Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Its been a busy September.  One thing after another, life moving at the speed of gale force winds.  Most of it is necessary, some of it happens out of habit.  The truth is, it feels like some days go by slow and others speed by.  I am finding that in either scenario, the best plan for me is to be armed with creativity, wisdom and patience.  These are the 3 keywords that I have adopted over the past few weeks.  The only place that I can find these attributes is in praying desperately and truthfully all day long.  Grace is the oil that makes the wheels of life turn in the midst of disappointments, sadness,  or hurt.  Grace is also the oil of gladness that lightens a load with answered prayers and peace that passes all understanding when chaos seems to be around the corner.  Being the mom of my four sweet kiddos is the most challenging, most exhausting, most thrilling job that I have ever had.  In the last couple of weeks I have cried with my teen daughter over a broken heart and then been yelled at because I don't understand.  I have borne the weight of another daughters' anxiety and fears of the dark.  I have counseled my girls in the ways of love, boys, grades, self-esteem and conflict with authority.  I have talked to my son about good sportsmanlike behavior when we lose, all the while bearing the weight of his extreme sadness in losing.  I feel as if I deserve a few initials behind my name for all of the "professional" aspects this role of "MOM" entails.  And the truth is that many days I feel very unqualified, even though in my heart I know that I love my family more than life itself.  I would give, and DO give everything for them, however there are times when I feel like I am unsure and unwise and shaky.  And so I pick up the phone,  I send a quick text, reaching out to someone older, wiser, further along in the journey to assure me that I'm doing okay, to encourage me that it MATTERS and to tell me that MOST days, OK makes the grade!!  Medicine to my mother soul!!  OK is good enough!!!  I don't have to be perfect or try harder, two grades that I've been working most of my life to achieve straight A's in.  But in mothering (and daughter-ing to be truthful), we have to measure success by the smiles and hugs that we can give at the end of the day.  The "i still love yous and I'm the head of your fan club" proclamations before the sun sets.  Short accounts and even longer "I'm sorry, lets try that agains".  And, as Anne of Green Gables says, I must always remember that "Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet."  


Monday, September 10, 2012

Getting big*ger

Over the last several weeks, I have done a ROYAL purge on our house.  For some reason, the start of school and all things "fall" signifies to me that I need to quit the summer relaxation game I've been playing and I need to get to work.  It also makes me want to color my hair darker... but every time I do that I hate it, so... onto the purge. 

During the summer, I cleaned out the garage of training wheels, tiny scooters, wagons, strollers and tricycles.  I donated floaties and knee pads and helmets that we've out grown.  Fast forward a few weeks, and I got started on the kid's drawers and bedrooms.  In came the garbage bags, out went the baby toys and too-small clothes.  I have purged dishes that we no longer used, clothes and shoes from my closet,  pillows,  towels, sheets and tablecloths ... out the door. 

It feels so great to have more space in our home, in our closets and drawers. 

 What came to my attention while enjoying this getting rid activity is that my family is entering a new phase of our lives.  The kids no longer need training wheels on their bikes or stools to reach faucets while they brush their teeth.  We have completly leaped over size 5t in favor of "big boy" clothes.  Each one of the kids carries their own luggage while we travel, they all packed their own "toiletries" when we went on vacations this summer, they all have their own style and their own ratio of clean to comfort in their spaces.  What gets me as a mom is first, how quickly they all became independent and two, how GLAD I am that they are growing in independence.  It thrills me to see them try things on their own, just because they want to do it. 

I love it when they decorate their room with something that THEY love.  Watching them develop their own tastes in clothes and hobbies; yes, we are all growing up. 
              The truth is, I have to grow up with them.  They still need me, and maybe even more these days, but just in different ways.  They don't need me to help them ride their bikes, but they do need me to give them guidance on how they treat their friends, how they accomplish their homework, how to deal with on-going fears that pop up at night.  It's turning out to be a fun transition, watching the kids grow up. Most days, I embrace their getting bigness. 

But, every once in a while, I wonder if I cherished enough, the days of the past, and I wish for 10 minutes of holding one of the kids when they were itty bitty. There I times I ask myself if I really *experienced* the hours spent rocking babies to sleep at night, the trips to Kindermusik or Storytime at the library.  I don't want any of it to pass by too quickly (well maybe I wished potty-training away), and I find that the great challenge of motherhood for me is to immerse myself in whatever is going on around me, good or bad, rather than just dipping my toe in for a quick test-run.    Its all worth it.