Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Middle Part of Parenting

It's almost like a lull in life around here, except it's not.

Those first few years of parenting were physically exhausting.  There were the middle of the night feedings, the constant attending to of needs, the diapers, opening doors for small children, Sesame Street, bending over them in the bathtub to scrub off the day's dirt, the obedience training, dressing the wriggly little bodies, the potty training, the meal making, the never ending laundry parade, and the All Of The Things that come with having a house full of Littles.

But somewhere in there, things started getting easier.  Sure, there was still plenty to do, but they could pour their own bathtub or buckle their own seat belt.  Then they poured their own breakfast cereal and put their own dishes in the sink.  And one day, you look up and everybody's potty trained and can dress themselves.

Suddenly, your days leave you with energy and time to think.  Suddenly, you have time to ponder intentional living and read a book or two.  Suddenly, your 'one day' is your 'right now'. 

The right now looks like children who have daily chores that teach them responsibility and give me breathing room.  It looks like kids who read to each other and know how to wash their own clothes.  It looks like children who are learning to cook meals and everyone knows how to open the door by themselves.  It looks like real conversation time and laughing over things that are actually funny.

Just around the bend looms awkwardness and uncertainty in the lives of our soon-to-be tweens.  Just barely behind us are the days of barely keeping our heads above water for all the demands we were trying to meet.

But right now?  Right now is a time of sweet mellowness.  Sure, there are challenges.  There are lessons being learned on their part as well as theirs.  There are mistakes being made on our part and theirs.  But it's a forgiving chapter of parenting.  The energy requisites are much lower and the harder emotional stuff hasn't reached us just yet. 

We're resting here.  Indulging in the now.  Relishing the busy calmness of it all. And, as always, the right now is precious.

Monday, November 03, 2014

No More Baby Socks

The other night, I got to share doTERRA with a mom's group at a local wellness center.  When I entered the room, the first thing I realized was how very out of place I was.  Here were a dozen women loving on their combined 14 babies ranging in age from 3 days to 8 months.

I didn't have a baby.

It's the first time that thought has really smacked me in the face like that.  Because I do have a baby.  I call him baby every day and he curls up small in my lap and sits contentedly while I sniff his head and touch his soft skin.

But he's not really little.  He is in the overall, but he's not tiny by any stretch of the imagination.  He's not curl-up-on-my-chest-and-have-room-to-spare tiny.  He's not 7-pounds-and -20-ish-inches-that-can-wholly-be-supported-by-one-arm-while-I-do-something-with-the-other-hand tiny.  He's not lay-him-on-half-a-dishtowel-and-cover-him-with-the-other-half tiny.

Those wee little ones were there with their mamas while the mama's shared their anxieties as first time mamas and stripped their babies down for a weight check to be sure they were growing.  All these mama's with their diaper clad babies resting on their shoulders, and all I could see were the teensy little socks strewn about the floor.

Teensy, tiny, itty, bitty baby socks. 

These are my baby's new socks.  They don't fit in the palm of my hand.  They span the entire length of my hand a hang over off the sides.  It's the first time I've been so keenly aware of the fact that although I still, and always will, I'm sure, consider him my baby, he's not a baby anymore.  He's a three and a half, super independent, quite capable little boy.  He is a self-declared Big Boy.

I miss baby socks.  I miss when my sweet little ones teensy feet fit into those socks. 

But I love the people they are growing into, the people with big personalities, big hearts, big curiosities, and big(ger) feet who need big(ger) socks. 

I might, though, need to find a pair of baby socks.  To better remember the tiny times until the next generation gets here...

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Things They Say...

As we were driving home one afternoon, conversation naturally turned such that I asked this question to all five of my children -

"What is the MOST important thing you're looking for in a spouse?"

"What's a 'spouse'?" asked Anna.

"Your husband or wife."

"Well, I have two most important things.  The first is that she be a Christian and love Jesus and the second is that she's a good cook," came Thomas' answer.

We all giggled as he expounded on what was acceptable when considering cooking skills in his future wife.

"I don't trust ANY man to marry me, Mama!" cried Anna.

And then there really was a lot of laughter from everyone!


"It's just me...Superman!"


In tucking the older two girls in and listening to their prayers, I was entertained by Elizabeth's closing line.
".... and thank you for the Bible and cheese.  Amen."


We were driving home with fresh Krispy Kreme late one night.  We'd been out for some reason, and since we were already on the right-ish side of town, we swung through to grab some yummy doughnuts for breakfast the next morning.

As we drove home, Thomas yawned big and declared, "My body is tired and wants to go to bed."

"My body wants to be waked up and eat doughnuts" came Daniel's pitiful try at getting a doughnut before bed.