Monday, August 30, 2010

Life and Hope

Tonight I went to join my girlfriends for a Mom's Nite Out.  It's always a lot of fun; we stuff ourselves with fried ice cream at the local Cantina and laugh until our faces hurt.   It began with the normal formalities then quickly took a turn. Tonight was different. Tonight was somber.  Tonight left me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.  And an ache in my heart.  We found out that an acquaintance of ours died this weekend at her own hands.  Although she was just an occasional friendly face to us, she was the mom of our children's  friends. 

The irony of suicides are the ripple effects; the person leaving thinks no one cares and yet it shakes the foundation of even those people who barely knew them.   And there we sat with our ice creams, feeling numb and cold, trying to sort it all out.  We didn't. Even after talking.  The drive home.  Nursing the baby.  I sit.  Perplexed.

I'm not quite sure what to think or feel.  I just feel like I'm in a dream.  A really bad dream.  I can't get her kids out of my mind.  Where are they?  How are they handling this?  Did they suspect?  Did they find her?.  

I'm replaying every interaction I ever had with her.  What did she mean when she said that?  Should I have responded differently?  Did I do enough to share my faith?  Did I reach out?  

I'm sitting here wondering how I am going to tell my kids.  Are they going to ask tough questions?  Are they going to cry?  Are they going to let it roll of their back at first and then mull it over in private like their mom?

My mind is reeling from the battle that must have ensued in her thoughts moments before it happened.  I'm sad.  I'm disgusted. I'm questioning.  I'm angry.  I'm heavyhearted. I'm trying to understand.  I'm trying not to judge.  I'm aching.  I'm pensive. 

Tonight, I'm pondering life and hope, and how you can't have one without the other.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mother Discusser

My friend Jaimie recently started blogging.  She is taking a unique approach to her blog by asking questions to other moms.   Her readers are then commenting their answers while gleaning wisdom from one another.  Her first discussion was based on the questions: 

Has being a mom made me more or less resilient?
-Since becoming a mom, I've had to dig deep within myself in order to... 
My responses to her questions are listed below as well as in the comments section of Jaimie's post.  I'm super excited to see how this works and to be a part of it.  You can join the discussion here.

After having kids my body is definitely less resilient.  The whole transverse abdominal muscle seemed to cooperate after one.  And two. After number three though, I think it thought, "If you like being pregnant so much I'm just going to let you look four months pregnant for the rest of your life. (Insert evil laugh here.)" 

Seriously though, just like all of the comments before me.  Motherhood has made me more resilient.  It's one of those things where you can either be overcome by life or you can step up and make life happen.  And seriously you have kids, is there really any other option but to step up?  Every child, and every change/obstacle in my life requires going beyond myself. I try not to over-think the piles of laundry and toys, the meals to be fixed, the lessons that need to be taught, the numerous diapers to change and I take NIKE's advice, "Just Do It."  Don't think though that I am a "doer" by nature, because I'm not. I too struggle with laziness, so much so that, I often say I am the sluggard from Proverbs.  It helps when I am feeling overwhelmed with my children, with my life, and rebellious towards the demands on my plate to remember Luke 12:48b, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." 
So what do I have to dig deep for?  Everything.  I have to dig deep to wake up some mornings. I have to dig deep not to go with my initial reaction when my children make me angry. I have to dig deep to give my oldest more freedom. I have to dig deep to not be so selfish.  I have to dig deep to come up with something for Barbie to say to Ken when playing with the girls. I have to dig deep at times to be outward focused.  I am so thankful that regardless of how difficult it seems, how deep this hole is that I am digging; God is faithful and renews my spirit everyday.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Rookie Mom and Me

This past week I flew to Maryland to pick up Jace and Brynna.  It pretty much went down as expected; the baby Moby-wrapped to my body, the full-sized convertible car seat I carried with one arm, and the over-sized purse that preferred to reside on the crook of my arm instead of my shoulder, pretty much put a damper on my mad dash to embrace my kids like I anticipated.  The Wife Swap running reunification will have to wait for another day.  My imitation of a pack mule left my arms aching for two days following, but it was all worth it to see my oldest kids.  I'm not sure how it was that they grew so much in six weeks, but they did.

As anxious as I was to see them I was a little nervous about traveling by myself with Sadie.  I had only done it one other time with an infant by myself and that was four years prior with Keely.  It went off without a hitch but I didn't want to be encumbered by anything additional that might not be needed. So I pared down.  The purse housed my everyday purse items in addition to baby food, snacks, diapers and wipes.  However it lacked two major items that are a necessity with babies - clothing and toys. It was unintentional, my lack of preparation regarding wardrobe and fun things, and I didn't realize until I was on the plane digging in my bag for something to entertain Sadie.  My finds?  A pen and a spoon.  How does this happen?  Me, a mom of six.  I'm supposed to know something about kids; I should be a seasoned professional and instead I thought I'm like a rookie.  As her affection for plastic-ware waned, I handed Sadie my lip balm, and I rethought my rookie idea, realizing it wasn't true.  After all a rookie mom would have had a well stocked diaper bag in addition to her purse.  The first time mom is prepared for all life has to throw at her and even factors in situations that won't ever arise in the natural world.  She has more toys than FAO Schwartz, she has brought changes of clothing that will take her little one into the pre-teen years.  She has stockpiled food to the extent that if the plane was stranded on an island they collectively could survive at least nine days.  Here I was with one purse and a prayer, hoping that Sadie preferred Bics to rattles and that she wouldn't crap through her clothes.  What would I have done if my supplies didn't satisfy the situation?  Well, I would make do with what was on hand.  It wouldn't be the first time I would have made my child look like a little mummy as I wrapped the bum of their clothing with paper towels.  It wouldn't be my inaugural performance of a myriad of children's songs as I looked the part of a fool in hopes of stifling cries and getting a smile or a giggle.   My phone is no virgin to baby slobber, as many a child has gnawed it, I will take the chance of it no longer working.  I could mass produce creations from cups and miscellaneous trash.  I would make happen, what needed to happen, when it needed to happen.  I'm no rookie mom...I'm MacGyver Mom!