I've been sick this week and she' taken care of the kids single-handily, straightened up the house, cleaned up the physical evidence of my sickness (tmi?) and brought me water, fruit pops and toast.
The woman doesn't complain. She doesn't accept apologies for the messiness of my life that she's cleaning up. She never seems to run out of patience or compassion.
She just gives and gives, joyfully and wholeheartedly.
-2-Last week I was driving, thinking about all the books I'd like to read. I was fantasizing about having the time to sit on my sofa in the middle of the afternoon and pick up a book. I was daydreaming about uninterrupted reading - how glorious! Once again I could get through a book in a week - or less! I could devour one after another, a memoir, a novel, a collection of essays, American lit, poetry, theology...
You see, I don't have much time to read, especially anything too deep. There isn't the time or energy budgeted in my days for such things as novels.
And then I had this very comforting thought: right now I do not have time for such things, and that is okay. In another season of my life, when my kids are older and I have some grey hair, then I will be able to read again. This thought was much more like a promise from God, an acknowledgement of my longing with a glimpse of what is waiting ahead. Knowing this makes it much easier to not read now, as I focus on my kids, husband, home, and friends.
-3-A woman I barely know offered to help me clean my home for Lydia's birthday party. She is from Northern Ireland and is living in the US until her visa expires in July. She has been able to travel much of Europe and America in her 26 years. While I listened to her talk I felt the pang of remorse that I never studied abroad while in college. I also felt the itch to travel.
And then we talked about my life as a stay at home mom. I warned her to devour information now, because it seems that with every child a woman pushes out of her body she loses a portion of her knowledge, memory and ability to assemble intelligent, thorough sentences. (Ya gotta stock pile those things now so you come out even in the end, I figure.)
She talked about her desire for kids, a lot of kids, and to live the life I was living. She thought the grass was greener on my side of the fence. And in my heart I agreed.
When I became pregnant with the baby I am currently carrying I heard several people make acclamations of "I'm glad it's you and not me!" What they said with all honesty, and meant as a reflection of their personal preferences and limits, hurt a little. It sounded like an insult, or a warning. Sometimes it sounded like I was being damned, or that I already had been! Usually it sounded like they weren't happy my newest child is alive and growing in my womb.
But I was sure not to take it personally, because I have said the exact same thing, with the exact same intentions, to mothers of twins. And so, to the mothers of twins that I know and have made this comment to, I would like to apologize. Your children are beautiful, wonderful and lovable. I consider you blessed, and I praise God for the gifts you've been given.
-5-A few weeks ago I was feeding Bennet some baby food pears, making silly faces so he'd open his mouth and allow me to put the spoon in. Lydia stood by our side singing the Alphabet Song. In the midst of the simplicity and silliness I had a deep sense of knowing that there was no where else I'd rather be and nothing else I'd rather be doing. It was like getting a blue ribbon from God.
As I have already mentioned, I've been sick this week and I've had to rely on friends, along with my mom and husband, to help take care of the kids. Even though they are not moms, they mothered me and my kids at times when things were pretty messy. There was Liz, who walked into our house as I was "spitting up" (as Lydia calls it) and came to see if I needed my hair held. She then cared for my kids for the next several hours while I napped. And there was Katie, who changed a poopy, leaky diaper; rocked a fussy baby to sleep; and was fortunate enough to stick around for my daughter to "spit up" into her bag of books, all over my clothes, her clothes, and on the floor. Katie salvaged the books, put our clothes in the washing machine, and bathed my daughter. God bless you both!!!!
To any women who struggle with infertility and may read my blog: I want you to know that I think of and pray for you every day. I pray for your health, your doctors, your wombs, your adoptions, your families, your hearts, your wounds, your sufferings, and your joys. I want you to know that I honor you this Mother's Day - you are not forgotten!