Monday, November 16, 2015

Part II: Chasing Rainbows

Thoughts on Motherhood
Part II: Chasing Rainbows
My childhood was a good one.

I have memories full of fresh raspberries from the back alley, and dirty carrots from the garden. We had a big, beautiful, smelly dog. I dug up worms. We slid down snow covered hills. When my mom made bread she would give me a little chunk of dough to play with. And when the sun would shine through the kitchen window, she would spin the crystals that hung there, so I could chase the rainbows. I got sunburns and mosquito bites. And sometimes mosquito bites on sunburns. We climbed mountains. We slept in tents. My mom read to us when we were young. We got lost together in Narnia, and on the Prairie, and at Green Gables. She sang to me to help me sleep. She would race me to do up my seat belt when we got in the van. My dad let me ride on his feet when I was little, and would two step with me in the kitchen as I got older. He helped coach my basketball camps and my volleyball teams. They taught me to pray. And they prayed for me. They have caught me when I've fallen. Over and over.

I have good parents.

In my rush to get through each day, I have been stumbling past the moments. Moments that are thick with phrases like "hurry up" or "not right now." And this week as my boy's 2 bottom adult teeth have snuck into place, I feel an urgency that is hard to explain. A need to offer him some magic moments. Some rainbows to chase. A feeling that I've failed him. That we've run out of time to experience the magic, and that real life is going to hit any minute.

And if I think hard, about what would stick, even if all magic ended as adult teeth arrived, I realize that he has had magic. Walks through ivy covered forests. Entire days on warm, breezy beaches. Books. More books than I can count. Evenings around fires, and nights in tents. Staying up late for fireworks, and getting up early to catch ferry boats. Imaginary dragon friends. Snuggles, wrestles, tickles and rounds and rounds of "pinchy pinchy pokey pokey." We've had adventures, in stories, and in real life. We've swam in the ocean and lakes. We've dressed up as super heroes, as pirates as ninjas and as animals. We've cried, we've laughed, and occasionally, we have dance parties in the kitchen.

And although I do feel an urgency to start my own collection of crystals, to hang in my window, I realize that we've had truly beautiful experiences together. One day my kids will be able to say "My childhood was a good one." Why? Because they have a mama, who will do all she can to offer them experiences of beauty, love, connection, and magic

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Part I: The Plan

Thoughts on Motherhood
Part I: The Plan

I have always loved children. Their eagerness to learn, how quick they are to laugh, the wonder they express at the simplest experiences. I love their dimpled elbows, their missing teeth, their sticky hands. I have always wanted a brood of my own. And now, with three little ones, plus two big ones (we'll call them foster kids for the sake of not having to spend an entire post on the situation) I have come to a point where I've started wondering, Why?

Why did I want to be a mom again? Why would I think I'd be good at this? Why are me and Ms. 3 year old having the same argument again today?  Why does the sound of Mr. 5 year old's voice make me cringe? Why is Ms 1 year old dropping toys in the toilet? Why, if yesterday was awful, am I repeating it in the exact same way today?

I remember asking my husband, when we first started dating, what he wanted to do with his life - what his hopes and dreams were. He surprised me when he said he wanted to be a father. He wanted to be a good dad, that coached his kids' baseball teams, and was involved in their lives. Needless to say -  I fell in love with the guy pretty instantly. We got married, and this was the plan:

1. Make babies
2. Love those babies.
3. Be the world's greatest parents.
4. Repeat. 

And so, we've followed the plan... at least the baby making part... with 3 in 4 years!
{Thaaaaat sounds crazier than it felt}
I had beautiful deliveries and wonderful babies. But as they've grown I've felt less wonderful towards these babies. Become frustrated by their demands, annoyed at their volume, exhausted by their energy and hurt. Not hurt by them. Hurt by my own feelings of inadequacy, of frustration, of resentment.

Don't get me wrong. There has been immeasurable good as we've built this family up. Pure JOY. More love than I ever knew I could feel. Tender moments where I've felt like I was in the presence of God. There's been fun and laughter. Quiet, gentle moments. Moments of exuberance and hilarity. Moments where I thought my heart would burst because I loved these kids so much and because I was so happy.

But those days don't come every day.

And so, as we build this dream, and follow our plan, I've decided that I need to work out part 3. I need to figure out how to earn myself a "World's Best Mom" mug.

And I've decided that this is the place to do it.

Because in every moment of motherhood: the isolation and the excitement, the joy and the pain, the torture and the adoration, every step of the way I have noticed that there are mothers along the way. Some feeling like casualties of war, some feeling like Victors on the battle field. And regardless of where we stand today - because it may change from day to day - we need each other. And if I can figure out my own plan, then maybe I can help someone else out there find direction as well.

Big thoughts. On my little people.