Something’s changing.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I know change is happening. Mostly, because I remember how it used to be.

I remember lazy summer days, when all my sleepyheaded children stumbled, one by one, into the kitchen at about 8 a.m. for a spontaneous round of blueberry pancakes–just because somebody said that sounded good.

I remember driving to the beach in early afternoon, and staying past dinnertime, because the kids were still chasing the waves in the golden sunlight, and I didn’t want to pull them away just yet.

I remember packing a picnic lunch for them to take to the back yard and eat up on the platform of the play-set, along with a dozen stuffed animals or so.

I remember watching them out the window, as they wandered about in the trees, talking to themselves and imagining.

I remember them reading books out on the front porch. Or spending hours pushing little boats in the kiddie pool on the back deck.

But this summer, it seems all of that has melted away.

It’s been a weird summer, but in a good way.

Lindsay was gone for 9 weeks–on a missions trip and working at a Christian camp.

Cole did sports training and camps every single week.

Cade turned 11, and now sleeps in just as late as the big kids.

Lindsay got her license, and can drive herself to early morning swim practice.

Which leaves me nobody to make blueberry pancakes for at 8 a.m. (They’re either sleeping or gone.) Nobody to drive to the beach for a lazy afternoon. (Soccer practice starts at 3:30). Nobody, who wants me to pack a picnic for the back yard or fill the kiddie pool.

We’ve outgrown all of that.

But we’ve grown into some new opportunities, too–serving ones. We’ve cooked, cleaned, watched babies, hauled bricks, painted, torn out bathrooms, hosted groups, gotten houses ready to sell, helped with kids’ programs… all things the kids weren’t ready for 7 or 8 years ago.

No, we haven’t had any lazy, blueberry pancake mornings. The only day I made blueberry pancakes was on Cade’s birthday–and in a rush, because we had several activities to get to.

Yes, things are changing. But change isn’t necessarily bad. It’s just… different.

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