Wednesday, May 28, 2014

One of those days

I'm exhausted right now so please forgive.  This is rawly written but I think it's important to write like this sometimes, letting the thoughts just flow with little editing and over-thinking.

It started at 7am when Lauren frantically came into my room telling me that Calista had peed on the floor.  We had forgotten to put her in a diaper to sleep in last night and apparently she had crawled onto the floor to sleep after we had gone to bed.  I walked into their room and could immediately smell the incriminating evidence.  I was exhausted, having been up with Mila during the night, but still the clothes and blankets had to be washed and the carpet cleaned.

Before breakfast, I unloaded the dishwasher and put the dishes away, only to notice, just as I was putting the last plate away, that the dishwasher tablet had not released from the dispenser when I started it the night before.  So I pulled all of the dishes back out of the cupboards, reloaded the dishwasher and restarted the cycle.

As I ate breakfast with the kids, we discussed the plans for today, setting a time for us to leave to run our errands at 10:00....  At 11:30 we finally pulled out of the driveway.  This after losing my temper when Calista peed on the floor again, after adamently insisting that she didn't need to go.

We headed to the library first, spent 30 minutes gathering books, and as we were checking out, discovered that our annual library membership fee needed to be renewed... with cash or check only. And I only had a debit card with me.

We then headed to eye doctor where we discovered that two of my children need glasses and that the other two will likely need them in the next couple of years.  $350, two hours, and a carful of grumpy kids later, we finally left.  Oh... and Calista peed on the floor again at the doctor's office.

By now I was exhausted, but the boys asked if we could finish off our plan for the day and go to the rec center for the free racquetball class that they offer every Wednesday.  They had never been to one before, and I was anxious for them to try it out.  I waited in the car for an hour with a screaming baby and two tired little girls.  At this point, Mila was unconsolable, almost delirious with exhaustion, since she had barely slept all day.

...and the boys hated the racquetball class.  Luke especially because the instructor kept calling him, "big man" and Camden insisting that the class was full of "preschoolers."

I came home to make dinner for four ravenous little wolves reminding me every 30 seconds how hungry they were, with a screaming baby on my hip.  And Dennis was gone to a church meeting. Poor guy came home to find the house looking like the Tazmanian devil had come to pay us a visit.

It took me an hour to finally get Mila settled to sleep tonight, and I am exhausted.  Even as I re-read what I just wrote, I can tell how tired I am by my writing.

As I reviewed the day in my head, I wondered how I can possibly do this again tomorrow, let alone the rest of the summer.

So why am I writing this at almost midnight, especially after this being "one of those days"?  I guess it's because I want my kids to know that when they have children of their own, that there will be days like this.  Lots of them.  They'll look back on the day and think that they failed epically as a parent, especially when they lost their temper like I did today.  And there will be more times than they can count when their brains are as fried as mine is now. But tomorrow always brings another day and things always look brighter in the morning.

I want them to look for the little things that happened throughout the day that remind them that God is there.  And even in the most frustrating of times, He sends us tender mercies reminding us of His love for us.  Like when I watched my kids play together at the park today.  They played with eachother like they were the best of friends, laughing and chasing after each other with squeals of delight.  And then when Camden hugged me long and tight before going to bed and thanked me for everything I had done for them.

Yes, tomorrow will come and things will look brighter in the morning.  They always do.
Tonight while I was trying to get Mila to fall asleep, Luke crawled in bed with me wanting to talk.  He grabbed my phone and took a selfie of us.  That is one tired lady next to a bright-eyed, sweet little boy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dear Mila

Dear Mila,

You'll be two weeks old tomorrow.  This morning I watched you sleeping in my arms in milk-induced drunkenness.  You're little squeaks and sighs and the smiles that fluttered out of the corners of your mouth- I couldn't bring myself to putting you down and carrying on with the other things I knew I needed to get done.  I sat there staring at your perfection and thought of the past nine months that it has taken to bring you here.

How can a mother's love ever be described?  I doubt that there exists anything more difficult to put into words, but I'll try.

It started with a tiny blue plus sign on a little piece of plastic.  My heart soared knowing that you were there- barely a quarter of an inch in size, hardly the size of a lentil.  But you were ours- a product of me and the man I love most in this world.

But, oh, how that tiny little lentil can wreak havoc on a body!  Insomnia, fatigue and nausea, just to name a few.  And somehow that didn't diminish the love I felt for you- not even a little.  It only grew with each day as I fell more and more in love with this tiny little human that I had never met.

A few months later the nausea and insomnia subsided, but were soon followed by hip and nerve pains.  My belly had grown faster than it had with any of your brothers or sisters and I felt like a gimpy, beer-bellied, penguin.  But I had your nudges and kicks- your reminders to me telling me to hang in there, that you'd be here soon.

And then came the night of your debut.  Oh... the pain!  I never knew a body could experience so much pain!  It felt like my body was being turned inside out!  And the wonderful man that you'll call Dad stayed with me the whole time rubbing my back and stroking my hair.  You'll soon discover how lucky you are to have him too.  Right at the end, I was sure I couldn't do it anymore, but then from one second to the next it was all over and you had arrived. Your Dad said he had never seen me happier than the moment I first laid eyes on you.  He said my face, which had just been racked with pain, melted into joy as soon as the doctor held you up for me to see.

I'll remember that moment for the rest of my life.  Just like that, the pain was gone and I was overcome with the most intense feeling of love and affection for this tiny, screaming, flailing little person that had just come out of me.  It was overwhelming and magical, along with every other word in the English language used to describe God's miracles.

But the fun wasn't over yet.  Then came your voracious little appetite and the way you practically eat me alive when you feed.  Good gracious, girl!  You sure know how to make a momma grit her teeth and curl her toes with the strength of that itty bitty little mouth of yours!  But I love those moments where it's just you and me, and the world seems to melt away.  I love watching you watch me, learning the curves of my face, as I learn yours.  These are the moments when mother and child imprint themselves onto each other's hearts forever.

The exhaustion, the crying, the diaper changing, the round-the-clock feedings- all of these things, as difficult as they are, are the things that bind us together with links that can never be broken, and I cherish them.  You'll soon learn that the things that are the most difficult in life are those that we look back on with the greatest fondness, and the people we sacrifice the greatest for are those we love the most.

You are a part of me.  Once literally, now figuratively, and it will always be so.

Thank you for letting me experience motherhood once again.  Thank you for the pains and the tears, for they are what brought me the greatest joy.

My little Mila, I love you.