It's when we first moved to New York and Steven went back and forth to Balston Spa, NY for training every other week. We were living in our teensy little two-bedroom townhouse with all the windows. We knew no one and had no responsibilities (I was a primary teacher and Steven didn't have a calling yet since we he was only here every other week). Gage was three and Kjel was just a few months old.
I remember one week in December when Steve was gone but on one of his home weeks we had gotten our first live tree and put it up with a bunch of handmade decorations, I'd strung lights everywhere (not hard to do, it was a small townhouse), and with a budget of $20 had stocked up on all sorts of thriftstore Christmas decorations. It snowed a ton that week, so the kids and I only left the house twice - once to go to a play place at the mall, and the other time to stock up on hot chocolate ingredients at the Wegman's close to our house.
I remember cranking up the thermostat, putting us all in cozy pajamas, turning on the Christmas music and spending the entire day crafting while Kjel crawled around and Gage played with action figures by the Christmas tree. I remember all of us staying up till ten or eleven then Gage and I having one last cup of hot chocolate before heading upstairs for to call Daddy right before bed.
Sometimes I do miss the simplicity of a small space, a small family, and small expenses. But then, if I were back there, I wouldn't have Will or Merit, would I? While I still feel sometimes like Steve is gone maybe even more than back then ;), I also wouldn't have the comfort of Steve usually being within a short drive from us, which is such a comfort day-after-day.
I guess I'm feeling a little down today. Last night I went to bed still fighting a migraine, and the six times that Merit woke up last night, I still had a headache each dang time. I cancelled my 8 AM chiropractor appointment because I was just too exhausted. I was thinking about all this while I was rocking her back to sleep around 8:30 this morning. I could hear the bigger kids coming up the stairs to hurry and get dressed, I heard dishes clanking into the sink and footsteps across the kitchen floor. I heard the sink start and stop as Steven shaved. When I laid her down and came downstairs, Gage was dressed and ready to go, and was lecturing Kjel on allowing Will to play with her inventions. Steven, who banged his head on the car door last night and has a shiner, was trying to put some peanut butter on a piece of french toast to eat on the drive, Will was reaching for me, and I was grabbing the hair gel to get the boys the rest of the way ready.
I kissed the boys, sent them out with lunches and snacks, kissed the little kids and got them situated with toys, and sat down to type out all of these thoughts.
I am so blessed with this life. It is more than I thought I could ever have.
Push through it as best you can, but there will be nights and mornings when you wonder how you are going to possibly accomplish anything.
And you might not accomplish things - the floor may not get mopped, you may not serve anyone outside of your family, your kids may not get a fun play date or outing to the park. Your garage entry way will still be a cluttered mess, and your grand plans of beginning a calorie-burning super-mom exercise routine will have to be put on hold.
Maybe this blog should be private because all of these thoughts are really just me, trying to face my own insecurities.
Am I enough? Am I doing enough? Will my family survive and thrive? Will my marriage be blissful and real? Will my body make it through the young-child years or will I die too soon because I never quite caught up on nourishing myself?
Today I will shower and brush my teeth. I'll make lunch and dinner and many snacks in between. I'll read armfuls of books, and kiss lots of owies. I'll stretch when I think of it, and try to stay hydrated. When it's 8:00 and my husband is still at work (Wednesdays are long days over here), maybe I'll put the kids to bed. Maybe I'll let them stay up and we'll light some autumn candles and read Halloween books in my bed.
I'll go to bed tonight, and maybe this headache will die, maybe it won't. I might wake up with Merit six times, maybe just once or twice. I'll feed her, though, if she's hungry, and rock her if she's sad. I'll try to get up quietly so that Steven can sleep deeply.
It is such a beautiful life. Full of things to cry about and laugh about. Every day is such a gift. I have magical, wondrous moments every single day. I also have hard, frustrating, exhausting worries and difficulties every day. But the wonders outweigh the yuck a zillion to one.
I'll feel better soon, I'm sure. If I don't, I'll find a way to cope. Merit will, I know she will, start sleeping better at some point. Even if it's not till next summer. We will get there.
We will get there, probably too soon. And I know that I will miss these days.