Okay... so I haven't written in a while. What else is new.
Michael is eleven and a half. His oldest sister is 22, middle sister is turning 21 shortly, and next older sister will be 20 when Michael turns 12.
Life is substantially different than the tumultuous times when Michael was little and all three girls were living with us. Now the oldest two are basically out on their own, while their little sister (Michael's Twin, if you recall) is attending community college while living with her mom, though she still faithfully comes to stay with us every other weekend. Michael loves having her around. They're both into Minecraft (yet another common bond) and can now converse in a language that goes right over our heads ("I'm trying to build a wither but I don't have the mod! Do I need an ender portal or just redstone?")
Michael spends most of his time with his face buried in his iPhone. He uses ear buds to keep the sound of his music/games/conversations to himself. This is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. While the silence is nice, it's impossible to get his attention. I have to physically walk over to him and yank the earbuds out if I want him to hear me. This makes things like calling "Dinner!" and "Let's go pick up pizza" and "Time for school!" an onerous chore.
He isn't diving at the moment. He had been doing really well, once upon a time. I had dreams of him placing at the Olympic games in 2024. Then his diving instructor was fired and banned from the parks district facilities. This was for political reasons (basically, he pissed off the wrong director), not for anything he failed at in his duties.
Then we got very fortunate, in that our friends at church happened to be in-laws to the head coach at the most highly acclaimed diving club in Oregon, one which trains Olympics contenders. We had an in, and got Michael signed up for instruction right away. All was going well and life looked good... until this head coach was fired by the board. This was for political reasons (basically, he wasn't kissing the behinds of the parents who made up the board).
At this point we decided we'd just let him take a break, and focus on Taekwondo. He's steadily progressing in that, and will be at black belt before Fall of next year.
We have a great church we're members of now, and we've become very active in the church - I'm on the worship team playing electric bass, and Michael's Mommy helps with the children's church and with the food from time to time.
So life right now is fairly placid.
But as I look back on our years past, I wonder sometimes how we got through as unscathed as we did. While some of my posts of that time were fairly light and innocuous, touching on such topics as Chuck E. Cheese, stepping on Legos and road trips, beneath the surface ran a continual current of strife. On a few occasions, this burden would bubble up and explode in the form of a cryptic post - some may remember the worker jackhammering the bricks - but for the most part, it was kept well hidden.
There were times when I wished I had a secret blog to write about things with complete anonymity. A place of primal screaming in the dark where I could shake the pain and emotion from the fabric of my life without worry over reprisal from some negativity-seeking family member.
God carried us through that time, though, and has deposited us here in this future where much of that ugliness is only a bad memory.
Time goes on, memories fade, and you find life where you go looking.