The evolution of things

It started yesterday in Heber’s darling Wigglish toy store. The kids were doing their Christmas shopping for each other surrounded by hundreds of the coolest toys and games…and Hadley wasn’t interested in any of them. Her Christmas wishlist includes a laundry list of wants that will never be filled–a fancy camera. A phone. Clothes. Make-up. Perfumes and lotions.

That morning, Jamie and I attended a baptism and helped a new friend move. Hadley has been so exhausted lately from waking up at 5:30 a.m. that I just let her sleep and that she did. Several hours later, I went downstairs to rummage through our basement and found her still slumbering at 1 p.m.?!!!! I laughed, dragged her out of bed and marveled at my new teenager.

Later that evening, my friend Sarah invited us to enjoy their Trader Joe’s spoils of steak and veggies. Jamie had the BYU basketball game with his dad and Hadley had homework so it was just Bode and me. Sarah helped me tremendously during those two months we commuted from Park City by letting me drop off Bode before school and during that time, our kids formed a wonderful bond. As I watched Bode play effortlessly with her three boys, I had an epiphany:

Hadley and Bode don’t play together anymore.

And that made me crazy sad. This move has been difficult on so many levels but this was such an unexpected one that has less to do with our location and more to do with age. For their entire lives, they’ve been besties conjuring up imaginary worlds with their toys and stuffed animals. Sure, they’ve bickered from time-to-time as siblings do but they also had each other, thrown together by extensive travel and circumstance.

Now when they get home after school, they go to their separate corners. Hadley will start on homework, watch make-up tutorials on YouTube or mess around with silly filters. Bode will play math games or chess. They still enjoy laughing at Studio C together and their interactions aren’t bad, they’re just different.

I commented to Jamie yesterday before my epiphany that we have to do better. We’ve been in survival mode for so long that sheer exhaustion lands us in front of the TV every night. It doesn’t help that winter’s evenings are dark and cold but we need to get back to that fun-loving family who traveled and played together.

Every night before bed, we read scriptures and say family prayers. Jamie was still at the game so Hadley, Bode and I piled onto my bed.

“Don’t turn on the light,” I suggested. “Let’s just do dark snuggles.”

I don’t even remember what we talked about but we were transformed back to how it used to be. We laughed. Shared stories. Wrestled. Gazed in wonder as the moon illuminated the snow with a lovely pearly blue-white glow.

It was a piece of magic that this bruised mother’s heart so desperately needed. Things will be different. They have to be–it’s the natural order of things as Hadley and Bode change and grow.

But it gave me hope that they’ll find their way back together again….should we all survive Hadley’s teenage years.  #JesusTakeTheWheel

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