Every weekday morning, we get up and move through the lunch-making, hair-brushing, shoe-tying routine. Around 7:40, my girls and I set out into the cool morning air to meet our neighbors at the bottom of the hill, I in my tennis shoes holding steaming cup, the girls wearing school clothes and fresh, first grade faces. We walk, the nine of us together. One mama has her stroller, one daddy holds their lunches, three kids ride their bikes, a few run beside them.

It doesn’t take long to get to the school, maybe 10 minutes depending on what bugs or animals we may see along the way. There are so many gifts in this journey walk. It seems normal now, to feel the rhythm of this slow-spinning earth change morning by morning, leaf by leaf, steady and predictable. It feels regular and typical to walk beside them from home doorstep all the way to their classroom, to greet their teachers every morning, to watch them smile shy at classmates as they walk through that door. It feels normal now.

It is tempting to think things will always be how they are right now, both the good and the bad. But they will not be. That bad thing will slowly morph into something else, the good will pass into some new good thing. Or new hard thing, a new gift opportunity. There will be a day when normal will be different, so I decide to enjoy my now normal on purpose.