A friend asked me how I was doing today. I said I was doing fine and she looked at me like I was lying. I was, but saying fine was easier than saying that the organs in my core were feeling constricted again. Today was our annual chicken fry at camp. Despite the rain, we had a good turnout, and I remember thinking my husband had done a wonderful job with the sermon. Somewhere toward the end of the chapel service, I got up to leave and stand outside. I suddenly felt like I was about to start crying. I never did.

It mostly just feels redundant to talk about. Some of the things I’ve written here have been wildly tame. Anxiety isn’t a sufficient word to describe what this is. No I cannot stand in line for an hour. I actually have to go sit down in the shade. No I cannot be the person to jump into the kitchen fray with the dozen plus volunteers who barely seem to halfway know what they’re doing. I actually should be going to lay down. I carried a friend’s baby from main camp to our house and hours later still feel like I am trying to catch my breath.

The boys had friends who were visiting for the weekend. Their mother is a woman I met during the days of my first blog. She and I and another mom had a fairly regular email thread that lasted several years before life just continued to get busier and busier. At the time we all met, one had four kids, I had five, and another had six. This weekend the one with four came and visited with her ten. My boys and hers have been pen pals for several years, though now they tend to email more and have times for approved and limited online games. She and I have gotten together a handful of times, and this is the second time our boys have been able to play together in person.

We had a wonderful weekend. I have to say, five kids isn’t nothing, but ten kids is a whole new thing entirely. Absolutely delightful, every single one of them, and it was a joy to finally meet them all. The only way I know how to befriend a mother with ten children is to make myself useful however I was able and not be offended when she couldn’t really talk. When I needed to sit down, and left her standing with her tiny group of wonders, I wouldn’t have known how to even begin to explain.

Again, so much more than I could’ve done a year ago. I do continue to thank God for that. I keep thinking how homeschooling the boys had been easy, even though I’m seeing the needed good in this change. The other night I asked my big kids if they thought I was old. They said no. I asked if they thought I was different from before. They said yes. I asked them how so and one of them said, “You don’t do anything”, then added, “I mean, you do things, but not like before.” Yeah.

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