Monday, April 22, 2013

Anniversary for Commuter Family: Sagacious?

Pomegranates, in the literature of the Hebrew Bible, have come to embody fruitfulness, beauty, honor and sagacity.
On April 22, 2012 Commuter Husband drove from Dallas to Houston to be ready to start his new job on April 23, 2012. We have hit the one year mark. The custom art above comes to us from our Friends of the Heart in Turkey (thank you always.) The pomegranate can represent sagacity: the quality of being discerning, sound in judgement and far-sighted. So have we been sagacious? Here is how things are stacking up ...

The Job That Started It All: Commuter Husband is SO HAPPY professionally. He has had many successes over the past year at work, enjoys the team he works with daily and is definitely never, ever bored. Commuter Husband will absolutely continue with The Job in Houston.

My Job: My professional life is centered in Dallas. Although, I have made some shifts to create more flexibility and less stress.

Oldest Son: Oldest Son turned 13 and is finishing up 7th grade. HUGE year of change for him. There is more academic pressure and as the year has progressed he has stepped up to maintain honor role status. He has played school sponsored sports: football (1st time), basketball and baseball. He has also continued his fencing outside of school. Oldest Son has elected to compete in Quiz Bowl (2nd in State and going to Nationals), Junior Classical League (Oldest Son was 1st in State in Green History and the Latin Team finished 2nd in State) and Spanish (took Level 3s which is 11th grade material and we are awaiting results.) He has spent the year in debate electives and he plans to continue next year and perhaps compete thereafter. And Oldest Son had his Bar Mitzvah in Israel on December 31, 2012! We are now watching him figure out his next level of Jewish engagement. Oldest Son has friends and favorite teachers. He is a normal kid and starting to show stereotypical personality changes for a new teenager (the good, the bad and the ugly.) He is figuring out who he actually is versus who he has imagined. Why is this laundry list important? Because Oldest Son is happy. Happy teenagers should not be taken for granted.

Youngest Son: Our wild card. Our family's spirit and passion. Our surprise around the corner. Youngest Son forces all family members to laugh out loud and scream with impatience. He has a multitude of interests: soccer, lacrosse (1st year and he rocks it), baseball, swimming, skateboarding, drama (does musicals), speech & debate, volunteering at Operation Kindness, playing shofar at Temple, community service club, cooking, mathematics, creative technology, hanging with his buddies and on and on and on. Youngest Son is game for just about anything - he is a life adventurer. As a consequence, he lives in the moment while manipulating the future to his 11 year old desires. Our path with Youngest Son is a winding road and I think he just wants to be able to see us while choosing his own direction. Youngest Son defines happy as he goes.

Afternoon Nanny: Could not, could not, could not -- do it without Afternoon Nanny. She flexes with a smile and a sweet demeanor. We are so fortunate to have her laughter in our life.

Logistics: Logistics are way more complicated and time consuming than we could have possibly imagined. Commuter Husband still staying with his sister when in Houston (which is not as often as you might think) and this has helped keep some level of simplicity in Houston - thankfully. We finally outsourced the Dallas home lawn work and pool maintenance last week to free up time for Commuter Husband and boys on the weekends. We are still working on other simplifying measures.

Breast Cancer: Got it. Removed it. Living on. The Dallas community was more supportive than I can describe in words. The outpouring of love has made a tremendous impact on my healing process and our family. We have also had encouragement and help beyond Dallas - near and far.

The Year: I am changed. Commuter Husband is changed. Honestly, I think I am still absorbing it all. This is part of my happiness puzzle. My Youngest Son does not fall far from my tree. Like him, I very much figure it out as I go.

Our new normal is that we are not mainstream. And we often choose convoluted paradigms. I think of it as maximizing life experiences. Ha!

We have 5 and 8 years left with Oldest Son and Youngest Son, respectively, before they finish high school. No doubt, we will seek to make those years purposeful and packed with adventure. We will try to embody wisdom and sagacity.

So yes ... we are staying in the Commuter Family set up and our life and this blog will continue on ... for now ...

Oldest Son chose this kippah with a hand-sewn pomegranate for his Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem: a good omen?

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