18 November, 2017

Will Little Things


Last spring, Will and I invented The Animal Game. We go out to the trampoline and he says, "Guess what animal I am," and then gives me all sorts of clues. MOST often he would say, "I.... have tentacles. And a beak bum. Aaaand what animal am I?" (a squid).

He went through a sloth period this summer though, where he was obsessed with them. He would say, "Guess what animal I am? I do nuffing and I do nuffing." (A sloth).

One afternoon I was lying down with him for his nap, and in his sleep, he turned toward my face and whispered, "I'm a slofffffff."

He says hello to EVERYONE and it's funny how you can stop liking certain people you've always been fond of when they don't respond nicely to your toddler. I LOVE the people who stop, look him in the eye and say, "Hello! How are you, Will?" But there are so many darn adults who barely notice him and when he tries to carry on a conversation, brush him off or interrupt him. It is probably partially pregnancy hormones, but I was telling Steven the other day that I almost erupted into tears when Will was trying to talk to a friend of ours and she cut him off and walked away.

Now, to all you parents who now or down the road will have a child who gags and throws up every time you try to get them to eat a fruit or vegetable... your pain will end!! Will FINALLY eats pretty much everything I put in front of him. He doesn't always like it, but he finishes all of his veggies (he still really hates most fruit so I only make him try fruit, since I would rather he get the nutrition from vegetables anyway).

Today we went to Trader Joe's. We almost never go there, except during the holidays. He had never seen child-sized shopping carts before and couldn't stop talking about them the whole drive there. When we got there, he immediately started zooming through the store. "I fink I need bananas!" he put a huge bunch in his cart.

"Now Mom," he said very loudly, "Where are the WEDGIES?"

Ha! That is how he says "veggies" and it cracks me up every time.

I took him over and had him get some carrots. "Mom," even louder, "I REALLY FINK WE NEED LOTS OF WEDGIES!"

I love that boy.

16 November, 2017

Maybe


HAHA! Oh my. When I found this picture hiding under piles and piles of photos that need to be deleted, my first instinct was to delete it fast. Ha. But then it made me laugh - do I always look like that?! Maybe that's why people always say, "My, my, your hands sure are full!"

I hope I don't always look grumpy and harried and stressed out... I definitely feel those things often, but not always - most of the time I'm happy and tired.

This fall I had some truths shown to me that are beginning to change who I am. I realized that I live with a CONSTANT burden of guilt on my shoulders - all the things I'm not doing that I wish I was doing.

The truth is, there are MANY things I want to do:
- Read my scriptures for more than a few minutes a day
- Paint my toenails
- Spend magical one on one time with each child every day
- Create special, intimate memories with Steven every day
- Visit teach better
- Serve others more often and more fully
- Recycle better
- Take my car in for more regular oil changes
- Save more money
- Spend less money
- Feed my family more vegetables
- Exercise more
- Call my friends and family more often
- Clip my kids' fingernails!
- Develop relationships with my in-laws
- Write more!
- Blog more than just "catching up" posts
- Clean the space above my fridge
- Mop
- Organize my basement and garage
- Bring Steven treats at work
- Remember my commitments and be there when I say I will
- Wake up earlier
- Fall asleep faster
- Pay more attention to my kids
- Stop telling Merit she is a little horrid beast under my breath when she has a tantrum and permanently scars my face with her claws (see *clip my kids' fingernails above)
- Spend more time with Gage at bedtime when he is a chatterbox and I just want him to GO TO BED
- Find my external hard drive and clean out my computer
- Talk to my brothers more


Oh... I could go on and on. Can you relate to any of these?

There is SO MUCH I don't do. One of the things I pray for every day is "Please, please don't let anything really important slip between the cracks." Specifically with my kids. I will soon have five of them - I take this seriously. They are on loan to me for a short time while I am charged with training them to want to be kind and good. There is no time for messing around and missing important things.

Gage asked me why we don't have screens in our house. It was a few days after the Las Vegas shooting, where an acquaintance of ours was killed. "Do you think Quentin's parents said, after he died, 'I sure wish we'd spent more time on our phones and X-Boxes instead of playing board games, talking, and being together'? NO! If they have any regrets, I'm sure they wish they'd spent more time doing REAL things together as a family."

Gage understood. For now.

But I wonder... how in the world can I pack everything in, every day? And still be creative? And still cultivate relationships? And still make balanced meals? And still laugh and play with Steven? And still teach my kids to love math so that they can get good scholarships for college? And teach them piano so that they are disciplined? Oh my..... just typing this! SO MUCH TO DO.

I hope it counts for something that I have so many good intentions and desires... so much good that I want to do. And my life is NOT spent in frivolous activities. I don't watch TV, I don't use social media besides this blog ;), I try to pick up a novel only if I know it will help me become more of the person I want to be (no time for books that don't change me for the better)...and yet every day my list grows longer... my list of deficiencies.

(pause here for a second... I just went upstairs to put Gage back to bed - and told him that I would BURN Settlers of Catan in the fireplace if he woke Will up. Fantastic parenting.)

Anyway, this is the lesson I am TRYING to get myself to be willing to learn:

There will never be enough time or energy for everything... sometimes there won't even be enough for the most important things. And that is why we have a Savior - that is why there is grace. Not just because we are "sinners all" and need grace to be forgiven and cleansed and allowed in God's presence - though that is so much.

But the grace that I need every day is the grace that brings peace into my home even when I'm not peaceful; the grace that carries my marriage when it's been days since we've really seen each other; the grace that humbles me so that I spent an extra minute at bedtime listening; the grace that helps a child turn a blind eye to something that could have traumatized them; the grace that miraculously gets us through a long bout of migraines and our family somehow survives intact with no losses, only gains - patience, love, self-sacrifice, gentleness.

Grace takes failure and turns it into lessons that change us. Change is often slow, but it's there.

God never intended for my kids to have a perfect mother - things WILL fall between the cracks. I have prayed so fervently for help to not make huge mistakes that I've ignored the still, small voice that keeps repeating: "Your brother, Jesus Christ, came into the world because you will make big mistakes - let him lift you and carry you and help you and forgive you. Let him advocate for you and understand you. Let him heal your broken relationships and your broken body. Let him make you and your children and your marriage and your friendships far more than anything they could be if it were just YOU and "nothing falling through the cracks."

Because maybe there are two options -

Maybe I could absolutely kill myself to be the person I've thought I need to be and maybe no huge mistakes would occur, maybe nothing would slip.

OR

Maybe I could just try... accept mistakes, but enjoy my life and be proud of who I am. Maybe then, when mistakes occurred, I could show my kids through my example that it is OKAY to make a mistake. Maybe they could learn from me that even though I'm an imperfect mess, I am STILL worthy of love and belonging.

Maybe.

15 November, 2017

Number 5





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