Thursday, December 9, 2010

Evening Out

This year has been an odd one for us. In more ways than one. Literally, we all had odd ages for the bulk of the year. After Maggie's birthday last week, we've evened things up a bit: Five, even numbered, and Three, still odd numbered. But I'm starting to feel the shift as we move out of this odd year.There have been other odd things happening this year. My health has been odd. Joe's job has been odd. Ice cream sales have been odd. All this oddness has added up to a pretty good serving of stress for me and my little family.

Take this little boy as an example.

He turned an odd one on the tenth day of January this year. And for the past six months or so, he seems to be hurtling himself full-speed ahead with all the energy his little boy body can muster towards becoming a two year old. People always lament about the terrible twos, but I say, give me a two year old any day over an odd one year old. But we'll just have to wait and see on that one. He's interesting, this child. I believe he was the child sent last to our family because we needed to be prepared for all the ways in which he chooses to express his joy (or sometimes sorrow) in the new and exciting things he encounters in the everyday life of a one year old. He came at a time when, I can say with some confidence, I've seen pretty much all of it. I've learned a few tricks these last 12 years about raising toddlers...I wasn't expecting to be so challenged by the last little guy who made his way into our family. But, for whatever reason, I am constantly at a loss as to how to handle the stuff he dishes out to me each day. While I say I was the most prepared for this child, I also have to admit that I am, at this point, at the least capable point of my life for handling him. So many things that used to be easy are hard now. Getting him into his car seat can be a minute long battle that leaves me tired, hurting, and even a little sweaty. A trip to the grocery store with one child would have seemed like a dream two years ago. Now, I go only when absolutely necessary, even with just the one. I don't know if it's my age, my arthritis, or him that makes it so hard...probably a combination of all three.

The other night I was putting him to bed. Somehow in all our family's recent travels and my even more recent traveling, putting Jack to bed became at least an hour long ordeal of laying on the bed in his room with him in his crib, or sometimes laying in the bed in his room with him in the bed with me, or me lying on the floor in front of his crib, talking to him until he went to sleep, and then sneaking out as soon as I could. I hate living that way. It's like a one year old is holding me hostage...and really, he is. But the other night, I was lying on the bed in his room with him next to me and I was softly rubbing his arm, in a way that he seems to sooth him. And as long as I'm rubbing his arm, he's staying quiet, and hopefully heading toward sleep. But when I take my hand away, sure that he is asleep, I hear is little voice say, "Wait,please".

Wait, Please

These are two words in his very limited little boy vocabulary. A few others are NO, Spongebob (yes, I was mortified to hear my one year old say it), Help, and Truck.
But that night, as I was lying there, trying to get him to go to sleep, thinking of all the things I had to do if I could just get myself away from this little one year old terrorist who was holding me hostage, the words that came out in his tiny little baby voice, "wait, please", took on a lot more meaning than I think he was intending. To him, his words just meant, "stay here a little while longer Mama, I'm not quite ready to let you go". But for me, I felt like the words were coming from someone else, and were really telling me to "Wait,Please Brooke". Don't hurry through this task...there is something to be learned here.

And so, during this odd year, there have been a lot of things that I'd just like to hurry up and get done with. I'd like to find some medicine that makes me stop hurting. I'd like to know one way or another where my husband will work after the first of the year. I'd like to know why people seemed to have stopped buying ice cream. But, like most things in life, I don't get the answers right away. I have to WAIT for them. But, like my one year old said, I'm tyring to "Wait, Please", meaning, slow down, take your time, look around and see what can be learned from this situation. Rely on the Lord. Let your children see you rely on the Lord. Just wait, please, and see what happens. And, just as I was lying there with that little boy who kept asking me to wait, I tried to remember to wait, please, and ENJOY the waiting. Enjoy snuggling up with a little boy who all too soon will be to cool for that. Or enjoy making a mess in my house with my children as we play a game or make a craft. Or even enjoy the uncertainty of what our lives might have in store for us. Seems a whole lot better than feeling sorry for ourselves.

So, we're starting into this busy holiday season. In fact, we're fully ensconced in this busy holiday season. In my family, we have Christmas and TWO birthdays. We have four class parties and piano and band recitals. We have church parties and work parties....our lives are pretty full. So, as I hurriedly head out for my next event, I'm going to try and "wait, please". To enjoy the season around me and to give thanks for the reason we celebrate it.

And thus ends the longest blog post with the smallest word to picture ratio.

I'll be back soon...we had some pretty good fun at my house when a little girl who lives here had a birthday and celebrated double digits. And I know we're going to have some pretty good fun in a few days when a certain boy at my house turns eight and celebrates all that comes with that. So much to look forward to...not to hurry up and get through, but to wait, please, and enjoy.


Alyssa Lark said...

Tell jack thanks... For reminding us to wait and enjoy. He may give you trouble sometimes but look how cute he is... And thanks to you for the middle of the night cry. (I'm awake nursing) I think jack gave you some good advice. But I hope he goes to bed easier for you soon. :)

Arya said...

All I can say is, Wow!

Thompson Family Blog said...

Brooke, your post was so beautiful. I finished reading it with tears streaming down my face. I can relate in so many ways. Thank you, thank you for sharing such tender feelings. I am going to try harder tomorrow and each day to remember that I need to not rush through but to slow down and enjoy my little ones...even if they do all have colds.

Love, Shelli