Saturday, July 26, 2014

gentleness

Can we all agree that Faith Hill’s song “A Baby Changes Everything” is really annoying? Part of me sort of likes singing it dramatically alone in the car during Christmastime, but the other part of me wants to saw my ears off. Which would be great because then I would not have to hear “Christmas Shoes” either, and I am not kidding, that song is the bane of my existence. My very long list of problems with it is best left to another blog post. I only bring up Christmas songs in July because “A Baby Changes Everything” is quite likely the truest statement in the world. I catch myself saying it nearly every day, and then inevitably the song gets stuck in my head, and there I go again, cursing Faith Hill.

But it’s true. Wanting a baby and then having that baby has changed things for me. And when I say that, I don’t mean that I know more than people who aren’t mothers. That’s an annoying sentiment, and I hope I never come across that superior. What I mean is that I am realizing things that non-mother me could never quite grasp. I heard Adelaide’s heartbeat for the first when I was eight weeks pregnant, and I cried and cried. Her person-ness! It floored me. When she was born, it was the same thought—wow, this person! Now I often realize the other heartbeats around me. Beating hearts I often hurt or overlook. Every bit as wonderful as my Adelaide. I am so aware of Adelaide’s value, so aware that she is fearfully and wonderfully made, so in awe of the way she reflects her Creator, that I am seeing you differently. 

Friends, you are so very precious. You are so very miraculous. You are so very wanted. You are so very beautiful.

And the more I see you—precious, miraculous, wanted, beautiful friends—and the more I listen, the more I realize: We are carrying around such burdens. Oppressive, scary gargoyles that bring fear and worry and threaten to crush us.

Since we’ve had Adelaide, I have been stunned by the number of brave people who were strong enough to trust a new mom/idiot/head case with their fears and their worries. Why did I not see you before? Who am I still not seeing? The burdens are gargantuan. The hurt are walking among us, looking okay on the outside and Instagramming like a champ yet crumbling within.

Let’s be gentle with one another.

Because one of us just found out that she’s unexpectedly expecting. She’s terrified. Pregnancy has made her more vulnerable than she thought possible.

Because one of us has been trying to have a baby, but it’s not happening. She feels forgotten. She battles tears at unexpected moments, and her husband doesn’t quite understand. They’re in it together, but more often than not there’s loneliness in that struggle.

One of us just spent another night up with a crying baby, desperate to figure out what that sweet child needs and how she can provide it. She feels physically exhausted but it’s the mental battle that weighs the most. The still darkness of night is not a reprieve but a chasm between her and the rest of the world. She feels helpless. Alone.

One of us can’t sleep because every noise, every thought, every Facebook post is an opportunity to fear one of the many things that can threaten her child’s safety. The responsibility of caring for that sweet child nearly smothers her sometimes. (This is me. I cry about it in the shower. Dear Lord please protect my girl.)

One of us feels overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood. She reached out for answers and was met with judgment. She wanted to feel support from others that are in her shoes, but now she’s more lost than ever. She worries she’s the only one who doesn’t know what she’s doing.

One of us has made it through some tough roads with her kids. She started out afraid and vulnerable, but she desperately wants to leave that girl in the past. Now she comes on strong—a little too quick to give advice. A little too quick to make another mother feel small. A little too harsh. She clings to thinking in absolutes because it makes motherhood less scary. But even with the walls, she’s scared.

One of us can’t bear the sight of a newborn baby because the sting of her miscarriage is still so real. Yes, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, the name of the Lord be praised,” but the hurt—it remains, sharp as a knife.

One of us feels weighed down by the daily humdrum of motherhood. She makes a hundred tiny sacrifices and attends to a hundred tiny needs day in and day out. Still, there’s not much to tell and there’s not much to show for it. It feels insignificant.

One of us has a past and carries around the weight of it every day, convinced that God won’t forgive. Or that he can't forgive. Or that she's not worth forgiving. (But she is, and He can, and He does.)

We are battling scary things. We are hurting big hurts.

I didn’t see you before, but I do now. And you’re wonderful.

All I know is this: 
We are usually kind when we know others need it. But be better than I have been--be kind even when we're not sure that others need it. The wounded walk among us, beating hearts that have unspeakable value. Let's be gentle with one another.

