A walk around the lake is a great way to end a Monday. Well, a better way is to walk around the lake, then come home, put baby to bed, and drink cocoa while listening to The Horse and His Boy. Because sometimes you just don’t want to clean up the kitchen. (And then you get up in the morning and realize that because the kitchen isn’t clean, you can’t accomplish anything, and because the baby needs So Much Lovin’, you can’t clean the kitchen…someday I’ll learn to do it with a wiggly, grabby baby on my hip, but this is not that day).
I sighed. Heavily. “What?!” asked my husband. I pointed to the baby, who was again pulling herself up to the plant stand to pull on the little paper lanterns and shake the heavy metal stand and grab at the trailing leaves. “But she’s happy!” he encouraged. So she was. She had had lots of snuggles, plenty to eat, played outside, had happily emptied as much of the pots and pans cupboard as she could reach/was strong enough to lift, spent several minutes trying to get into the cleaning cupboard, and kept her diaper clean and dry. And where was I while my baby was so busy? I was snuggling her, feeding her, hanging out the wash, preparing our breakfast and lunch, keeping her out of the cleaning cupboard, and reading, singing, and praying with her while she used the toilet. I’m still getting used to the fact that parenting consumes all my time. That if I want a clean kitchen or floors, I have to sacrifice some of the precious quiet time in the evening Stephen and I have together. We’re still so new to marriage, to parenthood, that we’re putting a lot of time and energy into establishing ourselves in those areas, and it’s hard work. I keep buying into the dream that “Oh, we have to work on these things now, but Someday, we’ll easily understand everything said in our conversations, we’ll know and control our emotions, we’ll quit begrudging all the sacrifices we make for each other, and we won’t have to invest so much time into our relationships.” And while I do believe that our investments now will pay off in time, I’m also starting to comprehend that that payoff will look very different from the static, stable, perfect family that I know logically is impossible, but continue to subconsciously expect. Our journey as a family doesn’t stop when we reach a comfortable place and stay there until we die, the plodding trail continues on until death ends our earthly strivings after righteousness. So yeah. Our days don’t have enough hours in them. And really, they never will. But while I rarely feel confident about our use of time, I know that we’re choosing to expand our souls, not our possessions; to cleanse our hearts, rather than the floors; and build up our love, rather than our social media profile. So if I heave a sigh because it’s 2 pm and I still haven’t dressed and the kitchen is a mess, I just need a reminder that no, I’m not failing, I’m just a mom. And pumpkin pecan waffles with whipped cream for dinner might not hurt, either.
She tried desperately to flirt with everybody.
Mommy told her these were Busy People, and that is why they didn’t have time to smile at everybody (unfortunately, the only unBusy People left while she was still napping), but Maria likes to believe the best of everybody, so she just kept trying.
I’m guessing this is what I should expect the next eight months to look like. 🙂 Except, really, it’s not dangerous enough to hold her attention for long.
Firstly, how is she eleven months already and tolerating shoes for two minutes at a time? Secondly, I am So Excited that she has learned the True Purpose of writing utensils! This means maybe I can color with her sometimes!
This article is so beautifully crafted, such an apt description of our desire for the holy. Ever since watching The Sound of Music as a child, I had a sort of awe for all men and women in religious “uniforms”. Whether a Father, a Brother, or a Sister, a life consecrated to the prayerful worship of God is a holy and dangerous and powerful thing.
This is one of the wisest things I’ve read about protecting children from abuse. Definitely worth a read.
I never knew this part of the 9/11 story! So amazing!
This is such a great description of what grief is like over time. Beautiful.
And from Ann Voskamp – ” the romantic men know it’s about living your whole life on your knees.” We’re so immersed in the ideal of courtly love that we forget what life-giving love looks like.
Friends, this is one of the millions of reasons that we need to be living out the love of our Savior for his creation.
There’s no grades for parenting at the end of the day, and that can be hard. But that’s okay.