Saturday, June 20, 2009

We're all in this together...

Pepper is awake most mornings by 6:30AM.

The Elders are up each night long after I go to bed.

We are working on eliminating Boo's naps to prepare him for his kindergarten schedule in the fall.

I am also participating in two Bible Studies that require daily homework. Because, ironically, I thought I would have more free time to do them in summer. And while it's true that we have less obligations, I somehow didn't foresee that I wouldn't have a waking hour a.l.o.n.e. So the only time I have found to do my homework is after 11:00 at night.

Don't get me wrong, we are having a good summer. Lots of swimming, playgrounds, games and friends. But I must also confess that all this 24-hour togetherness is making me want to crawl out of my skin a teensy bit. A fact which brings with it more than a teensy bit of guilt.

So, in short--and as if you hadn't noticed by now--Crumbs is on a summer hiatus. For my own sanity, I hope to be back soon.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Status Report - June

Sitting - On my worn out, deflated sofa and wishing we had chosen leather six years ago.

Listening to - Anne and her girlfriend on the computer in the other room. They have Casting Crowns The Alter and the Door playing. I love that CD. And even more, I love that Anne loves it.

Also Listening to - Mr. Crumbs having his nightly time with The Littles. I love that man.

Sipping - Chardonnay. It's my birthday, but it's been decidedly un-birthday like. What with it being Tuesday and all. I've have spent the day cooking and cleaning (OK, not so much cleaning) and shopping and chauffeuring like every other Tuesday. So I've been sulking. Thinking that being an adult can be kind of lame sometimes. But I do realize that the role of self-proclaimed martyr is not very becoming. So I decided to medicate my whining with wine. And it's helping.

Grateful - For all the Facebooked, emailed, snail mailed, and telephoned birthday wishes I recieved today. I feel very loved.

Happy - That I finally got to see Star Trek last weekend. It was every bit as much campy Sci-fi action as I was hoping for. I loved it!

Reading - Like crazy lately. In the last week, or maybe two:
  • Light on Snow (Typical Anita Shreve. Lovely and subtle.)
  • The House of the Scorpion (Good!)
  • The Hunger Games (Better than good. Amazing. Read it in a day.) And then, because I thought I needed to take a break from YA distopian fiction -
  • Two of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse, i.e. vampire, novels (Fun-but a bit too smutty for me. I am more of a prude than I realized.)
  • Currently reading The Third Angel. (Almost finished and still kind of 'Meh' about it)
Needing - Some book recommendations. Anyone?

Looking forward to - Thursday. My girlfriend is taking the kids for 4-5 hours so I can have an afternoon off. Going to meet my mother for lunch and then hit Shangri-La Barnes & Noble to spend a gift certificate. Which brings me back to the book recommendations. Anyone?

Also Looking Forward to - Girls Night on Friday. We are starting a study on Ephesians and having a super yummy dark-chocolate cake in my honor. My best friends. God's word. Chocolate. It doesn't get much better.

Thankful - that the sun is finally shining and the pool is finally open. Summer has officially begun...My favorite time of the year.

Not Thankful - that the sun is finally shining and the pool is finally open. I officially have no excuse not to put on a swimsuit.

Feeling Guilty - (Speaking of swimsuits) About the way I jumped ship on the whole diet/exercise thing this week. It will probably take a couple weeks for the scale to recover. The chocolate cake isn't going to help.

Worrying - About a lot of my friends lately. Friends dealing with the mortality of their parents. Loss of loved ones. Heart-wrenching problems with children. Wishing I could ease their pain.

Touched - By this song on Sunday.

May my hope also be unchanged.

Hat tip to my friend, Lisa, from whom I have shamelessly stolen the Monthly Status Report post format. Cause I know an easy post a good idea when I see one.

For Anne...

My oldest daughter, Anne, doesn't want to be a mother. This makes me sad. Oh, I know it's likely she will change her mind; she's twelve after all. But still, the fact that she sees nothing appealing in the path I have chosen feels like a failure on my part. Especially as her reason for this declaration is that my life would be much less stressful without so many children making demands of me. Apparently I have done a fine job of displaying the frustrations of motherhood but a dismal one at representing the benefits.

In some ways I can understand this. It's easy to see how the cons of having children, especially multiple children, can seem to outweigh the pros. I never have enough time or patience or money. I spend the nearly all of each day cleaning, refereeing, cooking, or chauffeuring. And really could there be a less glamorous life? I consider my self quite dolled-up if I put on makeup and blow dry my hair before leaving the house. Adult conversation is a commodity. And, sadly, it just simply is true that I am frequently overwhelmed and short tempered.

So, from the outside looking in, I can see why it would seem that I don't offer much to recommend this path I have chosen. But from Anne, who lives inside these walls, I find it heartbreaking. Heartbreaking that somehow I have failed to display the one, overwhelming, item on the other side of the scale. The thing that trumps the lack of sleep, and glamor, and privacy. The reason I signed up again and again to do this "mommy thing."

The joy.

Oh, Anne. I have failed you if you can't see it. That each and every day contains moments of joy that far outweigh anything that I ever experienced before becoming a mother. Joy that, for me, I thinkwould have been impossible to experience until I learned to love someone more greatly than myself. You and I have entered into a bit of a prickly phase in our relationship lately and I know that you know my days are not full of maternal rapture. But what I think you have missed is that in the spaces in between are moments, sometimes even just seconds, that take my breath away:

Boo and Pepper in their raincoats splashing, barefoot, in their rain. You, reading to Boo the same books I read to you. The light in The Little's eyes when you enter a room. Brando scoring a goal in a basketball game. Sitting next to you on the side of the tub while we have a lesson on how to shave your legs. The smell of Pepper's hair in the morning. The sound of you singing in the shower. The songs and adventures you create for your younger siblings. Brando wrestling with them at night. The passion you have for sharing Jesus with your friends. The voices of you and Brando talking together at night when you think we aren't listening. Sometimes just the sight of one of you, or all of you, will make my heart skip a beat. It's like falling in love. Over and over again.

So Anne, I know that it's not the path for everyone to have children. I do not presume that it's impossible to be happy without them. But if you do decide not to take that path I pray it will not be because you didn't think I found it worth it. Because, for me, the things I have had to give up have paled in comparison to what I have gained. For nothing I have ever done has made me feel less important, more scared, closer to God, and well, happier... than being your mom. And if I haven't told you, or shown you that lately...shame on me.