Thursday, March 11, 2010


Was it keys, spare change, an ear-ring? I had just returned from dropping Carter off at preschool, placed my hands in my coat pockets as I walked from the car, and felt something metal. MatchBox airplane. Melt my heart moment. A symbol of what I spent so long hoping/dreaming/praying (and paying a doctor) for.

Cheerios all over the car, the house that never stays clean (I mean n-e-v-e-r), a new blouse that becomes someone's handkerchief (while I'm wearing it), an over-tired child in the middle of an aisle, stiff-legged being loud, very loud, with displeasure about being at the grocery store(yes, this did happen once. okay, twice.)—these are also signs of what I wanted/hoped/longed for. And it's wonderful, actually—I like and laugh about the Cheerios thing, and I learn from the others. What stands out even more are requests for "little hug, Mama?" or dancing the "hopping dance" in the kitchen, or pointing up to show me a nest in a tree at the park. I get happy, like beaming happy, when my kid eats heartily, and even wants more. When he pees on the potty. Or tells me he'd like to paint with "dark blue" next. Dark blue, not just blue, uh-huh, that's right, my son the genius! When he shares a favorite toy with a friend. When he races his race-cars on the train track.

It feels right, for me, to be at home with this little person. For this season. What feels right for most of my friends, is working, and it really is right for their families. For many, it makes family-time more treasured. I'm also mindful that there are countless moms, or dads, who'd like to be home and don't have the choice--I know to value just having the option as a gift. While, I'm pretty confident about where I want to be, I feel pressure to validate my decision. To combat that, I have been a volunteer/fund-raiser/member for maybe one too many causes, boards or committees. I've also tried to be an at-home chef extraordinaire, and attempted to create the most awesome at-home kid activities. All good things. Totally important. But, for me, all things to be done with balance, and not to justify a choice that I really needn't pressure myself to justify.

Antidote? Still figuring that out, and learning what to say yes to, and when to decline, and I hate that learning curve... But more so, I think it's simply cherishing this precious time, the blissful mingled with the melt-downs, the laughter and the runny noses, Jeff reading bedtime stories to our babe and the sleepless nights, bright new days (or "Sunny Day!" as Carter exclaims) and also the days of running on empty and caffeine. It's looking forward to the next stages, but not wishing the current one away. And decidedly, purposefully embracing the ordinary...finding in it, extraordinary joy.

These are the moments,
I thank God that I'm alive,
These are the moments,
I'll remember all my life.

—Edwin McCain

Tangible hope. A great way to send it:

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