Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My little Superman...

The past couple of nights I have been seemingly more aware than usual of just how big my little Superman is getting. If you could see this guy in action {Crew is recently turned 3} you would know that he is a very intense, funny, energetic- boardering on hyper, lovable boy. He gets his mind made up very easily and there is great challenge is changing his thinking. He wakes up bounding out of bed 9 days out of 10, and still needs to be practically wrestled into a good night's sleep most of the time too.
He has very delayed verbal skills...but "talks" almost non-stop.
He loves to do things himself...but constantly wants to keep up and do things like the "big kids" here at our house.
He eats mostly yogurt, granola, nuts, cereal, toast and fruit...but would be just as happy living on chocolate chips and brown sugar lumps if I allowed it.
He knows all his colors and shapes and the alphabet.
He also knows how to turn on a remote, satellite tv, laptop computers, Angry Birds on cellphones; he can operate the Wii, DSi Nintendo games and the dvd player.
But yet he still isn't fully potty-trained.

He does things his way and in his time. Almost all the time.
It sure makes for some interesting struggles and conversations and interactions among all parties living in our home.
But we love him like crazy and he knows it too.
So in light of all of that and more, as I tucked him in bed the last couple of nights and lay down next to him to whisper and sing and calm him as he fell asleep, I couldn't help but let my heart swell over the fact that he is mine right now. I know it will feel like he has grown up too soon and he'll be finding new love someday down the road.
I pray for his future wife and soul-mate and her family who is lucky to be raising her and feeling her love right now too.
But as he wrapped his little Superman jammie arm around my neck and pulled me closer to him so he could twist his fingers in my hair, it just made me want to soak it in and savor it even more.
I am humbled and feel lucky to be his first love. I am amazed that I get to be the one to feel his arms wrapped around my neck and know that he feels so secure in my arms too. I feel honored that God has allowed me to be one of the people in his life to have to understand his speech, guide and direct his energy and try to help him maneuver his way through the early years of life, growing and learning.
I'll be honest- I go to bed worn out more often than not because of this little guy in my life. But in the moments of quiet and calm and when he races toward me with arms open wide to hug and be hugged in the morning, my heart overflows with a love like no other. I am happy to be the mom to such an amazing little superhero. I will always love the way he has captured. I hope I never forget how it feels to be hugged to sleep by this little superman.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Five days a week this is what it looks like at our house...

Wyndham gets her jacket on and Chip stops home to pick her up to take her to therapy. Teague gets a thrill out of seeing Daddy for a minute, demands a kiss, waves bye-bye and then keeps watch out the window until they are both completely out of sight.

Sometimes it seems like the "scenes" in my life will never change. I've been changing Wyndham's diapers for over 10 years now; that will likely never, ever change. She's had ongoing therapy {speech, physical therapy and occupational therapy, plus now, aqua therapy} ever since being discharged from the hospital in August of 2001. I don't foresee a change in that anytime soon either.

But the smiles she musters- even when she knows she is going to "do her work" and the persistence she has about always trying- even if she doesn't feel like it, those are things I don't think will ever change either. The fact that I get to be the one that she presses her hands against and the shoulders she leans on as she gets ready day after day today felt like a gift all over again. To know that she depends on me and looks to me and expects me to do the things she can't do for herself filled me not with a feeling of burden, or something to dread or feel pitiful about, but rather it feels like maybe this is the very thing I was created for.

Maybe it was Oprah's new show "Lifeclass" that triggered something in me for my heart to see with new eyes- even though I haven't even watched a single show. I've wondered about a "higher calling"- a greater purpose in my routine days for several years now. Today I was overcome with the thought that maybe in searching for something more, it's actually in accepting the way it is that therein lies my 'freedom'- my calling. In being less of me, I am more for someone else. In a small way it is what I think of when I imagine the hands of Mother Teresa as she held the wounded, the broken and the least of these. It was simply her presence that lifted others and made them "something". It was her willingness to sacrifice all that she became "great".

In that same- but obviously I'll never compete with the acts of such a woman- I am realizing that maybe, just maybe my being I am fulfilling more than I could ever know.

