‘How old are you, Rufus?’
‘Three!’ shouts the little man while holding out all five fingers on his right hand, and jumping up and down with excitement at the enormity of his newly owned age.
To be honest, while he was definitely excited to be three last week, he’s now more likely to say ‘two’ when asked. He’s quick to correct it upon being reminded, but I guess the idea that he’s three even when not in the middle of a raucous ride-on birthday party or blowing out candles on a cake in the dark or exchanging happy birthdays with everyone, is all a bit odd. From his perspective, last week was one of the less dramatic weeks in his life as we stayed in the same house, saw familiar people and did usual Lancashire things.
Change did return by the end of the week, however, as we zipped down to Dorset for an even bigger birthday party than Rufus’, as we celebrated my Dad’s 70th. An equally excited birthday boy. No number confusion there but almost as much raucous laughter as he delivered a hilarious, bizarre and kind of brilliant speech – as has come to be expected of him at any speech-giving opportunity.
The brief southern visit has been followed by the bigger upheaval of a more permanent traverse across the country to Leeds. The intention is to make this home for at least the next couple of months. Kind friends, again, are making it possible to soon have our own space.
And so we’re back into suitcases spilling over in the corner of the bedroom as we transition into the next phase, via wonderful grandparents kindly hosting us and our noise and our mess.
Yorkshire life will no doubt soon become normality, and we’re thankful for friends and family who already fill it with familiarity.
As we land and begin to think about settling, maybe even resting in some sense of stability, it still feels a little like the rollercoaster has slowed down rather than actually stopped. While not raucous, like Rufus’ toddler friends careering around the warehouse on ride-ons, it is maybe as unpredictable (a little like my Dad’s speech!).
But amidst the continued unknowns and transitions, we’re glad that it’s not about how much strength or steadiness we can muster. It’s not about always knowing what’s going to happen or having the perfect plan for what’s next. It’s not about having it all sorted. As much as we would often love that.
It’s day by day, by God’s grace. In His strength, not our own. Trusting Him. And reminding ourselves of that reality again and again.