"I know my friends, and I know the work they have produced, and I know what is in their future. They will experience the mess and the chaos of birth and newborn land and shifting, growing families. They will cocoon inside of themselves, for months and even years perhaps, pouring out their bodies as sacrifices of love, rocking and shushing and feeding and cleaning and wiping, all while they tend to the endless minutia of everything else they are in charge of in their lives. They will continue on in that long obedience of selflessness, the continual little deaths and rebirths that parenting is comprised of, and one day they will lift their heads up and find that their head is clear and their mind is itching. They will start writing again. And they will be better than ever. Their babies will make them better writers."--D.L. Mayfield, from the blog post "Write Like a Mother"
I hauled my big, boy-child filled belly up the children's library auditorium Monday morning, chasing down an almost-two renegade who didn't want to be at story time. She escaped and made her way to the play area on the other side of the library, desperate to hug on the plush Mickey Mouse who lives there.
When I caught up, I had to sit down for five full minutes to catch my breath (in my defense, it's a long way up those steep auditorium stairs...especially in new boots). That's what my life feels like right now: tired and breathless.
Tired and breathless and happy. Battling resentment and distraction. Laughing and soaking in the fleeting moments that I wish I were doing a better job of capturing. But I feel silenced somehow, like the words are right below the surface, eager to climb onto the page but unable to break through the barrier.
A good friend called these the "lost years," which is comforting in its camaraderie ("You mean I'm not the only one?") but heartbreaking in its loss. I want to lose less, remember more.
If I don't write, I won't remember, but if I write something will get bumped from being done...and already so much goes undone. Still, for one minute, I will write those things that should be remembered...
*Zaboo talks and talks and talks. She has latched onto the words she knows (the list grows exponentially all the time) and speaks them at her only volume--LOUD. Her chipmunk voice and missing word sounds are precious, and as her mama, I feel privileged to often be the only one to understand her.
*"Darkness." It's the game these girls request each night at dinner. When it gets dark, the lights go off and the flashlights go on. We listen to the "Monster Mash" (which started one night on a whim, but they latched onto it and won't let go) and dance before Professor hides in the dark so we can seek him. We also started "Marco Polo," which means hunting with no flashlights--and which also leads to constant shouts of "Marco!" all the livelong day.
*Pookie is reading. It is agony and pure bliss to suffer through "The cat sat on the mat" and "Bud the pup got in the mud." It frustrates my to-do list to have to slow down and let her process, but I am so glad I am teaching her to read. Watching understanding dawn as she figures out a sentence--and better, laughter when it's a funny one--is a true gift.
*Also, Pookie has shed a lot of tears lately. We watched Homeward Bound for the first time and when all hope looked lost, she lost it, too. Every ladybug she finds is named Sassy and when she accidentally sent one down the drain of the bathroom sink...so much waterworks. (I made the mistake of answering, "When can we get a pet?" with "When we're debt-free." The girl reminds me of this fact constantly...)
And while I'd like to go on, I'm being asked a million questions about what Olaf thinks of the snow and what Elsa says to him. And then there are chores to supervise, reading lessons to do, parks to visit, and errands to run...all before lunch time, dishes, diaper change, and nap time...which means more work time. This baby boy is being built on powdered sugar doughnut holes and as much Diet Dr. Pepper as I can get without going over health recommendations.
All of this to say...I'm struggling through Romans 8. It's getting harder to keep which verse comes when straight. I haven't been as diligent. This is my confession. Please pray for diligence in this; it is a worthwhile endeavor, even though it is hard. Then again, all worthwhile endeavors are, aren't they?
Here's through verse 14, a video shot at the park last week. I'm actually through verse 17 now, but as I haven't gotten around to recording it yet, this will have to do for an update.