Friday, April 17, 2015

Appreciating My Current Reality

This week found me twirling in spring's barely green grass surrounded by 3 giggling children. This week found me staring in horror at a spot in the backyard that had become the dumping grounds for a super surprise clog in the septic system. This week found me sitting on the couch with hugs on either side and a smiling baby on my lap. This week found me wiping up extra virgin olive oil mixed with baking soda off of the kitchen floor and walls because the children decided to experiment on their own...and they broke my pantry lock. This week found me reading books to 3 pairs of eager ears. This week found me trying to fix a meal while 3 children cried for ATTENTION NOW at my feet. This week found me taking long walks in gorgeous weather pulling my triple wagon full of happiness. This week found me wondering "what the heck am I doing wrong with this motherhood thing and am I-- am I going insane?"
The normal ups and downs of motherhood seemed exaggerated this week for some reason. As if the gentle roller coaster became jagged ups and downs stretched to twice their normal size.
I sit now typing in the quiet of a clean Living Room. It is picked up and swept. I ran out of energy before vacuuming the center rug. I can see the sunset out of the large picture window. It is kissing a range of mountains that I can only see on a clear day. I hear Addison talking quietly to herself in her room and Eli's snores. Carter is still out with Daddy. I think about the week, about today, and I try to sum it up in my own mind in a way that doesn't include screaming into a pillow.
I wish I had a magic formula for rough days when there are too many preschoolers around me and too little patience. I wish I hadn't yelled at Carter when I found him stuffing yet another (entire) roll of toilet paper down the potty even after our very patient and loving talk that he should never EVER do that again. I wish when we were out on that greenish grass kicking the ball together that I had soaked up the laughter around me just a little bit longer before I rushed us all inside to finish dinner prep.
Something about spring feels so fresh. So new. And it's true, this morning's horror of EVOO everywhere...was super new. But also, it feels so hopeful. As if it won't always be like this. As if someday my little people will someday be big people. That their reality will shift and change over time until I look at them and say, "I remember when my hand could span the width of your tiny back" and I wish I could go back to being surrounded by a hug on either side and a baby on my lap.
I see them growing so fast, and yet so slowly. I hear them asking me questions that make me blush (Carter is quite fixated on the body's anatomy these days) and other questions that make me laugh with joy. I watch them interact with each other, with me, and I wonder if perhaps I'm not completely screwing them up. (Carter immediately said "I'm so sorry, Mommy!" as he stood there with his guilty, toilet-paper-stuffing face on...so there's that. Oh, and they chose the Extra Virgin Olive Oil for their experiment instead of the Vegetable Oil, so clearly...healthy eating is top on their priority list!)
I am big on laughing at myself, at the ridiculousness of some of these moments. Today I baby gated myself INTO the kitchen. I washed counters, I scrubbed cabinets, I swept the floor, I scrubbed the floor all shiny and clean. I did not let ANY CHILDREN IN. It was a time out of sorts. I needed to calm down to the point where I could laugh about the disasters. An "Can you BELIEVE this happened?" sort of way. When I rejoined the children back in the living room, we all went back outside together (NOT to the "muddy" ahem part of the yard)...and giggled some more.
I looked with joy at sweet Addison who is growing and developing like the big girl that she is. Her speech is amazing me! She can now say anything she puts her mind to. ANYTHING. And it turns out, she has a LOT of her own opinions. Who knew? I stared into Carter's beautiful blue eyes and wondered how God is going to use this unique personality (that honestly is responsible for most of my "screaming into a pillow" moments) to be a strong leader. To be a man that views life creatively in a way to problem solve in new directions. I grinned into Eli's mischievous face and wondered how long it's going to be before he gets into practical jokes. I wonder if he will be his class clown and hope that I can teach him the value of laughter, but the equal value of digging deeper to other emotions too.
This motherhood gig can be all rosy and amazing. It can be spring green and sunsets kissing mountains. But there are definitely "sewage seepage" moments in motherhood as well.

Because the same little boys who give sweet kisses and ask adorable questions like "Can I go work with Daddy now?" also stuff rolls of toilet paper down toilets and create plumber-worthy clogs. Two sides of the coin. I'm learning to accept both sides of the coin. I teach and guide and PRAY they grow out of some of these things. But I also accept that they are their own person. They are going to make decisions that are different than mine. I have expectations...they live the reality.
All I am responsible for is the constant of love as I continue my teaching. This love looks different at times, but it is always there. They are growing so fast. I have so much to teach them before sending them out into this big world (starting with...It's really not proper to pour ginormous bottles of oil on the floor just to play in. Your wife might frown on this someday...)
I don't have to appreciate every moment. Some moments I will limp through, a wounded warrior. But I am learning to appreciate the fleeting nature of this phase. The baby kisses, the innocence of a preschooler's questions, the limitless time to just BE with them. Today I will be thankful. And tomorrow...we start new...




Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

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