The Evening Dance

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Life sure knows how to throw curve balls, so in the midst of our little family working on learning the "new normal" around here, we received the news that Joe's sweet grandfather, Earl Tanner, had passed away. Though it was not entirely unexpected, it was still sudden.... but luckily we had the option to get Joe out to Utah in time for the funeral. Even more special, Noah was able to go with him. So all of a sudden, our uneventful week looked entirely different. 

Joe and Noah left on Wednesday and will be gone for several days. And while I am so grateful he is able to be there for his family and to celebrate his grandfather, I confess I've had more than one "Deep breath, Emily--- you can do this alone!" moments.

There is nothing like NOT having my husband home to reinforce in the biggest way HOW MUCH I rely on him. How amazing he is at making our life balanced... helping me be a better mom. Filling our home with his strength and calm and selflessness. 

And so I'm missing him. a LOT. The hardest time of day for me, so far, has been dinnertime--- that evening stretch when Joe would normally be coming home from work, taking a kid or two in his arms-- even before taking off his shoes or coat-- and reenergizing the whole group of us who have been at home all day orbiting around each other and slowly wearing out from it. It's a crazy time of day, to be sure--- 5 of us, three of whom are particularly loud and demanding-- gathered in the dining room and kitchen while one parent works on dinner and dishes and chores... the other holding Quinn and/or distributing crayons/paper/markers/play doh/sippy cups/etc. to the other two... usually some kind of music playing.... It's crazy, but it's become a kind of dance: smooth passing of baby to the other parent, one picking up where the other left off.... One parent swooping down to Lucy-level when she trips and falls or loses a toy or other Lucy-crisis...It's messy and loud and not at all easy. But it's a dance I've come to appreciate. Love, even? 

Best part is that quite often, it becomes a LITERAL dance... Hence the video clips up top. Because we're always playing some kind of music, more often than not Noah or Lucy will begin dancing and there it is--- as if that dinnertime stretch couldn't get MORE chaotic, suddenly everyone is dancing and come to think of it, it's like a jump-cut to our own personal Southerland version of the Harlem Shake. It's awesome. 

So the last two nights, and for a few more to come, it feels more than a little empty. Even with three out of five of us left here, it just isn't the same. So for now I'm in "survival mode".... trying to boil down my already simplified routines to even more simple versions... and appreciating just how much my Joe makes a difference in our days. Noah, too, of course. I miss both those stinkers. 

But we're doing okay. I'm weirdly proud of every successful hour I manage this alone. I'm, by necessity, living moment to moment, and somehow it's made it easier to stay mindful AND GRATEFUL in those moments. I'm surprised I've only really had one mini-personal-meltdown so far in the last 36 hours. Yay, me!

Still... I can't promise that I'll be this zen forever, so hurry home, my love. I miss you terribly.


  1. I would love to see you and Joe dancing in front of the kiddos too. It is, after all, a family routine, right? (Plus, I think parents dancing together is just cool for the kiddos to see.) :) Good luck in the upcoming days... Keep it simple...

  2. Love the vids, love you, love your wonderful little family. Can't wait to see you all soon!

  3. Thank you Emily for sending Joe and Noah to us for the last few days. I am deeply grateful

  4. I am so impressed with you...that dinner hour is often our worst. I admire you for embracing it and letting it get loud and silly. Good for you!


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