Sunday, September 7, 2014

Holy Messes

Today has been a good day.   The hubby and I spent the majority of our time snuggling my sweet little ones. We sat thisclose on the couch and caught up on MasterChef (one show we can agree on!)  In between the giggles of my babies and the snarky wit of Gordon Ramsey, I fought the voice in the back of my head that told me I had better things to do.  Certainly, I could be more productive.  Other women wouldn't be caught dead lying on the couch in the middle of the afternoon while their home certainly deserved some attention.  I always seem to struggle because I have always (ask my mother) had the capacity for stepping over the messes, for working around the laundry that needs to be put away, to ignore that 'thing' that has needed to be taken to the basement for too long.   The moment of truth:  I'm not an inherently clean person.

Once dinner was done, and the Littles had been read to and soundly snuggled off to bed, I took advantage of the quiet moments to finish cleaning a bit.   As I was tiding up, the saying crossed my mind, "They will never be as little as they are today."

I imagine there will come a day when my house will no longer look as if I was expecting Hoarders to come knocking.   I suppose that eventually, my kitchen floor may only need to be swept once or twice a day, instead of 8 - 10 times like it does now.   I dusted off the sticky messes from the shelves and realized that someday there won't be juice cups everywhere, just waiting to be found.   Someday, my TV may not even bear a little hand print where my sweet daughter touched the face of her favorite Frozen snowman.   I suspect that when that day comes, I'll wish that I could turn back the clock, in spite of the mess, and have my children be innocent and small mess makers for one more day.   As I scrub away the sweet evidence of our happy lives, I resolve to embrace the chaos, while the chaos is to be had...

The longer I journey down my path of motherhood, the more I'm convinced that God ordains Holy Messes.  The messes made in the pursuit of raising kids well.  Messes that make our lives more inconvenient and less show-worthy but that spring up while we're busy focusing on what's really important.  

I'm going to work on living contented with the Holy Messes that my kids make.   I will continue to do my best every day to make my home a comfortable place for my family to exist in, but I'm not going to allow the pressure of it all to take away the joy of being my children's mom, right there in the moment with them, finding the silly thing that will send rounds of laughter echoing down my hall.

I'm going to dance like a silly lunatic every time my little daughter asks me.   I'm going to crawl around with the baby and make silly faces and blow raspberries into soft, squishy bellies.   I'm going to lay with my children, unapologetically, at nap time, with my protective arms draped around them and breathe in their sweet and sour scents.   Most of all, I'm going to work hard to form memories that they will remember forever.  They may or may not remember that Mommy had a lot of laundry to put away, or that Mommy's house wasn't always perfectly tidy, but they may remember that Mommy loved them with her whole heart and Mommy was fun.   And that is something that I think I can aspire to be...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Love Notes for my Littles: For E- 4.15.14, 11:20 am

Precious E,

Today I'm marveling at how perfectly God engineered the physical relationship between a mommy and a baby.   It can be no accident that when I hold you, and you're snuggled close nursing, there's a perfect little "baby nose" shaped triangle at the junction where my arm rests next to my breast.   Your head fits right in and your nose is sheltered in that sweet spot, where you can smell me, and I can see you and most importantly... you can breathe.   What a marvel.  What a small but invaluable miracle.

Love Notes for my Littles:  For E- 4.15.14, 11:20 amI also love that when I'm holding you, and you're eating the same precious "liquid gold" that babies innumerable have eaten since the beginning of time, with your belly pressed to mine, your feet snake around my body and you are the perfect size, just as you are, to totally snuggle me from head to toe. 

Even your sister, who has several inches on you by now, still is able to enjoy the full body snuggle when she needs the comfort.   Just another way our bodies are designed to comfort and protect each other.

