Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Great Perhaps

I've hit the part of moving where every time I think of driving away I kind of think I'll vomit. I wrote yesterday about some of the reasons this will be so terribly hard.

So, why in the world are we doing this? Uprooting our family and moving halfway across the country. Leaving all we know for the unknown. Saying goodbye to people we love and cherish.

I read a book recently that wasn't stupendous as far as books go, but that left an impression on me nonetheless. Looking for Alaska started with a teen who was leaving his family and hometown behind to go to a boarding school where he knew no one and he was doing it all because he believed in "The Great Perhaps." He knew what to expect from his life. He knew he'd sit at the same lunch table feeling lonely, be ignored by the same kids, memorize more last words of famous people, and spend a lot of time wondering what else was out there. He was tired of wondering and ready to find out for himself.

I think the world can be divided into people who search out the Great Perhaps, the adventure and possibility in life, and those that don't, but instead prefer to stay within their comfort zone and live the life they know. I don't think that either philosophy of life is right or wrong and the fact that there are both types of people make the world a more interesting place. They are just different approaches to life.

We know it here. We really love it here, too. (In case that wasn't obvious.) But we also wonder what else is out there for us. Jim and I fell in love with the mountains and the beauty and the lifestyle of Colorado when we visited two and a half years ago. We felt a physical pull to the place as we imagined sunsets over mountains, exploring mountain trails, and skiing and snowboarding opportunities. We couldn't exactly put our finger on it, but we knew we wanted to be there.

Maybe it was the Great Perhaps talking. The Great Perhaps and I converse regularly, but Jim is more of a here and now, don't rock the boat kind of person. We are both direct descendants of our parents in this department. Again, neither is right or wrong, just different. Although it does make for some interesting decision making conversations. So when we both got the same itch for Colorado, we decided we'd better listen. This move took longer than we expected due to a junky housing market and a baby Asher, but we're here.

We're on the cusp of The Great Perhaps.

And we're really excited. And really scared. And really sad. And really overwhelmed. And really happy.

We got the call today to schedule the walk-through. I simultaneously got the goose bumps and teared up. Excitement and sadness fought for control of my body. But neither one could win because they're both appropriate. I feel both of them fully almost all day long.

This morning the kids and I had a meeting about our upcoming school year. We talked about our hopes for the year, what went well from last year, what we should change, what we want to learn, and what we're worried about. We also chose a name and found some quotes to print up and keep in our (roving) schoolroom to remind us of our goals.

I talked to the kids about how proud I am of them and how I already know they're smart and that they'll learn a lot this year. Then I started to wipe the tears from my eyes as I got to the tough part. I told them that the most important thing I wanted them to do this year was to be brave and courageous and take risks. To do things that were hard, like meet new people in new places and keep trying even when they felt stuck in math or grammar or friendship or life. They can look up definitions in a book or check the internet for a history fact or divide with a calculator, but I want them to walk out of this house, both tomorrow to play at the neighbor's house and someday in the far, far-off future (let's just pretend it's far, far off, okay?) when they head out on their own, confident in themselves and able to handle life's challenges. They have a whole slew of people to support them, but they have to believe in themselves. They have to be able to call on that place deep within them and get down to the tough job of living this life well in spite of sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds. We also talked about God's plans for their lives and God's place in their problems and their joys. It was a big conversation spoken with small words and lots of love. It's no small task, this raising kids business.

We talked about naming our school and they wanted it to be something with brave and Audrey said, "Brave Boulders." I thought it was because Boulder is a town in Colorado, but instead she said it's because boulders are rocks and they're very strong. Dang. Good call, Audrey! So, Brave Boulder Learning Academy it is. Well, the 3rd and 5th graders attend Brave Boulder Learning Academy. Elliot was insistent that 1st grade was called Brave Boulder School. OK. Whatever works.

We looked up quotations and bible verses on bravery and these are the quotes that the kids chose.
They thought this was perfect, considering our earlier conversation. Plus it's Harry Potter, so that's always a win.

They loved this one, too, especially because Nelson Mandela said it and we were learning about African independence in history. 

I'll remind them of this one when they're struggling with an assignment and want to give up.

We're ready for adventure. We're ready for life!

There are hard things in life. There are huge pay offs. We're ready. Some days it's begrudgingly and some days we're ready to dive in, but we are heading to our family's next Great Perhaps. It'll take strength and bravery and courage, but together we'll do it.

What are you looking forward to today? What are you scared about? How do you psyche yourself up to get down to the hard job of living life well? I'm all ears! We need all the help we can get. 

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