Monday, July 14, 2014

susan

I passive aggressively have not been grocery shopping so that we’ll be forced to eat out, but Husband caught me, and like the submissive and gentle lamb that I am, I went to the grocery store, and then I cooked. Afterwards I bragged about it for an hour and ran a victory lap around the house screaming “COOL RUNNINGSSSSS” while I made Husband play “We Are the Champions” on his phone. But now my visions of Olympic Gold have fizzled because I have to clean the kitchen, and I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS. Also a man ran up behind me and hit me in the knee, and I crumbled to the ground in my white ice skating costume and cried because I might miss the Olympic trials. But really very nearly 2% of this paragraph is true, and you should know that I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries.

Because blog posts need pictures right? Also I used a filter for no reason.



Besides Tonya Harding, the main problem is that I bought all these vegetables, and I can’t remember where I’m supposed to put them. So far tonight, I’ve googled “where to store avocados” and “where to store onions” and “where to store peppers” and I assume you’re catching on and that I don’t need to continue. I already forgot the google answers, so everything is just on the counter and I’m ignoring it and writing a meaningless blog post that is making both you and me a little more stupid. It’s just that I get these big bursts of LAZY and feel I have no choice but to sit on top of the laundry I’m supposed to fold. When will that baby develop more fine motor skills anyway because I could use a little help. (And that sentence started as a question and ended as a statement. And if you think I’m going to change it that means you have a few reading comprehension issues because the theme of this post is LAZY.)

Last week my siblings and I yelled at a lazy susan like, “SUSAN!!!!!!!!!! PASS THE SALT!!!!! SUSAN!!!! YOU ARE SO LAZY!!! SUSAN!!!!” and we thought we were hilarious. But you know I still think it’s funny and really very therapeutic.

In conclusion, here sits Susan, atop a pile of laundry, ignoring a pile of dishes in the sink, and writing meaningless dribble for no apparent reason.

The end.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

clean freak

What is this stuff for? I do not know.

Oh lookie here, baby stops fussing when I run the vacuum cleaner. She likes the hum of it. She’s a weirdo. An adorable little weirdo, and I love her to bits. She loves me, too, I think, but this I know: She loves the vacuum. This is God’s way of saying, I’M SERIOUS CAROLINE, CLEAN YOUR HOUSE. Because I am very passive about the whole thing. Like, bleh, I have a baby, so people say I don’t have to clean! And sometimes that advice is spot on, and sometimes I know I’m milking it. Because I complain about cleaning a lot for a person who owns machines that do all the hard work. Like washing dishes. I despise it. First I have to put them in the dishwasher (BLECH! Such effort required) and then later, I have to take them out. (This is the worst part). And sometimes I just CANNOT do that last part, so I just leave them there until I can’t remember if they're clean or dirty. GOOD NEWS guys, they make a dishwasher magnet for that now, so that bums like me do not forget! Unless you forget to flip over the magnet. Which I guarantee I will do if I purchase that magnet. So I won’t. Unless it’s on sale somewhere. Or exceptionally cute. Probably with the right polka dots I will buy a few of them.

I feel bad for the dishwasher actually. What a thankless job. We should not even discuss the time when I came close to demanding that my husband buy me a Roomba. Like, yes, I know the vacuum cleaner is doing all the actual dirt-sucking, but I have to WALK IT AROUND everywhere, and sometimes the automatic cord thing gets tangled, and I cannot deal. Here, Amazon, take $600 and give me a machine that can walk itself around. WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO EMPTY IT EVERY DAY. I will never remember this. Forget it Amazon, you trickster. Call me when there’s a machine that walks itself around my house to pick up dirt and can ALSO walk itself to the trash can and empty itself. CALL ME THEN. No, no, nevermind, call me when the machine can do all that AND move the clothes from the washer to the dryer because THAT, that moving of the clothes, that is true suffering.


Maybe if I wait long enough maybe my baby will grow up, and I’ll be forced to teach her responsibility by giving her chores to do. Yes, because see it’s not a passive aggressive way to get out of doing these things myself. It’s PARENTING. Good parents like me know that what kids today need is a hard day’s work! To learn some good old fashioned responsibility and develop a work ethic! Otherwise we’ll be left with a bunch of lazy bums who depend on their iPhones to do their work for them. I mean, KIDS TODAY.