Friday, January 2, 2015

Just Being

I sit on the couch, leaning into my husband's strong arm and resting my head on his shoulder. I hold in my left hand a cup of steaming coffee. Well, steaming enough to count as steaming, not so steaming as to burn my legs if a child chose that moment to leap into my lap and spill it all over me (again).
As I slowly sip the coffee and converse with my husband, I watch our children. Our 3 beautiful children are all playing so peacefully in front of us. Eli climbs the steps of the red and blue toddler slide. Carter lies on his belly playing intently with a half a dozen matchbox cars. Addison sits off to the side reading a book.
My heart is full. It is fuller than full. It is overrunning with so much gratitude for my little family that I am overwhelmed with the strength of this emotion. Just a week earlier, I was frustrated from the change in schedules due to the holiday's demands. I was exhausted from children who were determined to not cooperate. I felt buried by the responsibility of 3 children. 3! It is so many-- so much. And they will only increase in neediness as they grow. What did we do?
But now as I watch my children play so wondrously on top of my new(ish) stylish gray Living Room rug, I feel nothing but joy for our 3 children. A big responsibility? Yes. Worth it? Yup.

My days as mother often blend into each other with a sort of dizzying sameness. Yet not at all boring. I am in love with Eli's impish smile and tiny voice. I am in love with Carter's communication and his big boy behavior. I am in love with Addison's giggle and constant ability to surprise me.
Yesterday we realized that she could read our names. Not only read them-- but also say the beginning letter.

"E Eli"

"C Carter"

"A Addison"

and on through Mommy, Daddy, and Papa

I am embarrassed to admit how blown away I was by this. If I was SO surprised, did this mean that I secretly thought that she couldn't do this? That she wasn't capable of reading so soon? I then felt guilty  because I hadn't been working on this with her-- at all. I'm sure she learned this at school. But then I took my embarrassment and guilt and just gave into the pride of my little girl-- the one who is constantly surprising me. There was a time that I looked 20 years ahead and was immediately sad and scared for her future. Now I'm convinced that I can't see into her future any more than I can see into the future of her brothers.
The world is her "O Oyster".

I have so much to learn about Down syndrome. I have so much to learn about Addison.

All of these things swirl together in my mind as I lean against my partner-in-crime on this soft, used-to-be white couch and drink delicious coffee. Gratitude, joy, remembrance of frustration, embarrassment, guilt, pride, confidence, desire to learn more-- motherhood is a constant whirlwind of emotions that takes me on the ride of my life.
Another Christmas down. Everyone is another year older. (Except me...of course) We start a new year-- a blank slate.

It seems that many are choosing one word for their new year. Last year, my word was no doubt "SURVIVE!" I did not pick it. It picked me.

This year I think I want my word to be "Be".

Simply "Be still and know that I am God".

Resting in the moments bursting with gratitude and just being in them. No rush to the next big thing-- to a more well rested time-- to a more successful moment. Just being.

Not wishing away the mess of craft and snack time to get to nap time, but rather facing the mess head-on and enjoying it as much as the children do. Being.
The moments are imperfect-- sticky, too long and yet super short, frustrating, exhilarating, messy, lonely, and sweet. Yet they are my moments, God's gifts to me, and therein lies their perfection.
I think it's easier to be hit with these moments of overflowing gratitude when I'm not making myself a constantly moving target.


And I don't think I could have handpicked a better crew to just be with. With the gratitude comes an awareness of God's goodness to me. These 3 are definitely my good.

p.s. in case you missed it...I explained a bit more about my soon-to-be released book in my last post.

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