With growth comes change.

Monday, December 8, 2014

I haven't written in awhile.
And now I'm filled with words, so time to get them out there.
(My mom will be happy about this.)
So here we are.  Some things haven't changed.
Bed time is still super fun, despite the older ages of my children.

(It's not.  I'm being sarcastic.)
There are still demands of re-tucks and fresh water cups and I can't sleeps and I'm not tired yet.

You only said one prayer!  And how come Jack gets to stay up?!
I could meditate all damn day on inner peace, compassion and love and still have zero patience or tolerance for any one of my children when 9:30pm rolls around and they're still not asleep.

I still haven't adjusted to my 8-year-old staying up later than me, so she can finish a book.
The days of early bedtimes and tucking everyone in before WE go to sleep, are slowly, slowly dwindling.  Which I don't like.  Not one bit.
All minor grievances of child raising, that linger in our home.

With all the new growth comes a deep inner, longing for the past.
I can't remember the last time I wiped dirty cheeks or sticky hands clean with a wash cloth.
Or went an entire Saturday with my children home, playing near me.
(The neighborhood friends trump mom and dad now.)
We're just days away from getting rid of the little step stools that climb to the sink to help short legs reach little hands to the faucet.
And I'm driving babysitters home.  

Just yesterday I was the uncomfortable teen in the back seat being driven home by a parent, and now I'm the one driving that teen, making awkward conversation.
It's weird. 
In the blink of an eye,
we've gone from Star Wars briefs to full-blown man boxers and twenty minute showers? 
What in God's name is going on in there?
I don't want to know.
Lego's slowly being replaced with electronics.
BIG things are taking up space. . .saxophones and ski's,
piano lessons and more homework.
And they are chewing gum, flossing teeth, pouring cereal, milk and juice.
Doing it all themselves, without me.
It fills me with pride but is too much. . .all this growth:)
But life is happening.  It's moving.
There were a boatload of mosquitoes and thick heavy air, 
and now there's snow.
Our annual summer get-a-way to Ely (my favorite of all time,)
was chock full of fishing and skinny dipping (not performed simultaneously,)
and is now a distant memory.
Life is so funny like that.
Very little time can pass, but SO much can change from moment to moment.
Summer came to a close all too quickly, like it usually does.
I watched my baby, you know, that little one I just brought home yesterday from the hospital,
do a mini triathlon with his best bud.
But my baby, he did SO great.
Not a lick o' training other than his daily bike rides to and fro and a few push ups before the race.  That's kinda' how he does things.  Half-assed.
And it nearly killed me.
I seem to become absorbed in most of the events of motherhood the same way,
completely overwhelmed and overly emotional.  
It's not healthy.
Witnessing this milestone in his life like all others, hardly able to handle the excitement and fear as I watched him swim the length of a small pond.  
Every thought anchored with dread. . .
What if he drowns?  What if someone can't see him?  What if he gets too tired?  What if he has an undetected heart problem and dies while he's running?!  He's not that great a swimmer!  Why did I say he could do this?!?!  
(And head spins off.)
I WISH, oh I WISH I was not a dramatic person (and what's funny is I don't act this way outwardly. . .it's all internal dialogue.)  
But it's ridiculous and robs me of that precious joy in the moment.
Needless to say, this is my M.O.  One I'd REALLY like to ditch before I've hit Menopause, at least.
Regardless, this was a highly emotional summer for me.
A time where (more than ever,) time seemed to pass too quickly for my liking.
The great anticipation of Charlie going to Kindergarten and having an empty house,
I looked forward to as much as I dreaded.
And of course, like 98% of the anticipated moments I have found myself in in life, 
wasn't nearly what I'd made it out to be in my mind.
Charlie joining the ranks of other nervous 5-year-olds and their new backpacks, 
was almost a non-event.
I was more traumatized to find out that day, that Gracie's best friend was going to be moving away.  That nearly brought me to my knees with despair.
(Again, sorry.  Dramatic.)
Gracie's best friend moving away was so sad for me, but Gracie handled it like a champ.
Finding out our mail lady was retiring (who I barely knew, by the way,)
I thought was going to send me in to a nervous breakdown.
Clearly none of what is happening now is about hating saying goodbye, 
but learning to let go of things we thought would always be. 
And I am in a major season of change here.
It has become daily work to re-teach myself based on my own unraveling,
that life is shifting every second.
I know deep down, our suffering occurs when we refuse to grow and change and accept what is.  We allow our over-emotional states to become the end, all of our decisions and ability to move forward suffocated by our tense hold.
I don't want to suffer anymore.  It steals so much beauty from what is here right now.
(More on that Dharma talk later.)
As I continue to work on these parts of myself, I reminisce.
We took a last minute mini-vacay to seal up the summer,
where I studied my children closely.
The beauty of being hyper-sensitive and overly aware of time and space, 
is my ability to absorb everything.  
Like with a photographic memory, only I don't think I have that. . .just with faces and people, not with like, math or world history facts.
Faces, emotions, backgrounds, scents. . .I take it all in and remember it like I was right there.
And of course, with the help of my camera, I have hope I (and they,) will never forget this precious life lived and how loved they were.
I watched them come together and ENJOY each others' company, the best they could.
Let's use "tolerate" instead.
I've watched friendships between them be made and some new ones develop.
The past few months, I've watched fears be conquered.
Their's. . .

