Sunday, April 18, 2010

Is This Real Life?

Have you ever been sitting on the toilet - while two of your kids are brushing their teeth, two are finishing dinner - and after flushing, stand up and look at yourself in the mirror and think... Is this real life?

I know I shouldn't have to point the obvious out to myself but as I looked in the mirror and noticed my fading dyed hair, expanding waistline(no I'm not pregnant), and over-all slobbish look I just had this realization of who I am.

I am that mom. That is me. I'm the one who just finished yelling at her kids to finish their dinner. The same one who went on the toilet, with the door open, while two of her kids brushed their teeth. I'm also the mom who is dreading the daily bedtime battle and that I am doing it by myself. I'm the one who will go tell Malachi to take a bite for the 567th time tonight. Also the one who will tell Mckenna that the towels don't have to be folded perfectly, to just put them back on the towel ring. I'm the one who will then sigh as she hears Emma and David running around upstairs instead of putting their jammies on. She's me.

Don't get me wrong, I like being her. She's fun, she's outgoing, she's got a great husband who has a great job, four kids who are gorgeous and sweet, a beautiful home that she loves, friends who will drop anything to help her, and family who is always a phone call away. She's happy.

But she's a mom. She's not JUST a mom. She realized years ago that to put the word JUST in front of the word mom is nearly a sin. The word MOM is a strong one. For many people it means many things. For me it means many things. Yes there are times when MOM sounds like a four letter word. And there are times I wish I could push the mute button right before the word MOM is said.

But there are other times when the word MOM is followed by the sweetest words, the softest hugs, and the smooshiest kisses. There are also times when the word mom brings to mind feelings of remembrance. Like what it felt to become a mom. Or the one person in the world who I first knew as mom. Or the woman in my life who became my mom-in-law.

So... back on topic here: I like being the mom. It's just at moments like today when I realize I have lost all privacy, self decency, and for today - all desire to keep up appearances - that I look at myself and remember who I am. And take a few seconds to mentally whine to myself about my naughty kids, messy appearance, missing husband(church), and expanding waistline, before focusing on the fact that my Ethiopian son has enough food in front of him that he is choosing not to finish. My Mckenna Rae has just spent ten minutes folding the bathroom towels so they look pretty. My Emma and David are playing together. PLAYING. TOGETHER. My husband is serving in our church. And I am healthy and in shape. And I am happy.

So, yes, this is real life. And I kinda like it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

4 Years

Gone From My Sight
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"
"Gone where?"
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There she is gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"
And that is dying.
-Henry Van Dyke

3 Years

Today has obviously been a tough one, and there have been other completely unrelated things that have made it harder. However, there have been some very sweet and tender moments that remind me that I am loved, watched over, and so so very blessed. Many big changes have happened in the past four years and there is not a single time I haven't wished my mom could experience it with us. But through it all I have a best friend of a sister, a husband who adores me, children who are my whole world, and friends who go above and beyond the definition of friendship. When my parents left this world they left my sister and me in good hands. And thankfully the two of us share a bond that has been made stronger with each passing year. I love my sister and she has become so much of the woman my mom was. She is strong, she is beautiful, and she doesn't ever let anything get in the way of her dreams. I know in some ways I am also like my mom. And I will spend the rest of my life with her as my hero. So as I finish this post, I hope to inspire those of you who knew her to emulate her amazing qualities in your own life. And for those of you who didn't... then Cowgirl Up!