I am too aware that our time like this is limited.  That one day, you'll run to steak and potatoes instead of your mommy's milk, but for this short time I will take delight in feeding you, my child.  I will savor each time we are forced to sit down and shut out the rest of the world for a brief time and enjoy each others company.  I will relish your fat baby thighs, and your soft little stomach and your chubby chubby cheeks, because... I did that.  I made you healthy and strong with my remarkable, God-given body.  And every time your sweet gummy mouth purses around me, and your eyes, so sweet and open and trusting look into mine, I know I'm building with you a bond that will last beyond either of our lifetimes.... my little man, my precious son.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Love Notes for my Littles: For W- 3.26.14, 10:30 pm

Dearest Daughter--

What is it that I want for you in the future?  I guess the short answer is that I hope you're happy.  I hope you meet and marry someone who will value who you are, both in the glories of your successes, but also in the triumph of your tries that fail.   I hope you have beautiful Littles of your own some day, and that their presence in your life will constantly surprise you, about you.   I hope that they will fill your every waking moment with both the most delicious morsels of joy and the most sobering realities, often at the very same time.  Simply, I want for you the greatest happiness, no matter how you define it, for your definition will become my definition.  

What do I hope for your heart?  I hope, My Dear Daughter, that you have inherited from me my sense of adventure and the hint of gypsy soul that swells inside of me and yearns to be exercised.  There is much to be seen, and much to be done in this wide, lovely world God has created and while this tired old Mama is past her prime for adventure, she would thrill at the chance to live vicariously and experience the world through your beautiful blue eyes.

You have my blessing, My Precious One, to explore.  If your journeys take you across the backyard, the country, or the sea, I will allow it.  I have seen the benefit in myself of the dips into other cultures, the excitement of new places and I yearn to share that same sense of exploration with you.   I want for you great meals in beautiful places with exciting people and great pictures.  I want you to carry around in your pockets a bevy of unexplainable stories.  I wish for you epic walks, lost afternoons, wrong turns, happy accidents and the ability to savor the journey, not just the destination. 

I am hopeful we will travel together someday to places both old and new.  I will gratefully revisit places that I've once been along side you and the rest of our sweet family for the joy of seeing it fresh again while you all take it in for the very first time.   This I yearn for from the bottom of my Gypsy Momma's Heart. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Love Notes for my Littles: For Baby E- 3.20.14, 2:30 am

Hey, 2:00 am... We have to stop meeting like this--  or maybe not just yet, as my sweet little man nurses by my side.  Parenting trends will come, and parenting trends will go, but as I hold my little son close to me, I'm hard to convince that God didn't make that sacred space-- right in the crook of my arm, right next to the good stuff but close enough for me to lean down my head and kiss those delicious baby lips-- just for mamas and babies to revel the night away, sharing snuggles and slumber.  It's our own private space... A tiny nighttime soirĂ©e for two where we dance and you swoon "Muk-drunk" from your long and sweet meal.

It's so tempting to snuggle on and drift away to dream land as I hold your sweet soft weight and breathe you in.  But, I'll bow to my need for sleep and lessons learned from your big Sissy (stories for another day) and eventually put you in your bassinet.  You're separate but equal, still close enough to hold hands should you wake at night with a sweet dream or a little cry (what do babies dream about when they laugh in their sleep?), but Momma would be a liar if she didn't admit to sometimes holding you sleeping next to her for a little longer than absolutely necessary, as these quiet little moments are sanctified by God, and are surely His precious gift to me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Love Notes for my Littles: For W- 3.19.14, 5:30 am

In the wee, small hours of the morning, your smaller voice echos across the hall.   A silly song and something else that you find very funny bubbles out of you and then we hear "pat-pat-pat" across to your door where you enact your greatest and most diabolical weapon to date against the hearts of your mom and dad... the mornful, sweet-as-sugar, "Daaddeee."

Like on a string, your "Daaddeee" comes to you from his warm deep sleep and sets you free and you come in on your pad feet, the sweetest sound ever, to the side of our bed.  Your daddy lifts you up and you snuggle close to me.  You smell just like summertime-- your head nestled close to mine... Coco Butter and Honeysuckle and Chlorine from your swim class the previous afternoon.

We lie there for a little, entwined as only a tiny child and parent can be, and wish the coming dawn away for a few more minutes.   I breathe in your summer baby smell once again and thank God for these little moments with you, when you are just my Baby and I am just a Mama who would move heaven and earth if it would hold this moment still for a little while longer.  (19 months)