and always, some more of my own.
I've watched them move OUT of the cart, out of a lot of things, actually. . .
out of velcro and in to laces they can tie themselves,
out of cartoon character backpacks, to more "cool" school accessories. 
I've watched my daughter fall in to lip gloss and cable knit sweaters,
(I can hardly stand it, my baby girl, no longer a baby.)
I watched my boy dance with girls OTHER than me.
Feeling oddly protective yet wanting to play it cool and let him do his own thing
and try to dance with those long, lanky, awkward legs of his.
Pride and joy in his beautiful soul trying so hard, nearly tore me apart and made me so proud.
I watched an even smaller boy shirk his responsibilities as the staple ring bearer in a wedding, because he was just too afraid to be seen.
And remind him (and myself,) that that's ok.
Sometimes we're just not ready and fear gets the best of us and we just need more time to develop our confidence.
It was a summer of SO much growth and exploration outdoors but also of understanding  our own inner worlds and the inner workings of others.
It lead to a Fall of gratitude and appreciation and the continued lesson and reminder that again, our landscape is and will always be changing.

Now, in this Winter phase of the year,
my days are spent flying solo.
I am teaching a little more Yoga and have immersed myself in intense teacher training,
not just to be able to offer more to help others in their own struggles,
but to figure out what to do next with mine.
Despite the busy-ness, I'm feeling full AND a little lost, all at once.
Without a little person to care for at home all day, I feel disoriented.
Although I've never had a problem staying busy or passing time,
navigating this new territory of all my children in school and how to best spend my days, 
(oh, don't get me wrong, it's quite magical,)
is so. . .different. 
I have no other word for it.
It feels like the end of something. 
And despite my connection with other people throughout the day,
But the hours and the days always fly quickly and I am brought back in to a role that is comfortable and feels like home for me. . .
So I just keep trying to live by the example of my children who seem to "get it" so easily, 
that the only thing you have to do is what's in front of you right now.  That's it.
To assuage my sadness for time passing and longing for little babies to nurture, 
I have so much to be grateful for.
They are still small.
Jack still loves to snuggle and asks for hugs hourly and loves being next to me.
Grace still wants me to sing her to sleep and take her on errands, just the two of us.
Charlie has a world on Minecraft he has lovlingly named "Buttcheek" and is comfortable sharing that with me because he knows I'll laugh and won't scold him.
And I just can't help myself but to make their beds every day if they don't.
Because, for me, it is what I know and where my life, thus far, has found comfort and felt called to.
I am still very aware of my tense grip to hold on to what is already gone,
and continuing to practice accepting what is and letting go of the rest.
That despite MY feelings of being stuck,
I am always growing too, even if it doesn't feel like it.
That every new day we are blessed to rise with the sun,
and now, greet this new season of snow,
be met with their sleepy, morning faces and their excitement for what lies ahead, 
is another day we are beyond blessed to have them and learn from them and grow with them.
I have to remember that even though they are growing and leaving, 
their little lives are forever etched in to our souls.
Growing and moving beyond the confines of this life at home, 
for even bigger and grander things.


Katie Oliveira said...

Beautiful writing. Always enjoy reading your blog.

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