From my Amanda, on motherhood
From my Amanda, on motherhood
The little five year old girl was flopping and flipping all over the floor during story time and oh-so-tired momma threatened if she didn’t settle, she’d get a place next to mom’s bed for the night instead of sleeping near newly arrived, beloved big sisters. Little girl quieted. But newly arrived 9 year old sister, big-eyed, said, “I be bad, I sleep with you?”
And oh-so-tired momma envisions TWO little girls flopping and flipping on the floor near her bed all night, everyone sleeping only winks all the blessed night. And the momma, coveting sleep miser-like, says to that newly-home precious child, voice slow and soft from the weight of guilt, “No…..you get to sleep with your big sister.”
And that little 9 year old looks disappointed and in spite of that look, in spite of her guilt, the momma feels relief. She’s staked her claim to sleep this night at least.
But long years later she remembers that night and wishes she could have spoken generous, hugged that child tight, and welcomed her into a snug little space next to her bed. Oh, if she could go back and tell herself to choose to love big despite her exhaustion, she would.
But it’s done and she can’t, and besides, none of those children remember that night anyway. So finally the momma realizes she needs to show love to someone else in memory of that night: her (tired, over-stretched very human) self.
Let it go. Forgive that tired momma for not doing everything perfectly. She did the best she could that night. And by the grace and power of our multiplying-loaves-and-fishes God, her tiny offering will become enough.
Grace. I need it every hour.
Do you need to offer some to yourself too?
PS– And you know how you say you’re only having four kids? God’s smiling, because He’s got way bigger plans for you, girl! And it’s going to be great.
From my friend in Thailand: What I see (On blessings and gratitude)
From a mom of 8: Children Are Not Little Adults (Keeping the expectations reasonable and the love flowing)
Help Your Brain Avoid the Low Road: Amygdala Hijacking (Written for soccer refs but very applicable to parenting)
Right now…I’m listening to Tenth Avenue North’s Hostage of Peace. Love the chorus.
Thinking...I really need to peek in the tomato-boxes in the garage. I suspect I’ve got lots more tomatoes ripe. Except I’ve canned probably 110 quarts of tomatoes this year and am feeling kinda tomatoed out. (Update: the kids and I canned 17 more quarts this afternoon!)
Feeling…weary over the repetitiveness of some of the struggles of motherhood. Seems things should be improving/changing faster than they do sometimes. Then again, I have to remind myself, I’ve been at this awhile. Each new child needs to learn some of the same lessons. So I will keep on keeping on…
Reading…Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream It has some language but otherwise it is a very interesting story of a young man who started with $25 and the clothes on his back and dramatically improved his life within a year.
Excited..that it’s almost November, almost Thanksgiving, almost Christmas break. OK, I’m rushing the season just a bit. But wow, I’d love me some Christmas vacation right about now. I’ve even already
bribed contracted with one of my sons to put up our Christmas lights BEFORE it gets bitterly cold this year! ($10 was enough to motivate him, in case you’re curious. )
Wondering…about maybe doing a ‘favorite things‘ gift exchange with the adults in our family as part of our Christmas eve celebration. Anybody ever tried this idea with a big mixed (not just ladies) group? Seems like as long as folks all had the freedom to pick something interesting to them, it should work and be fun…
Working…away at my book. One.more.month. Yikes.
Proud….that my teens all did well on their chem test this week. Also, we’re 1/4 done with the book. Hoorah! School is feeling like a hard slog this year but we are getting lots done.
Inspired… by my daughters who together did a wonderful mothering series on their blogs this month. Here is the link to Erika’s, and here is Amanda’s. I wish I’d been half as thoughtful as they are as young mommas.
What about you? Reading anything interesting? Pondering any new or better or more low-key ways to celebrate the upcoming holiday season?
One day they’re playing with Barbie dolls in the sandbox, then bringing them inside and bathing them in the bathtub to get the sand out of their hair.
Another day they’re jumping in the fall leaves and snapping dozens of pictures of each other in the process.
Today? Well, it was time to color eggs, of course! They boiled a dozen, then spread newspaper all over the kitchen counter, wrapped the eggs in dozens of rubber bands, and dyed the eggs all sorts of pretty colors.
Another thing: I’m savoring every second of their lovely little-girl exuberance. Even as I trail around after them mopping up.
