Wednesday, October 30, 2013

In the corner booth...

This afternoon knocked the wind out of me. We got home late from visiting a family member and the kids were restless and overdue for naps. One was teething and one had just been given four cookies before getting in the car, so he was tired and wired. As I laid little girl in bed for a nap, I heard the car alarm going off and rushed downstairs to see Hunter clutching the car key clicker, a satisfied grin on his lips. Of course the alarm made the dog start to howl and run frantically around, which of course made the baby wail from her crib where I had abruptly left her.

A few minutes later, with Hunter in bed as well, I decided to take a quick nap...recharge my battery a little. A minute later the deafening sound of a hammer-drill echoed through our duct work, reminding me that the repair men in our basement were diligently installing a new HVAC system. The drill was followed by the sound of a sledge hammer (perhaps just a hammer? who can tell?) banging the metallic surface of the duct work directly below Brooke's room. Baby cried, dog barked, and the rest is history.

An hour later finds me in the booth of a nearby coffee shop, clutching a steaming cup of decaf and a folded over edition of a parenting book from the 80s. My sweet husband saw the look of desperation (and exhaustion?) in my eyes the moment he walked in the door and promptly herded me to my car, Bible, computer, and books in hand. He knows me. He knows what I need, and the fact that sometimes I don't.

I poured over the pages of my book, looking for nuggets of wisdom and truth. I heard my head tell my heart that it was time to rest, regroup, refocus. "You have two hours so hurry up and chill out."

The irony of my good fortune- the opportunity to be alone, the husband who cares about my sanity, the free pastry on my frequent buyer card at the coffee shop- contrasted to my frantic spirit, is not lost on me. I feel guilty for even daring to say the words "bad day". I am blessed beyond compare and I know it... but lets just put it out there... being a mom is a tough gig.

I realized a few months ago that it was going to take a lot more than my good intentions to raise my kiddos. More than food, clothing, and a warm place to sleep. More than snacks and naps at the appropriate times. More than the perfect blend of outings and days at home, socialization and independent play. More than studying growth charts and mapping out milestones. More than education and verbalizing expectations. More, more, more.

What my mothering needed, needs, and will always need is the living, breathing spirit of the omnipotent God blowing fresh life into my soul every day. I need it like a cool breeze on a hot day. It is the only thing that will satisfy, clarify, and sanctify my efforts. I know this and yet my conversations with God sometimes go this way...

God: What is frustrating you, my dear?
Me: Uh, take your pick God, things are crazy right now...don't you see? Can't  you make my kids behave???
God: (Chuckles like a kind grandpa) I will take care of them, but right now we are talking about you.
Me: What about me? I am tired. exhausted. please make the dog stop barking so I can sleep.
God: You don't need sleep, you need Me.
Me: Great, I will get right on that, after I take a nap.
God: Sleep will restore your body, but I will restore your soul...

And then I give in, and then He does.

Sitting in a corner booth, at a coffee shop, with the One who has been waiting patiently all week for me to come, sit, and be with Him...

Why do I always make Him wait?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

To my blue-eyed boy...

Hey babe,

I just put you down for your nap, and carefully stepped around the trucks, cars, books and toys littering the floor in your room on my way to the door. 10 minutes ago I put you in your crib for the first time, but you weren't quite ready to go to sleep. You tapped gently on the wall, and talked quietly to yourself, knowing that one room over I could hear you. When I opened the door to tell you to go to sleep, you greeted me with a wide grin and a "hi".

You know just what to do to win me over... when I came closer to tuck you in again, you said you wanted "a kiss, a kiss" so we smooched through the crib slats with fish lips until you were giggling in delight. When I repeated it was time to go to sleep, you quickly started a new game, going over our facial features..."a ear, a ear!" you said pointing to yours, "mom-eeee a ear" you said grabbing at mine, when I agree that yes it is in fact an ear you are holding, you nod and grin as if to say, "yup, I am pretty smart", and you, my boy are right.

I am fascinated with how much you have learned in recent are like a sponge. Every day you say words that I did not know you knew... you play games, read books, finish puzzles, and complete tasks that a few short months ago would have left you befuddled. I see your wheels turning when I ask you questions, and you are so excited when you know the answer. These are some very rewarding days for me as a see you begin to put together a framework for the world around you.

Over and over again, I am struck with the thought that you are just like your dad. When I married him, I hoped for a little boy with his qualities some day, and I am thrilled to see that you two are so similar. You both are some of the hardest working boys I know. From the time you wake up in the morning, you are on the lookout for jobs to do. About six months ago, you gave yourself the chore of feeding Sadie (our dog)  her breakfast and dinner. You would do it just so, exactly how you observed us doing it. Sadie has since gained quite a few pounds since you try to feed her 3, 4, 5 times a day!

Yesterday, you spent 2 hours outside with your dad, mowing the grass, blowing leaves, and cleaning up the yard. I would have thought your attention would run out, but you stayed vigilant in your tasks until dad was done and ready to come inside. You want to be just like him. I love it.

You are also stubborn, meticulous, careful, thoughtful, and helpful. You love to dote on your sister, and she admires you so much. This morning you woke her up (after I told you to let her sleep;) by rushing into her room, scaling the side of her crib, and rubbing her head. She looked up and sheepishly grinned at you as you waved and repeated "hi, hi, hi" to her. Your morning isn't complete without her company.

You are a sweetheart.

You are also a trouble maker.

Some days fly by with so much fun and laughter, while other drag a little slower while you pull out all the tricks up your sleeve labeled, "rascal". Even on those long days when I am exhausted from trying to keep up with you... you still bring a smile to my face, and a quickening to my heart.

I love you little buddy, and I am so glad I am yours.