Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Mama, show me

Photo by Lovely Roots Photography
It's about time to get back into the writing of the words. They've been marbles rolling around restlessly in my mind, but it's been a long time since I've SAID anything and plinking them out on this laptop feels weird and awkward.

But that's how all good things start, I think. Weird and awkward.

Think about birth. Think about dating. Think about job interviews. 

Yup. Weird and awkward. So bear with me.

This last few months has been busy and WEIRD AND AWKWARD. Our family's in a new sort of routine with one daughter braving kindergarten and another conquering preschool a few times a week. Activities are slowly being scheduled and as the calendar fills, I'm getting a glimpse of the harried mom life I see reflected back from the 30km an hour drivebys at my daughter's elementary school. The diapers are diminishing and the hours slept per night are rising (knock on wood). My husband's immersed in his career as he figures out his groove at work and takes on responsibilities and challenges. 

And I've been at home and time just flies on by.

It's funny when you take off a hat (and the fun outfits that go along with it). I've laid aside my teacher role for the next little while and there's a sense of displacement and an air of "What now?" expectation that's been following me around. Also a three-year-old. 
Heaven help me.
Heaven also help the dog.
I have time to just BE (whatever that means. Eating snacks, I think) but the more time I spend with these little humans, the more I realize what a monumental effort this full-time parenting business is. I can't FAKE IT. They are like tiny human lie-detectors.

And every day I wonder how my mom did it all. She worked, she cleaned, she cooked, she energetically took us to everything. She led Sunday School, she baked, she laughed, she played. She showed us love every day in every way.

And now I'm the MOM. I want my girls to know that they can do anything. They can dress like a princess and still storm the castle, if they'd like. And they look at me as if to say, "Mama, show me.
Photo by Lovely Roots Photography

It's a little daunting because I have this secret living inside that my girls don't know (but that the internet seems to capitalize on):  

This is my first time being a mom and I might not be doing it right.

So I get up a little earlier and I go to the gym and I read my Bible, because those two things give me strength to storm the castles and sometimes dress like a princess.

I work to hold my tongue because I want them to be kind to each other and they are watching to see if I am kind to myself. To them. To their dad. That's hard, you guys. We are all terrible people by 8pm.

I drag them around the river trails and I plan trips because I want them to know that the world is theirs to explore. 

We tromp around outside, in the back yard and in different countries, because we can marvel wherever we go and we can walk even when our legs are tired. 

I want them to know that our faith informs our actions WHICH REALLY STINKS because it means budgeting. And tithing. And buying the groceries (and not buying all the shoes and ending up divorced HYPOTHETICALLY). 

I say sorry a lot because of my temper (and my shoe collection) and as they both diminish, I find that small acts with great love keep adding up to a year gone by. And now we're at the end of another one. 

So I guess somehow, here in this season, the "What now?" is a chance to practice all these things without the responsibilities of another job-- without wrapping myself around a shiny role and being able to feel accomplished and distract myself from the things that need to change. 
Photo by Lovely Roots Photography

And I like it (mostly), which for me is the most surprising part. 

So tonight, I'm just here in my cozy house, sitting still in this huge privilege filled with small tasks and profound awe. 

And if you have any tips, then please, Mama, show me. 
Photo by Lovely Roots Photography

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