I went to church five times yesterday. I tell you this not to sound holy but to explain my bone-weary exhaustion.
Trip #1 was to get a son to chorus practice at 8:30, during which I did a bit of writing which turned into a long conversation at the coffee shop with a guy who first wondered why I was writing so early in the morning and then when he heard what I was writing needed to know why families adopt from other countries when there are so many kids in the US. We ended up having quite a nice conversation about adoption and parenting. At coffee shops I tend to put in my earbuds and block out the world, but I did end up enjoying the chat.
Trip #2 to church was at 9:30. Hubby and the other kids met me there in the other vehicle. After church we left one vehicle there and took the clan to McDonalds, then to the park for our annual family picture shenanigans. A fair bit of the work for that event happened last week, as my married daughters and I figured out what clothing 18 people could wear that coordinated reasonably well without anyone having to buy too-too many new items. We went with a scheme of cocoa, mustard, blue and plum, with some pops of fuchsia. I think overall we looked pulled together. It remains to be seen if the amazing Israel managed to get the majority of us looking the same direction, with eyes open. So far every year he’s pulled it off. But now we number 18– we’re definitely ramping up the difficulty level on him. In any case, I’m looking forward to sharing what we got with you soon.
Trip #3 to church was at 2:45 to drop the teens off to prep for the kids’ harvest party, which is basically a chance to dress up and play games and eat candy.
Trip #4 back to church at 3:15 was to give a son an item he’d forgotten to bring for a costume. Then it was time to zip back home so the youngest two could put on their costumes. One was a princess and the other (dressed in PJ’s, wearing glasses and carrying a cup of coffee) was ‘mom in the morning’. You’d think I’d have managed to get at least one picture, but I am relying on the teens at the party to share some of theirs with me eventually. My 15yo daughter did a bang-up Jack Sparrow, complete with a red bandanna and beads in her hair. Very cool. Really hoping someone actually got a picture of that one.
Trip #5 to church at 3:45 was to get the youngest two girls to the party, where for three hours they proceeded to eat candy, and I visited with the other moms and tried not to eat candy. By the end of the party, the kids were sugared and the mommas were yawning and talking about what we wouldn’t be able to get our kids to eat for dinner due to all the sugar ingested. Back at home I told the kids who didn’t want leftover hamburger casserole that at least they should have a glass of milk before bed, which pleased everyone well. And we all yawned our way off to bed.
Oh– and all this was AFTER Saturday, which started with a 7AM wakeup to go cheer for five family members at a race, during which I got to snuggle my newest granddaughter. though I do plan to race again one of thee days myself, I highly recommend baby-snuggling as a less exhausting alternative than the actual 5K. My afternoon was spent at church while my son and several cousins baked and decorated 72 cupcakes for the cakewalk for Sunday’s harvest party.
This morning the alarm went off at 5:55 AM so I could get in the car yet again, and deliver my son to his college Spanish class. He’s hoping to be driving for himself VERY soon. Given the fact that he’s only 15, he has a bit more waiting to do. And I have to admit that most Mon-Wed AM’s I look forward to the quiet writing time. However, this morning I’m just yawning. And wishing somehow that the week could be quieter than the weekend. Except when does that ever happen?
How was your weekend?
This is as busy as our road is about 90% of every day.
You can sit by the side of the road drawing for half an hour without one car passing by.
Almost everyone who drives by waves at you, whether you know each other or not.
The ones who don’t wave– well, either the sun’s in their eyes or they ain’t from around here.
When your kids tell you the neighbor guy stopped them to show them his puppies,
instead of being worried, you’re tempted to go see them yourself.
Except you’re afraid you’d come home with one. Or three.
Speaking of dogs, you know most of the neighbor dogs by name.
The momma of these (12!) pups is named Taylor,
and she likes to ride on the mower when her owner mows.
I’m thinking she might be too busy to do that for awhile.
Your neighbors don’t think a thing of the fact that your (2!)
roosters crow approximately 147 times an hour. Each.
There are times it’d be more convenient if the nearest grocery store wasn’t an 8 mile drive,
but mostly that inconvenience just makes you more inventive and saves you money.
Except for the gas to get to town.
PS–The winner of the Capri Clear giveaway is commenter #5 Lissa.