So, I haven't really written about Joshua too much lately, but we haven't had a whole lot going on with him. And, normally I post a picture of him on IG (martythemoose) almost every day. I call it, "Our Daily Fred."
We have called Joshua, "Fred," for as long as I can remember. A man at our church came up to us last Sunday. He looked at Joshua and said, "so...this is Fred?" And Jim said, "no...this is Joshua. We just call him "Fred" as a nickname." The man said, "ohhhhhh..." He looked at Joshua and said, "I was wanting to be your Facebook friend, Joshua, but I was searching under FRED."
Jim and I started talking about it, and we can't remember when it started...the nickname thing. It seems like we read a story about a man with Down Syndrome, and something from the story sounded like something Joshua would say or do...and so the nickname came from that. But I don't think the man's name was Fred, so I have no idea why we started calling Joshua that.
We have never, ever called Joshua, "Josh." Some of his friends do, and some of his teachers in school did...and some people at church do. I don't know...to us, he just seems more like a JOSHUA.
Or a FRED. :)
Anyway, I was just saying how he is so sweet and happy most of the time. He has his moments, like we all do, but unlike his siblings...I can usually get him out of a bad mood. But not tonight. Tonight is one of his "moments." Joshua is a huge Razorback fan, but he gets FURIOUS when they don't play well. I was talking to our daughter, Holly, earlier today. I said, "Momma needs a nerve pill," because Joshua was saying things like, "WHAT are you THINKING?" And, "are you BLIND?" And mumbling every kind of Downsy bad word he could think of.
So, if you want to imagine what he is looking like right now, imagine his face...and then imagine the maddest Downsy boy-man face you can imagine. And there you have it.
Our house is quiet this weekend. Normally, Holly and Aaron would be over here watching the football game and going to eat with us. Instead, they are in St. Louis, Missouri with Clark and Faith. Logan and Morgan are at their own home...and so it's just the 3 of us here.
There are a few things that have become apparent to me, after this 3rd full week of Clark being at college.
*milk lasts a long time
*a loaf of bread will get hard
*there's hardly any laundry
*I went to the grocery ONE TIME last week
*the downstairs bathroom stays clean
*I don't cook as much
*I still listen for the door
*I don't make desserts anymore...they just go to waste
*there's no need to make gravy with breakfast on Saturday mornings. I might have a little bit on my biscuit, but I can't eat it like Clark can. I threw away a LOT of gravy today.
*I'm not tripping over shoes
*there's nothing piled up on the stairs
*our house is really quiet
*my prayer life has changed
*I knew I would miss him terribly...I was right
*I will never get over missing my kids when they aren't here
I knew it would be an adjustment, so I did have some plans in place to keep my mind and hands occupied. I have books I've been wanting and waiting to read. I haven't started them yet.
I bought some yarn...for what, I do not know. All I know how knit a scarf, so I may knit the longest scarf in the history of all scarves. We'll see. I haven't started it yet...but I know it's there, waiting for me in the bag. If I need it.
I have several pieces of furniture that I'm wanting to paint and/or re-do. I also want to texture the walls up in Joshua's bathroom and paint in there...and I'm wanting to paint Clark's room and kind of make it more grow-up. Haven't started any of these projects.
I bought a journaling Bible. I wrote here about my feelings on the subject. I did one thing in it and then about had a panic attack because: DRAWING IN MY BIBLE. I keep thinking that someone's gonna call me out on it and say, "ummmm...you drew in your BIBLE. You're in BIG TROUBLE, Missy."
Also: NOT CREATIVE.
We also changed up our schedule. This was Jim's idea. The thinking was that if we do the same things we've always done, it's going to be obvious that Clark isn't here. So, Jim decided that we would start going to our church's Wednesday night supper. We've been twice. The first time, we took Holly with us because Aaron-the-son-in-law works late on Wednesdays, because she has choir. Joshua loved it, and he loved having Holly with us. We didn't really know what to expect, and we went about 30 minutes after the doors opened...and it was a ZOO. Holly said, "THIS IS SO STRESSFUL!"
This week, Holly didn't go. It was just Jim, Joshua and I. We got there right when it started, and that was MUCH better. Plus, we kind of knew the lay of the land, and we were quicker and more efficient getting our food and sitting down.
After Holly and I joined the choir, Jim and Joshua started going to the gym on Wednesday nights. They enjoy the bonding time, and then they usually pick up something for dinner when they're done: Wendy's or something like that. Because we are going to the Wednesday night suppers, they've had to move their gym times. Now they go Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays...and it has ROCKED JOSHUA'S SET-IN-STONE WORLD.
I've also been cooking different things. Clark was a pretty picky eater. He liked comfort food: chicken and dressing, mashed potatoes, rolls (the boy could nearly eat a pan of rolls), poppy-seed chicken, pork tenderloin, rice...stuff like that. He loved tacos and cheese dip. Now that he's gone, we are having more salad stuff...more veggies.
Also, I've changed where I sit when it's just the 3 of us. Ever since our kids were little, we all had our "place" at the table. The kids never just sat in random places...they sat in "their" seats. This was something that was born out of necessity. With 4 kids, Jim and I needed to "divide and conquer." Also, there were a couple of the kids who, if they sat beside each other, well...it wouldn't be good. So, I moved where I normally sit, and now I sit beside Joshua in "Clark's seat" when he's gone.
Sounds silly, I know, but just you wait.
My prayer life has changed as well. I've heard people say that their prayer life changes as their kids get older...and as they leave home, and that's true. But there are also many things that we always, always pray for our children...no matter how old they are. Those prayers stay the same...it just seems more serious now, because they're older. I don't know. I can't explain it. It's just that many of the things we pray for now seem heavier...more important.
I'm sure there are many things God will teach me, as our lives stretch and change. I pray that I am willing to embrace them, instead of always longing for what was in the past. Don't get me wrong...there's so much I have learned from past experiences...I just don't want to get stuck there.
"Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me." Isaiah 46:9