Motherhood: Doozies and New Days

Today might have been the hardest day of this almost-18-months of motherhood that I’ve experienced yet.

Ailey and I have both been epically sick, so much so that Trent had to stay home one day this week with the two of us, for which I am eternally grateful. Even as I type this, she and I are alternating coughing fits. It’s been a real party. In addition, tiny lady is teething four molars and at least a pair of eye teeth, which apparently is no walk in the park, although I do not remember my own experience.

A lot of mothering is just getting to know your kid, and to be honest, a year and a half isn’t that long to know someone. Ailey and I have a lot more to learn about each other. I’m so thrilled that we get to do this together, and today was one of those days that teaches me that we still have a ways to go. Hey, idiot, you don’t actually know it all. Don’t we all need a reminder of that every so often?

So, there were no major tragedies in our house today, but we just couldn’t get on the same page. There was a lot of crying and a lot of snot and exactly zero naps. Then, all of a sudden, it was bed time and I stayed downstairs while Trent read books and brushed teeth and listened to the whole delightful thing over the baby monitor. I married such a good one, who reads the same book over and over in silly voices, and asks a tiny girl if she wants to pray with him before she sleeps and then waits for her to say ” ‘men” to end the prayer. 

Then, all the frustration of the day leaks away with the rainwater pounding windows outside and I’m reminded that even these rough days count. This is it–our life–and it’s a good one. We are growing and learning together, and even when it’s hard, it’s so good.

I walk the dog before heading upstairs for the night and realize I actually need a rain coat. It’s pouring, which is rare here, and I love it. There’s a bunny seeking shelter under a tree and we’re walking in the rain, which is washing us and the world around us new for tomorrow.

how to be nice when other people are not

I am working on being understanding and compassionate, even when the circumstances don’t warrant it lately, and I probably will be for the rest of my days here in this body of mine.

So far, it’s not going great.

I have been so angry and hurt and bitter and grumpy.

I, extreme extrovert, lover of people, have cut myself off, stayed in a licked my wounds, bunkered down with my immediate family (and books for nap times), and just let it all fester.

All of this behavior, I think is reasonable for a time, especially because I haven’t let it negatively affect other people and haven’t projected it or imposed it upon anyone, but I have been so angry. And the thing is, is that I can’t stay this way.

There is life to be lived and people to be loved and relationships to be rekindled and I will not be angry anymore.

I will choose to believe that people act in ways that aren’t nice because sometimes the world is mean, and life is hard, and we make mistakes. We can only move forward and forgive, or it’s not going to be much a life at all, is it?

And I am going to live.

she who grows 

These past few nights have been rough, short sleeps punctuated by tiny cries from a tiny, sick little lady. We fall back asleep intertwined, with a little toddler body sleeping soundly strewn across mine and I am weary.

So physically exhausted and wmitionly tried, hurting on behalf of my sick baby, sicker than she’s ever been in her short life.

And I think about the woman I was before I was a mother, whose only sickness of concern was her own, whose sleeping (and eating, and overall being) came on her own terms. I remember her a little fondly and a little knowingly, the way you think of someone younger who has still has a bit of naïveté tucked neatly under her belt.

It’s not that we need to be mothers to mature, but it’s one of the many experiences in life that grows you quickly if you let it. This tiny one needs me and doesn’t understand her body’s revolt. The shocking fact that I’m in charge feels like a surreal slap–reality crashing into me as I rub my baby’s back and coo soothingly that “this will pass.” 

And maybe I could remember the woman I was before with a little envy, too. There are days like that, if I’m being honest. She who was free and untethered, who slept when she wanted and did what she chose.

Instead, I am choosing now to grow, to pour into another life, and make this less about me. I know another tiny lady who will grow better because of this choice.

And I’m praying for grace and wisdom as we grow, she and I, realizing I have less of those traits than the woman I was thought, but chasing after them anyway.

And here we are.

snow day//reset

We’ve gotten about a foot of snow over the last few days, which is oddly the most snow accumulation that we’ve had since I’ve lived in Colorado. The weather is just not what it seems to the rest of the country here in the foothills of Colorado. In the winter, it snows frequently, so it’s commonplace, and life goes on, but the next day the sun will come back out and melt away all of what happened the day before. It never lasts, and things rarely close or even pause.

But more than a foot of snow over a weekend is enough for a few things to shut down and for us to consider ourselves really truly snowed in. And it’s been great. Isn’t it refreshing for your soul to take a breather from being busy and just stay inside for the whole weekend? Throw open the blinds and watch the snow cover everything in white, and just take a moment for yourself. Or a few moments.

Today, on our last day of respite, Ailey woke up with a nasty cold/fever combination, so we’ve been in rest and recuperate-mode even moreso. We’ve been mending and hoping to contain the germs, but also just enjoying this much-needed slower pace. It’s hard to stop and take a moment to slow down when the circumstances don’t require it, but when they do, isn’t it great?

So, I’m thankful for the weather, and for the warmth of our home while it happens, and for a break.

a love story // 002

It happens quickly; the stereotypical whirlwind, this romance.

They are dreaming big and living small; far richer in time than money, which they’ll realize later is just downright wealthy.

They hold hands in the dark, fingers intertwined and talk about forever, which stretches far and away, the ludicrously distant future.

Their right now is filled with “one days,” and sometimes they forget to just enjoy the moment as it passes. But they’re learning each other’s ways and ever-shifting and changing. They’re making room for each other and rubbing off some rough edges. There’s beauty in the preparation to join one life with another.

He is strong and steadfast and she is flighty and fresh and together they move forward, coaxing the best out of each other.

reason number 657 why I love motherhood

Ailey is 16 months old nowadays, which means she is a hilarious, adorable, totally illogical, crazy toddler. I get that I’m biased, but hanging out with her is a trip.

She’s slowly amassing her vocabulary, which boasts some doozies like dog, mama, dada, and ball. Watch out, Mensa.

She’s even more adept at understanding what we say, which means we can ask her to do things and sometimes it works! I don’t know why this feels like such a huge, amazing accomplishment, and it may be because she’s our first child, but we have been in total awe of the fact that she’s old enough to go get things for us in other rooms. Seriously, minion, where have you been all of my life?

This weekend, she toddled past me, and as is wont to happen, she reeked. Clearly something major had happened in the diaper department. Trent was reading (read: playing Tricia Crack) on the couch a few feet away from us, so we both watched as I asked her to go into the bathroom and get a diaper. She totally did it!

We did that annoying thing parents do where they cheer for their kid for doing normal human activities and told her what a good job she had done, clapping feverishly. Then, I asked her for the diaper so I could change it and she held up the diaper, pointed right to Trent, and yelled “dad!!!!”

Then, she toddled right on over to him and handed him the diaper.

I’ve never been more proud.