I want to be positive, tell stories about our family, and bring some laughter and joy while recording the memories we're making. But today I just want to tell the truth.
I'm sad that my baby is weaning. I'm sad for it to come to an end. I think about where I was last year, with a six week old newbie, trying to deal with some pretty intense breastfeeding issues, and it seems so far away it's like it happened to a different person. I had a good run. I should feel full. Instead I feel sort of cheated. I wanted her to be more attached and for longer. I fear it is my fault. That the stress in my life has dried me up.
I love taking photographs. Often I drive to a photo shoot tired and feeling like I have nothing to give. And then, all of a sudden, everything fades except the task at hand and I forget absolutely everything except capturing light. This is not an exaggeration. But I want to do it better. I want to push myself creatively. Yet I feel discouraged that I have so much going on I don't have enough time to devote to it. I want to teach my kids to find what it is in their life that, when they do it, they get lost in it. I want them to find what God has made them to do.
I hate cooking. I want to be one of those moms whose kids tell amazing stories about huge yummy dinners. I want to have "the best mashed potatoes" or "the best apple pie." I hear people say that cooking calms them, helps them to de-stress, and I scratch my head. What exactly about it is calming, exactly? The crowded grocery store? The chopping? The stirring? The mess? The clean up? The multiple complaints from children who think it sounds gross? What I do enjoy is making breakfast. Because when I make breakfast, I usually just make one thing, and I make it well. Grits, oatmeal, scrambled eggs...I have my methods and they are good. If every meal was scrambled eggs I think I could handle that.
And on a similar note. I feel such a large level of guilt for feeding my children processed foods like chicken nuggets or hot dogs. But if I didn't use any convenience foods, I'd be in the kitchen all day preparing meals and snacks and my children wouldn't be home schooled at all. And we've already covered my desire to be in the kitchen all day.
Let's talk about what I do love. Swinging Violet in the backyard. Reading to Juliet. Kissing Penelope goodnight. (Even though the way she must do it is quite the process and sometimes annoys me.) Hearing Cash play the piano. Watching Libby carry Violet around. Talking to Jackson about anything and everything, and telling him funny stories about himself as a little kid.
I think about the way things used to be when I was growing up. How the boom of technology has changed everything and I wish I could bury my head in the sand and pretend like terrible, horrific, things are not one click away from everything. It's not here yet, but I feel it looming. I have to navigate parenthood with no point of reference related to smart phones. Me, who didn't even own a computer until age 19, will have to teach my teenagers how to carry one around in their pocket. It makes my head explode. I don't want to raise selfish kids whose self esteem is completely skewed. I want them to know that they are worth something because of who Jesus is, not because they have a certain number of likes.
Time has changed for me. Now that I have a lot of kids and work, time passes faster and often leaves me feeling like a whole day went by and I didn't do anything, yet I was super busy all day. I don't know how to make this stop. I often want to go back to the days that I thought were so hard- when I had two in diapers and two more on top of that and literally ran around dealing with whatever destruction they left in their path. Those days were hard, but I could get everything to come to a screeching halt if I just sat on the couch with a book and started reading to them. Now, when I read, I compete. I compete with the noise of the house, I compete with other things I should be doing, and I compete with my older children who want to be the one reading. I have worked very, very hard to teach my children to read. Yet I really liked the days when I was the only reader in the house.
I am wondering if I will regret writing this. Telling the truth, writing a blog in the wee hours. But these are the hours good for writing, yet I'm so tired these are the things that come out. We are in a busy season of life. The fall always is. I am comforted by these words: "My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved, he who keeps you will not slumber." (Psalm 122:2-3) So even though I am headed to bed, God is not. He will be up all night doing his divine work. Taking care of our family and helping me, taking hold of my hand.
I write to tell the truth. I am feeling tired and busy. Home schooling and raising six kids is overwhelming to say the least. But there is a bigger truth. Children are a blessing. A heritage. They bring a deep joy found nowhere else. When I was a kid I dressed up like a mom for career day. And here I am.