Friday, March 12, 2010

Rain rain make my wondering mind go away

Yesterday I spent the perfect morning and lovely {treated} lunch with one of my dearest and oldest friends. We moved a few times in my childhood so I don't have too many of those "we went to kindergarten" or "we were in the same 3 year old swim class" type close friends so this friend is truly one of my oldest - by time spent together not by age. The last 11 of my almost 30 years I have had my perspective and experiences heightened by this one friend and I am better for it - and I think she is, too. Anyway, there is something about being with someone that has known you in past stages {wondering lost as a freshman at UGA among a sea of pretty faces and seemingly much smarter and more accomplished people to yet again, wondering around Atlanta as a young professional trying to figure out what the real world was all about to years of career confusion} that just makes my mind start wondering and longing. The rain doesn't help matters. A few days of rain makes you think the sunshine might not ever come out again and makes for ample time to just dream and just long.

I long for simpler days and I know even in saying that there aren't simpler days to be found on this side of heaven. Somehow, looking back at past stages that I went through seemingly unscathed - makes me not remember the struggle or challenges that that season presented. I know many people right now would tell me that my life will never be more simple. I stay at home with a crawling little person - not yet walking all over and not yet talking every waking second. I don't have to wake up and be anywhere that requires me to get out of my pajamas. I have a hard-working, easy-going husband who really doesn't expect alot of me but an occasional dinner, and a smile when he comes home. We don't yet have a mortgage or college to pay for and everyone in both of our families is healthy. I am so grateful for all of the above but I still often feel paralyzed by my own inability to enjoy the present.

Last night after Brad had put the eating machine to bed I sat in the living room and with a few tears told Brad I really didn't want Brooks to get older. I can't imagine that one day we will only have our baby to look at in pictures rather than to actually hold on our chest. I can't imagine that one day his innocent attempts to "talk" will actually turn into real words and one day - those words could just hurt me or Brad. Mr. Brooks brings me so much joy throughout my apparently uncomplicated days. I love toting him around town as I attempt to busy my day and I love even more our alone time at home that no one else will ever know or experience - despite my attempts to document the good, bad, and ugly on here. Nothing else can make me naturally smile - without forcing it - the way Brooks does.

I say that and then in the very next paragraph I will say this. It is hard. Being a mom, in my case, a stay at home mom is a sacrifice. A few of you come to mind because you do this job with grace and whether it may not be the full story - I read your blog, I see your pictures and I often think that I am just not as good of a person because I do doubt. While 45% of my day is spent just giggling with the little guy {and not believing there will be another one to follow} the other portion is spent longing. I long for our short first 9 months of marriage where we would thoughtlessly leave the condo at 8:30 at night for the walk around the neighborhood - just Brad and I and the famous dog - chatting about what a family of children might feel like, where we would vacation next, and what shirt we were eyeing at JCrew. I long to be unfulfilled at my last real job because even though I was unfulfilled I don't remember that part - I remember the lunches with adults and the camaraderie with the fun people I worked with and wearing a suit and feeling like I had something to offer. I long to live in the Terrace with 3 other supposedly carefree girls while we cared about boys and their attention or lack there of - but we had a fun time all the while.

I don't long for any of this because it is any better than this season now. I know me so I know that when these two little kids are in grade school I will long to be less than 30 again- carrying around just one inquisitive little man. I think many of us would agree with this - life seemed more easily swallowed when there were less responsibilities yet I know it was not as rich either. I don't think anyone ever says we are ready to have little humans constantly under our watch so that we can constantly worry about them or atleast constantly have a hand on them thus allowing us never to have a "selfish" moment again. Nope, because even though sometimes that is how it feels being a mom [or a dad] the reward far outweighs the work. I look at my mom and my sweet mother in law. Oh my goodness, there isn't a thing in the world they wouldn't do for the very people that exhausted them, at time brought them to tears, and ultimately stole their last minute of uninterrupted-worry free sleep! At times I want to be there - in my glorious 50's just watching the successes and smiles of the children I gave my life to with a joy that can not be matched. But then again, I don't want to miss these moments. I don't want to miss Brooks laying his head on my shoulder as I walk him up the stairs at night singing Amazing Grace. I don't want to miss his toothless grin when he spots me from the babysitters hip as I come to pick him up at the nursery. I don't want to miss the belly laugh that has any other belly laugh beat. I think the more substantial the baby belly the more substantial the baby giggle.

I just need some older/wiser women to tell me it is worth it and it is hard. It isn't as perfect as everyone's pictures always seem. Being a parent is a sacrifice. What Brad would give, he says, to walk out the door at night to walk around the block and hold my hand the way we used to - just leaving Brooks to the watchful eye of the Amos dog. What I would give to just get in the car sometimes and drive to the store without the constant inclination to occupy the little ones mind in the back seat. Actually, I would probably give a lot of money but then when I was out by myself or as we walked around the corner we would both desperately miss the little guy that takes everything from us but gives us everything in return. Like I said, I am just needy and needing a daily message of affirmation that it IS hard and it IS selfless and it IS exhausting but it IS worth every ounce of sometimes frustration or tiredness - every single ounce.

I am grateful that God, my father in heaven, doesn't leave me with the dog when he gets a little tired and needing some space. Instead He seems to come closer and assure me that His love is unconditional and always available. I am grateful, too, that I am getting just a taste of the Fathers love for His children. To be able to raise and influence just one life I know will be the most gratifying thing I will ever do. Can you imagine having the whole world in your hands?

1 comment:

  1. What a post Betsy. I am getting married in less than 3 months and this really put everything into perspective for me. I want to remember how precious these next few months and years are for us. We both want children but I am so scared for the challenges they bring. Like you, I know they will be so worth it, but I'm just a little nervous about everything I will have to give up to make it happen and be a good mom. Thanks for making me realize that everyone has those worries, and it's no cake walk, but it's worth it. And thanks for reminding me to appreciate the moment. P.s. I'm a lurker... I met you at the UGA alumni center a couple years ago. Meredith told me about your blog and I was hooked. You just tell it like it is and keep it real and I can appreciate that! P.P.S. welcome back to Atlanta!! Feel free to stop by the Atlanta Alumni Center if you want... we've moved since you came by a few years ago.