12 May 2003

summer evermore succeeds barren winter

My hiatus was a wise one.

This term was probably the busiest and most stressful I've had: still adjusting to being a dad, acting as primary childcare two days a week, supporting Laurel with her work-related stresses, teaching a full load of doubled courses plus a large overload course, attending departmental meetings, keeping up with household chores, and so on. In addition, I managed to fall ill three times: once with a stomach flu and twice with respiratory infections, each of which put me out of commission for a week and set me further behind. And all this was sometimes darkly interwoven with my tendency toward seasonal affective depression.

I'm finally beginning to feel that darkness lift and to catch up on a number of projects that have been languishing amidst my other work.

Still, even in the midst of winter there was much for which I was and continue to be thankful. My darling little girl, Claire, has been a continual joy as I've watched her grow and develop, now seeing her pull herself up to stand, her reaching out curiously to grasp at her world, and her developing mind as she begins to understand what Laurel and I say to her. Though she can take up much time and energy, it is all well spent and received back in manifold rewards.

Another brightness has been having Berek living with us, particularly as he has been such a tremendous help around the house with daily chores and his care and affection for our little daughter. I've enjoyed and grown through our independent study in philosophy, as well as other discussions of theology, culture, and life, sometimes late into the night. Laurel and I have come so much to depend upon Berek's support and presence, as well as the place this delightful young man has gained in our hearts. When he leaves next week, we will miss him very much.

Even in these past busy days, I did find the time to attend some concerts, campus events, and local venues and to visit Princeton, Gettysburg, Antietam, and elsewhere. In addition I participated in a Christian education conference at Georgetown and sat on a panel discussing education at the International Institute for Culture. I'll blog more about these last items at some later point.

Fortunately, this summer will be the first time, I believe, since I was 18 years old that I won't be spending the summer teaching. I look forward to resting, writing, participating in some conferences, traveling, blogging, and especially spending time with my lovely wife and dear little girl.