolescent years.
the thrills of roller coaster rides and water slides.
of being chosen last on the kickball team or not chosen at all.
of leaving the conversation on the school yard because it just was ugly.
the excitement of field trips and the nervous energy of giving a speech in class.
the satisfaction of inviting someone to join you for lunch and
the loneliness at school because the other kids just don't get you.
in the land of in between, the discoveries are only a portion of the journey.
this land is without question filled with certainties.
and that's what i'm looking for. that's what i want to point out while we are here.
that God sees them.
that God has a plan though they can't see past this one obstacle.
that God hears their cries and their prayers. i mean our cries and our prayers.
that God is victorious and stands ready to lead them daily into battle and out onto good land.
so if you're new to this land of in between, i'm happy to meet you here.
if you've been here a while, teach me some things!
and if you're still living in the land of cartoon characters prancing to and fro with delightful catchy tunes, i'll still be here when you get here!
because our kids span 11-7 years old, so i'm not just pitching a tent, i'm building a treehouse!