September 22, 2014

Weddings and Remberings

Weddings seem to have a way of inviting you to remember.  While you go to celebrate and honor a couple, they have a way of calling you to reflection.  They stir up feelings of romance and the kind of mushy, gooey love that oozes out of you when you're lost in blissful happiness.  I know for some, they can invite feelings of pain, disappointment or shame - anger even.  Regardless, weddings have a way of triggering the deep places in our hearts that desire intimacy and relationship and the really, real kind of love that we all so desperately crave.

When I was young, I found myself dreaming of my own day and wondering who I would marry.  I would imagine what he would look like and what kind of frilly ball gown I might wear.  Weddings now make me reflect on the beginnings of my own love.  The day I walked down the aisle and said my own vows and promsied forever and for better and for worse.
Todd and I attended a wedding yesterday for a precious couple.  He promised to love her in the valleys and not just on the mountaintops; he vowed he would always be listening to her heart.  She promised to respect him and make their home a plce of rest and peace, and to turn towards him and not away.  Their personal vows brought me to tears and I found myself squeezing the hand of my husband as we listened and watched and celebrated this couple who committed to a covenant of forever.

Later on in the evening, Todd and I danced and spun around the dance floor.  And that man, the one I said I do to over eight years ago, looked at me the same way he did the day we got married.  I always catch my breath when I see him looking at me that way, because it feels impossible to still feel that loved by him when we've lived so much life together.  Especially because I know where I have hurt and disappointed him, where I almost gave up on him, where I have turned away from his touch or embrace time and again. 

During one of our dances together, the photographer came up to us and commented that we were lovely to watch.  She asked us to step into the light where the sun was streaming through the windows because there was something she wanted to capture.  All of that struck me - that we were lovely, that we had been seen, that were asked to step into the light.  Us.  Our dance.  Our love.

I received my husband's loving gaze and my arms held tight around his neck.  And we were remembered and we laughed and smiled and held on to the love we still have, the love that has grown, the love yet to be.  And we danced.  Autumn's sunlight spilling in and pouring over.

September 17, 2014

Motherhood - or - Forgetting your deodorant and saying shit a lot

Motherhood has been messy lately.  And I don't mean that in some emotionally frilly way - I mean it quite literally.  It feels like every ten minutes of every single day I am busy cleaning up something.  And I have to admit, it's hard not to loose my cool after mess #8, because there are only so many spills or accidents I can take before it gets to me.  The diapers, the "leak-proof" sippy cups that make milk puddles on my carpet, and runny noses and picking up dirty socks for the millionth time.

Jacob threw his plate on the floor with great force this week.  Some nights, dinner is great and he eats and laughs and is a complete joy.  Others, he only eats ketchup, screams at me, and throws his mashed potatoes on the floor to emphasize how displeased he is with both me and my dinner selection.

Tommy somehow had an accident with his applesauce that somehow resulted in my hall closet door being covered with it.  I don't even know how this happened.  Also, stepping in applesauce is a real treat for your toes.
Jacob ripped up daddy's Hunter's Almanac because I had the nerve to go to the bathroom and didn't see he had it.  And there I was all giddy that I was peeing alone.  Silly me.
For some reason, I take pictures of these things.  I even add a filter for who-knows-why.  Maybe it's so I can remember that I lived through them.  Or so I can remember that this season of life was always so much more than smiley boys and Chuck E. Cheese outings.  And probably in all of my memory-keeping and tucking away of moments, I want to remember the hard things just as much as the good.

We have been attempting to get in some kind of new groove the last few weeks, but I can't exactly say it's going well.  With my new schedule, I go in to work earlier (hello 5:30am wake up call!), but I am off when Tommy gets out of school.  That was something I always desired when I had kids - to be home when they were done with school.  Our time in the afternoon is now filled with homework of mostly reading and writing and trying to entertain Jacob at the same time that I'm giving instructions on how to properly make the humps in the letter "m" or that the number "6" doesn't have any straight lines.  I've attempted to clean my bathrooms or fold some laundry some days, but that has seemed senseless when there are applesauce accidents and and 18-month old who you have to constantly remind that Legos or foam darts or leftover food from the dining room that mommy hasn't picked up yet are things he shouldn't be trying to eat.

This morning as I left with Jacob on my hip to drop him off at his daycare place, I was thinking I had something together.  I remembered his bag and diapers and he had milk and his blanket.  I had my lunch packed and super healthy breakfast smoothie made.  I grabbed my bills to be dropped in the mail and was feeling organized and on top of things because I had somehow remembered everything and packed everything and made it out of the door on time.  I was maybe getting the hang of all of this.

It was then I realized I totally forgot to put deodorant on.  Shit.

I know I should give myself a break, and I do most of the time.  But some days I am a mess.  Some days, like this one, I say shit more than others.  I get discouraged by my inability to do it all as well as I'd like to.  There is little time for me to sit and write and or talk to God and read and pray and I wonder how on earth I am supposed to keep pouring out when there is so little being poured back in to my own heart and soul.  Some days I feel overwhelmed with my role, as if I am going to be consumed by motherhood.  I get lost in it.  And most days, especially lately, I feel like I'm sucking at it because I lose my shit in front of the boys time and again and I'm having to constantly go back on a daily basis to Tommy and apologize to him for losing my shit. Except I don't see shit.

Like any bad day, I know this will pass.  Things will even out and we will get used to homework and applesauce spills and perhaps I will make peace with all that is left undone and in a mess around me.  But today isn't that day. 

Today I am overwhelmed.  And I'm starting to smell.