How is my little man one already?!? Tell tale sign of a third child, there was no eloquent post professing my love for the world to see on his actual day, rather we had a quiet day at home, a present, and some pie. We know its not because I love him any less, no, its because I probably got him the best present I’ve given to any of my children on their first birthday. I took the Facebook app off my phone, and as a result didn’t have the finger tip convenience of an immediate update. Let me tell you how much AJ cared…..
Caleb had an ENORMOUS 1st birthday blow-out. The trademark first born extravaganza had decorations, close to 30 people (including 10 toddlers) in attendance,resulted in a near aneurism for me, and a total meltdown from over stimulation for Cub. Logan got a quieter family affair with cake and a few presents, because more stuff in a 728sq foot apartment was EXACTLY what we needed at the time. Third time’s the charm, I guess. Enjoyed the peace and quiet of a small family celebration, and finally acknowledged that stuff is not what they need, our attention is ALL they really want.
It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for awhile. Cripe, the whole world appears to have been thinking about it for awhile. All those social media ads telling us to get off our phone…. which we all shared, and then scratched our head at the irony of seeing it all WHILE on our phone. I’m calling this my weaning process, its off my phone, but I still love to connect, so now its my ‘rag mag’ guilty pleasure at the end of the night when the boys go to bed, or a distraction while I’m supposed to be working. I just love seeing the little faces of so many people that I love along the messenger column of the screen, reminding me how incredibly FULL my life is with love. I love the communities I’m a part where I can vent mama frustration, ask raw questions about our faith, find encouragement, humor, prayer, and so much more. However, I’m pretty sure I don’t need it 24/7, and the easy phone access is just too tempting!
It’s crazy thinking that just over a year ago today I was enormously pregnant, watching my newly three year old ride his bike with training wheels for the first time, teaching Cub to read as we were about to embark on our first year of Homeschool, and preparing to welcome little man into our crazy family. A year later, I’ve got a babe with 5 teeth on the verge of walking, a newly four year old making great strides in learning to ride WITHOUT his training wheels, and Cub is reading his first chapter book (over 100 pgs) all on his own.
Despite my daily freak-outs that I’m irrevocably screwing them up, we are in fact growing, learning, and making progress. It seems impossible to see, in the day to day monotony of cleaning the house 75 times, working, and arguing over who’s turn it is to pick up shoes, but by the grace of God its working. It’s such a strange reality to live suspended between loving and hating the day to day craziness of life. There is so much that seems like it will never be good enough, that my walls will constantly, CONSTANTLY, have food stuck all over them, my floor will forever be filthy, that this mess will consume me. It won’t. It seems like I have to accept this weird mom body that is 20lbs heavier than I’d like it to be and has lost ALL concept of muscle…. muscle memory… what’s that??? I had a moment of anxiety yesterday in the grocery store. AJ on my hip, hands full with the three items I had to run in for, and upon bouncing him up higher on my hip, I knew my shirt rode up with him and my bare belly was exposed. I could feel the breeze of people walking by on it, and wanted to drop everything to pull it back down, to cover up the soft pudge laced with faded purple marks. I couldn’t, and I had to be o.k. with that.
It’s a strange reality being torn between your own insecurities, and being there for someone else. For me its just another illustration of God’s perfect plan playing out in my life…. All of these situations…. the messes, the pudge, the things I see as disgusting, the things I hate about myself that make me feel inadequate…. They remain my daily reminder, as if God were saying ‘Stop. See the beauty instead. There is no shame or condemnation here, I don’t see the mess at all, I see you and the life you work hard to build, and I see beauty’. His grace is incredible…. It makes my heart calm, and my mind slow from its frantic pace, it enables a faith that makes no sense, and a joy that goes bone deep. It’s something I never got to experience until that very moment when I deserved it least, when I broke the heart of the person I love most, and it was there. I learned then that it doesn’t end, stop, get used up, or expire. It’s not just for the perfect, well behaved, do-gooder that prays day in and day out, with scripture memorized. That person doesn’t exist. It’s for me. It’s for you. It’s for anyone and everyone…. It’s for the people that don’t have anything to prove and are sick of trying, for the ones saying for the first time “enough”. It just IS…. and for that, I’m thankful.