"You're the older year old." -Juliet, today. In the bathtub.
I just closed my eyes and prayed that I could remember what it was that Juliet said that I didn't want to forget. My life is filled with things I don't want to forget. I want to hear things like bathtub conversations and sear them into my brain like a signet seal in wax.
But I'm laundering. And cooking. And *cleaning. And this week is our last week of summer so we are all making sure we have all our books and a plan for school and I can feel my sanity slipping through my fingers. I feel ashamed to be doing the one thing I beg my children no to do: complain.
If I had encountered a person like myself, six kids, starting her 9th year of home school (10, if you count pre-K) I would look at myself and think "She totally knows what she's doing." But now, being that person, I can tell you with 100% certainty that I have NO idea what I'm doing and I'm just moving forward and praying that I don't make any huge mistakes and that my children learn enough to stave off the guilty conscience I fight to quiet so I can sleep at night.
You become numb to the pain. Dealing with the noise, chaos, and mess of being together all day every day is like a prima ballerina on pointe. Her toes may be bleeding and calloused, but she doesn't even feel it anymore. In a good way. The end result is shockingly beautiful.
Lately I've been trying to figure out how I became lazy and messy. And I realized. It's because my life is full of things I have to do. So when I have the chance to let something wait until later, I usually do. Because trying to stay on top of everything all the time is only possible if I don't sleep, don't eat, and spend 24 hours a day reminding my children to put away what they got out and clean up what they messed up.
And then there's the baby. Such a wonderful picture of God's graciousness to His children. Bringing everyone around such JOY. But growing up and making me realize I'm almost done with babying. I've been babying for nearly 14 years. I love babying. I want to baby forever. I know life will go on. But I've had a baby on my hip for a long time. I love the feeling. I am thankful for the babying.
I want to write more blogs. I want to have time to craft a balanced essay of deep thoughts and humor and comedic blurbs about life as a mom of six. But I feel like what used to be an ability to serve up steak has turned into leftover hamburger helper. (Which is like fresh hamburger helper only super more gross.) I am afraid my brain has been fried by my iPhone. That I have become a robot who charges her batteries by watching screens instead of eating good food or digesting God's Word.
And yet deep inside I believe the promise that "He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it." And somehow this continues to happen, despite myself. I want to teach my children the truth, the right parts of life. I know it's going to happen mostly by my example. By my example in the mundane tasks of laundry and food prep. I want to be an example of someone who knows I'm just a mist that vanishes. I am, after all, the older year old around here. Lord, help us all.
I love my kids so much it hurts inside. I am truly looking forward to a wonderful home school year and a daily grind that brings us closer to each other and makes us more like Jesus. Bring on the mess. And may grace abound.