stuck on repeat.

Days gently melt one into the next.

Some days repeat themselves.

We trip over our own feet again and again, brush off the dirt, kiss the bruises, and forgive and forget again.

Some times it feels so very mundane.  I wonder how a week, even a month, has passed by and when asked details about it, it is seldom I can recall many moments that stand out or what we spent our time doing.

But I know.

I know we cuddled on the couch and read and laughed.

We ran outside through the grass and dug in the dirt.

We went to the library and brought home a much too large pile of books and racked up a small fine after returning them late, even though we had read them the first day.

We ate popcorn and watched a movie, three snuggled deep in a blanket.

We wrote and learned lessons and did simple arithmetic and went to classes and played at parks and made new friends and fought with old ones.

We quarreled and stamped our feet and threw some things and screamed a bit.

I held my head in my hands and wondered what I was doing and if I could ever figure this parenting thing out.

We came back  and looked at each other in our tear stained eyes and all apologized and forgave again.

We allowed the tide to chase us back to the shore and froze our toes in the cold, salty water.

The sun is shining more and we wait for the green new sprouts to spring out of the garden boxes. We sit and revel in the warmth on our faces. We find ourselves continually longing for more of that warmth to come.  Oh summer, my heart is yearning for you.

It is easy to feel that the days must mean nothing since I barely seem to notice one from the other.  I look forward to bedtime beginning at the lunch hour, and wake up feeling tired and not quite ready for the day to arrive.  But oh how I am reminding myself right now, as I type these words and think about what our days have been full of, how important this time is, and how it is merely one season.

Young ones, so full of life, learning so much and sharing so much and needing so much and yet, becoming so independent at the same time.  And here I am, failing and loving hard, and learning about second chances and grace and what it means to become and just be.

Keeping eyes open hard to find the gems tucked throughout.

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– b.e.

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before they fade away

It was quiet in the house.  Son in the office listening to an audio book. Myself taking a moment to sit and rest in the living room. Daughter upstairs being unusually still.  She doesn’t actually sleep much during our sacred still space in the middle of the day, so I was curious to see if she was indeed asleep.

I crept up the stairs and found her lying flat on her stomach at the top of the stairs, breathing and sleeping deep.

There was something about the way she was laying there, as the sun filtered through the window and warmed her little spot, golden curls highlighted in the bright rays and softly falling across her face.
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I lingered a moment and watched.  Watched her breath. Looked at her small features and rosy skin. Things I couldn’t stop myself from doing when she had hardly been outside the womb a few days, but now it was harder to slow and just look.DSC_0006_01

Life speeds by so fast. There are so many things we can think about wanting to do or places we want to go, and so often, those things just end up passing us by.  Or we can become so consumed in achieving our goals that what is already around us fades into the background and we forget what we already have.

I find myself wanting to be more present and more realistic. As mothers, we can feel pressed to prove our worth and the value of what we are accomplishing on a daily basis.  It is so easy to look at our friends without children or those who continued with their careers or developing other hobbies and talents into something that seems so much more exciting than what we are doing. Or perhaps you are on the other side, waiting for those precious little ones to call your own, to nurture and care for and fulfill a deep longing in your own heart.

It is good to pursue your callings.

But oh dear mothers, how I wish I could look you in the eye and tell you that you are doing so much.

If there is a calling on your heart and it is the season, pursue it.  But also,

soak in these warm sunshine filled moments.

Maybe right now they feel few and far apart,

but when they are there, grasp them for just a little while longer before they fade.

I remember reading in a gardening book about waiting a full season in a new house before planting your garden. During this time, record how the sun falls, the water drains, the vegetation grows so you can be the most prepared when you finally begin to lay seed into the ground.

Maybe we need to do this more with our children. Watching and paying attention to who they are and then carefully considering what seeds we will plant in their lives.

Some times we simply have to linger longer and wait, faithfully, consistently, lovingly.

stop our feet for a moment or two

breath

and just watch.
DSC_0012_01– b.e.

to the worn out mom

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It seems that many of my friends (and myself) are in a season of being a mother to very young children and in the midst of the constant exhaustion that can come with it.

I can feel your tired bones.

And how I hope you know that you are no where near alone in your struggles.

I know what its like when you completely lose it toward your child and then wonder who this crazy person you have become is.

I have thought, “I was never like this before I had a kid!” and again, “I was never like this when I only had one kid!”

When night after night you are up again and again and during the day you never seem to catch up and no one seems to really understand because you want to seem as normal as possible when you are actually around other adults, so how can they really anyway?  There may be no real help and you go about your day alone with your babes just trying to make it to nap time.

I know mothers with more children to tend to than I have or with children who need specialized and constant attention and care.  Mothers who struggle with hard medical and financial decisions on top of the tiredness, who are emotionally and physically drained.  Mothers who may have these little ones during hard circumstances beyond their control and are just barely hanging on themselves and they question how can I ever do or be enough?

Even though our individual circumstances and struggles vary, they all can wear us thin at times.

It’s easy to compare ourselves to other moms, thinking we are better off or worse than them and can even become envious of those in a different stage of parenthood, trying to just get through to when things will finally be easier.

But every stage of life has its challenges.  Some times, things will be too hard for us.

Yet, isn’t it when things are hard that we become stronger?  When you break down your muscle, it rebuilds stronger than before and over time becomes more and more defined.  It’s not always easy or fun.  So it is with motherhood.

I love the honesty and beauty of what my sister-in-law posted on facebook yesterday,

“Taking care of another human is so emotionally draining and I have never been a “worse person” in all my life.   But after I swore it all off and I came back down to earth I told my mom, “I guess I just need to die a little more.”  And I will die for my children… Because I wouldn’t want to live any other way.”

Being a mom means making sacrifices, even if we feel like we might lose ourselves.

So what do we do?  Just accept our fate as going crazy for a few years and hope our kids and ourselves come out okay on the other end?  What can we do for ourselves and for the worn out moms around us to not just survive (although, some times that is all we can do) but rather embrace this season, which we are told so often will be over before we know it?  

Let’s start by really listening and not immediately spouting out advice, by offering help in even simple ways and being okay with it if they don’t want it, and sharing both our struggles and our victories without belittling them or putting ourselves or anyone else on a pedestal.  

Let’s celebrate together and encourage each other and fully give and receive grace.  

Let’s simplify and be present and think about what is really important, because maybe some things aren’t as big of a sacrifice as we thought in the first place.  

Let’s stop spending so much energy comparing our struggles and successes with someone else’s and trying to validate our own.

Let’s realize that its OK to cry out and raise our fists and pound our pillows and say, “I just can’t do this anymore!”

Because we just might feel that way some times.

But then we calm down and help each other remember

that there is this little, special and amazing life we get to see change and grow and just be every day.  There are the smiles and giggles and first words and slow steps and sweet hugs and soft kisses and  triumphs big and small mixed in with the tantrums, the sleepless nights, the parenting “failures”, the cuts and bruises, and the countless diapers and clothes you have changed that day.

And there is you.

Displaying your love for your child through those dark circles around your eyes and the food smashed on your clothing and in your hair, by putting some of your dreams and pursuits on hold, in your anxiety and prayers over your child and your specific circumstances, and by getting up once more to take care of your babes in the middle of the night when all you want in that moment is just 10 minutes of uninterrupted sleep and you are so frustrated you cry as you rock your little one.

You are mom and the love you show for your child may go unseen and misunderstood and unappreciated by many, but no one can replace you or the child who is helping shape who you are to become.

-b.e.