My being present.

My being love.

My being patient.

My being content.

My being baking cupcakes.

My being laundry lady.

My being disciplinary.

My being sorry.

My being content rather than seeking more.

My being open to routine, rather than feeling I need to create "splendor".

My being sensitive enough and compassionate enough and forgiving enough and hopeful enough and always willing to do or help or hold or clean or be leaned on. One more time.

Because that creates a safe place, a comfort zone, a reality for the ones who need me that there will always be enough of me for them and there will always be more for me to give when they hurt or want or need advice or feel like they are somehow missing their calling.

Maybe my calling is to be assurance to them. Or reassurance if need be.

Maybe a higher calling isn't as high as some of us are searching for. Maybe it is in being made low enough for others to grasp onto that we find that's exactly where we're made to be.

Today I feel more than I have ever felt in my life before, that my calling isn't something for me to attain, but my calling is to be a servant to others. That they might become more of who they were created to be.

When I pause and think about what an enormous task that is, I realize it is 'higher' than anything I've imagined I could be. Like the rock for someone else to stand on. Or the place for someone to fall and not get hurt. It's overwhleming to think that maybe my life's purpose is simply to help guide and shape the ones God has placed in my life so that they might become the fulfillment of themselves. It seems simple. But wow, let me tell you, the implications are enormous. I bow my head and lift the eyes of my heart and say to God, "Lord grant me what I need to do the task. To be the task. To meet the needs and dreams the way you would have me meet them."

Graciously, I hope and pray.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happiness is warm laundry on a chilly day...

I took pictures of something I have done lots and lots of times through the years. It's especially wonderful on days like the kind we had today- that start out in the 40's when you wake up and reach only into the low 50's for highs. That's chilly. It feels even cooler because we were spoiled with warmer temperatures than normal this past week. It definitely feels like fall outside now.

So my little laundry fun is well-received on days like today. As soon as a load of clothes is ready to come out of the dryer, I fill the basket and whichever kid(s) happens to be nearby they are treated to some warm laundry smothering. Today Teague was the lucky recipient. He got a blanket and Wyndham's dress wrapped around him and tossed on his head- which he promptly pulled off and laughed about.

I love to do this- and my kids all love it too- when they are just going to bed or have been settled in for a few minutes already. I love it when it's a load of bath towels too- all fluffy and fresh and piping hot. I grab the hot items out of the dryer and sometimes totally surprise them with a pile on their heads as they lay in their beds. Or sometimes I call them to come help me out for a quick minute. And when they show up I put Daddy's lounge pants and t-shirt on their heads. They laugh and scream and pull it off. And they always want more. It can get out of hand in a big hurry when one kid puts underwear on another one's head and the fun factor for that kid drops off suddenly. But the laughter and warmth and fun that comes from a dryer full of warm laundry is one I know they'll remember when they've grown and one I hope they don't outgrow too soon.

It's the little things.

I keep telling myself that.

I know it's not the things I do so right.

But the things I want them to feel good about. It's the things like laughter and seeing that even though you have to do stuff like laundry in life, you still have the choice to make it fun once in awhile. Or more than once in awhile. It's about knowing that seasons change and even with the 'cold' there is opportunity to feel warmth and create a bit of happiness along the way.

I can't help but think I'll always be glad that I let my kids play in the warm laundry and even encouraged it on cold days. Maybe this is why I love the smell of Tide so much...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Don't let this picture fool you...

This is Teague helping me sweep the floor. The fact is he's the one that makes most of the mess around here these days! I can hardly keep up with the Cheerios, dried peas and carrots and other food and toys he leaves behind throughout the day. Yesterday it was the toilet paper streaming across the hallway, living room and entry way as though we had some mini party going on and needed streamers for the occasion. Sometimes it feels like fun for me. Other times I feel like I am fighting a losing battle trying to keep up.
In the end, I pause ad breathe and take it in. Because I have learned life's lesson that this season of his life and mine will be a distant memory before long. So I snap a few pictures and try to take it in. And remind myself that a clean house isn't what I really want in life. I want happy, well-rounded kids that know there's no place like home!