This week we found ourselves in layers of puffy snow gear and days later, layers of sunblock, saltwater and sand.

So are the extremes of California.  Within moments, we also can surf the waves of emotions.  Side splitting laughter one moment and LITERALLY minutes later, inconsolable sobbing.

I find these extremes a daily part of my life.  I might begin the day with a cup of coffee and good intentions for the events to unfold.  Yet, one sibling rivalry too many and my slick veneer is shattered.

Fear over the “what ifs” can keep me from acting, planning and moving forward.  Sometimes the extremes on either end of the spectrum feel too much.  Too much fun might mean missed naps and later meltdowns.  Not enough planned in an effort to ensure calm never fails to produce eruptions of sibling rivalry after two busy boys are “pent up” too long in one space.

Despite this all, I find our family, at the end of spring break, reflecting on the time we’ve spent together over the last seven days.  This has been the first week we have had four members in our family, with a week of time off together, only slated to be at home.  Rather than  planning too much way ahead of time, we scheduled in a few short adventures in between commitments we had at home.  A trip to the dentist, a dad and Alex movie date to the Lorax, me speaking at my MOPS group, a trip to the Sierras for an hour of snow time and 36 hours of Grandma fun, a trip to Happy Hollow with our season passes, a day at the beach to escape the scorching heat blasting California right now, reliving my Railroad Museum field trip days at the Sacramento RR Museum, Drew’s first haircut.  Lots of extremes.  Some regular “routine” tasks (Farmer’s Market and laundry) and other less “regular” adventures.  Each day and adventure held laughter.  Tantrums.  Hunger.  Long cars rides.  Slow mornings.  Skipped naps.  Negotiating.  But these extremes make the memories I hope the boys remember long after the languishing days of Spring Break are over.

School resumes on Monday.  And a whole new set of extremes begins again.  One day with one boy.  Another with two.  A third with neither.  And then two days in a row with my “other” kids—all 28 of them—preparing them for the STAR test (LORD, HAVE MERCY!).

Not every event went perfectly.  But as is usually the case, in the unexpected moments and unplanned sidetrips, in the extremes that bookend every day (or every five minutes), there is the meat of memory.

I had already been working on this post earlier today, unbeknownst to Alex, and he made these two pictures during quiet time.  The first of our day at the beach and the second, our day in the snow.  Guess extremes stick in our minds, even the almost 5 year old versions!

And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left,

 [to either extreme]

your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,

‘This is the way; walk in it.’

~Isaiah 30:21

One thought on “Extremes

  1. Alex, I like your art pictures, especially the beach and boat. Your artistic skills are improving and I look forward to seeing each new one. Grandpa Jerry

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