Chasing Contentment

Friday, May 27

On Monday, we will leave on our first-ever family vacation with Eliza. In all honesty, this will be Griff's first big vacation. We'll be away from home for six days, visiting family (whose company we very much enjoy) and doing fun things. How amazing!

Griff was about a year old when Mike began his doctoral work, under the assumption that it would take him about a year to finish his coursework. A year stretched into two and then into three. One of Griff's first words was 'ippi,' as in, 'Where's your daddy this week?' ... 'ippi.'Mississippi's a hard work for a two-year-old. I never dreamed that when we had a second child (also something I never dreamed of), Mike would still be working on his doctorate.

I feel a lot of times like our lives have been defined by his doctoral work for these last five years. And he isn't finished yet. He's close and working so very hard, but not finished yet. The biggest, most painful struggles we have had in this life together have come as a result of this doctoral work. This has been hard work for him, mentally and physically. It has been hard work for me, holding our little family together.

In Griff's entire life, this is the first summer that Mike won't be away from home for most of it. And so, we are taking our first family vacation. I love the power that sentence has. I love the promise that it holds. I honestly cannot quite envision a life without this doctorate sitting with us, because even when Mike's not working on it, he's thinking about it. It's with us. But soon... it won't be.

And the lushness of that life beckons to me. It is my dream. I have a friend who longs, who dreams, who aches for what could be. My dream is to have the four of us at home, content, together. And so, for me, this vacation is the beginning of the opening up of a dream. And I can hardly wait.

[  posted by Chel on Friday, May 27, 2005  ]


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