You can always tell when Life resumes Normal because I stop writing everyday. Part of the reason for my lack of attention to these Chapters is that all of my creative energies go into the children's lesson plans, Bright Futures lesson plans, grading Bright Future papers, grading Write4Homeschool papers, trying to work up the motivation to continue writing Write4Homeschool curriculum. (And I list that last item at the risk of giving some of my W4H students' moms who read this blog the impression that I'm a SLACKER.)
But Normal is good. Normal means that we're waking up around the same time each morning (so long as I lay off the Snooze button). It means that our school days take on a rhythm, one that becomes so familiar even to the kids that each beat flows smoothly into the other.
Normal means that at 8:00 on Tuesday mornings we tumble into the car with full backpacks, and we load the CD player with whatever new digital adventure we wish to share, and we head downtown to spend an hour and a half with some kids who truly need others to spend some quality time with them.
Normal means that after Bright Futures, we find some drive-thru so our bellies will be full as we head to co-op. And at co-op, even with a new semester of new classes, the underlying rhythm has already been established, and the kids just know what to do.
And finally, Normal means that we once again become accustomed to the absence of TravelDaddy. He is never truly absent, though. And I don't mean just in the cheesy way that he is always in our hearts, but he is after all just a phone call away.
There are, of course, always variations which weave their way into our normalcy. For example, yesterday we did not pull into a drive-thru after Bright Futures. We did not do that because my children have discovered that when it comes to setting family traditions, I am a mom on a mission. So when they ask if we can go to Applebees, and I say, "No, I don't want to spend the money", all they have to say is,
"But, Mom, it's Tradition. We always go to Applebees on the first day of co-op."
And they know that once our meal has ended and they ask if they can have the Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae and I say, "No, I don't want to spend the extra money", all they have to say is,
"But, Mom, it's Tradition. We always share a Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae when we come to Applebees to celebrate the first day of co-op."
So really I suppose the argument could be made that even though certain things cause the Normal to vary a bit, since those variations are what we always do, they're still Normal.