It's been nearly a month since we have arrived home from our 2 week adventure to the Pacific Northwest and Banff, Canada with our three children (7,5,2). I had originally planned to furiously edit these photos and write all about it immediately but it was too sacred. I truly have needed to just sit and processes before having the words.
I keep comparing this trip to labor and childbirth. It is powerful and wonderful and sacred and yet it is something you do NOT want to do again or think about doing again immediately following. Give yourself a few weeks and suddenly you'll remember so fondly something that was so hard and painful.
I know you saw the pictures on Instagram. The beautiful mountains and the rocky coasts, my children dressed in adorable mismatched clothes and boots. I know it looked picturesque and maybe even sent a pang of jealousy into the pit of your stomach. Even though I tried to keep it real with several posts of crying car rides, that did not even scratch the surface of how hard this trip was.
As hard and painful as this trip was, it was equally needed and healing.
Our children are very similar to feral animals. They run and play in the open air and the second you put them inside they go crazy. So more than 3,000 miles traveled via car was hard for everyone. Having just received a concrete diagnosis for our oldest of Severe ADHD/ODD a few weeks before the trip, and trying out some medications and new dietary restrictions for him, it just really added to the painfulness of it all.
For every moment of pain there was a tiny glance or hand hold or a pause and a drawing in.
You see, ever since our precious first born was born and something was "off" with him, I feel like I've started separating from Noah. Because when it gets hard...or stays hard all the time, it's just so much easier to go off on your own, lick your wounds and return to try again.
The hard part, the hardest part is drawing in. It's not pretty. It's not idilic picnics on the beach and romantic gestures, it's standing firm, it's lifting one another when they are too weary to go on. There was a lot of awkward and painful moments on this beauty filled trip. Too many times to count I was just paralyzed with fear of how to move on, how to address one more hungry child who was tired, how to calm Barclay down after another fit, how to dig deep down and give grace to my husband. We were stuck together for two weeks and we did it. We grew and we healed a bit.
I feel so unworthy to be the mama of this tribe. I feel so ill equipped, so lacking in patience, so childlike myself. But grace is daily extended to me and it is restoring me.
I can see the beauty here, in this family of mine. This gift of people that are my people. Every one precious and unique and wonderfully made for a purpose.