Thursday, March 24, 2016

spring - six years after

I'm restless. I'm grumpy. I don't want to do anything. Or be around anyone. I can't settle down to a task. I read a few pages, then put the book down to start a load of laundry. I tidy one room, then give up because it will just be messy again in a few minutes. It takes me days to realize it's the end of March, and that's really what's affecting me.

Easter is in a few days. It's early this year, but I'm still thrown. This is the downturn. The spiral into grief, the drop in all productivity. Suddenly it makes sense to watch The Bachelor, even though I haven't watched the show in years, and don't find the majority of it enjoyable. And it makes sense to listen to songs I haven't wanted to hear for years. And it makes sense to walk around in a rage storm because everything feels meaningless without her.

Every year I think it's going to be better. Every year I think maybe I'll make it to May before it becomes so hard to function, but it's like the first day of spring flips a switch in my brain and body.

6 years.

It's going to take me a while to wrap my mind around that. And maybe that's what the problem is: every year I'm floored by the number. I need time to process how another year without my firstborn has passed.

But there isn't time. There's laundry to do, and faces to wash, and meals to prepare, and preschool, and a house to paint, and projects to complete, and life happening. Just now both kids have pulled up chairs next to me to ask what I'm doing, and get involved.

It's good to have interruption and distraction, but sometimes I want four solid weeks to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and wait for the darkness to pass.

How are we doing fellow year six moms? How about you who are on the first year? Or the eighth? How is your grief today?

Monday, March 14, 2016

the resting place {community post 3}

In my previous community posts I wrote about how God has been asking me to step into community. Even though I drag my heels and whine about being an introvert He keeps pointing out people and situations and nudging me to invite and ask. And in the process He is teaching me how I can be in community and still have solo time.

As I was switching the laundry this afternoon I was thinking about the friend I had over this morning. This is a friend I don't have to be "on" with. Aren't those the best kind?! We just parent each other's kids, serve snacks, and putter around together until it's time for her to go. Today I felt like I gave her something she needed - a place to be on a hard day - and that was nice. I can do that. I like doing that.

I want people to feel like they can come over, kick their feet up, and be. I want a sign next to our door: we don't stand on ceremony here. (And I will probably feed you. I can't seem to stop myself)

I don't know how many times God is going to ask me to open my home, but in one year I've kept up a lot of friendships, and I've started some new ones. And I am now wondering how in the world I am going to manage "the big play date" this summer. Once a year, sometime during the summer, I invite all my mom friends over. Instead of having small groups, or one mama over, I throw out an invitation to everyone. The list this year is long. Like I may have to divide it into two days long. It's incredible how saying yes to God can lead someone like me - a real, true, need a break from my kids every day to be alone - introvert.

Is God asking you to do something that makes you uncomfortable? What are you afraid to try? I had people over on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday last week! With faith and a willing heart I believe you too can do your hard thing!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

It's never possible, but I always try

I really was going to write here more. I was going to dive in, take all of the posts out of my head, and off the scraps of paper that accumulate around the house like driftwood after an ocean rocking storm, but it never happened. And I think it might not happen until the kids are a little older. If ever.

Our family is in a nice slow routine of preschool, and playdates, and church, and dinners from scratch, and learning how to be. We're mostly introverts. We like books. We love walks in the rain. The house is coming along, though the projects are endless. The dog is slowing down noticeably. I can see our time with her waning.

I have shed so much anxiety this year, but I still hold some closely. I can drop B off at preschool without a backward glance, but this afternoon when Ainsleigh was being over dramatic about trying a piece of sour kiwi I tiptoed into her room mid-nap to check her breathing. Just to make sure. Just in case. No child of mine is going to die from a random sour kiwi incident. Ha! As if I have any control over anyone's life.

J is turning a large blue rain barrel into a strawberry growing device while the kids run around in the temporary sunshine. This being March the sun is on and off stage at lightning quick intervals. I just got drenched while walking the dog, which is why I am claiming a few solo minutes with a mug of hot tea.

And just like that, my time is up. Ainsleigh is on my lap, "reading to me." Her story is, "Abby, Elmo, Abby, Elmo ..." and she would like me to name all the characters in her book she doesn't recognize. So, it was good to catch up. I'll be back ... in five weeks, or months, or years.


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