Thursday, May 28, 2009 |

Appreciating dirty diapers

Sometimes I get reminded of how fast things can go, and how I should appreciate each little thing.  I wrote about that a bit last post.  But I think we should even find joy in the "unappreciable" things in life.  I mean, the things that we forget to be thankful for.  

I find joy in Sam's grubby little hand prints across all the walls.  They're all at the same height, a perfect marker of a milestone in his life, a size that he will never be again.  They are not just a cleaning nuisance to get rid of. 

I am thankful for the mess Sam makes when he eats, because one day, he will be adept at using utensils and eating neatly.  And when that day comes, he might not want to eat with us.  But right now, he loves to be with us, and I love it too, even if my carpet, my table, and my son are all covered in dark red, berry-flavoured applesauce.

I am glad that my son cries for me and wants me when he falls.  Even when it's a little thing that doesn't warrant THAT many tears, I know it's because he loves me, and my arms comfort him.  I never want to keep that from him, because one day, he won't come for a cuddle from Mom when he wipes out on his mountain bike.  

I LOVE that Sam wants to copy every move I make.  Whether it's cleaning, or weeding, or dancing to a song, he wants to be like me.  One day, it won't be cool to "play Mommy".  So I try to remember that when he's following me around, wanting everything I have.  He wants to help me, and be like me.  I'm going to enjoy that about him as long as I can. 

I am thankful for Sam's crying, because it's his way of telling me something.  He knows that he can call on me, and I will help him the best I can.  He will get to an age where he won't cry to me, and he'll find other ways to meet his needs, which is normal and healthy.  But right now, he is secure in the fact that I will care for him.  That is a good thing.

And I even find joy in dirty diapers, because it's a sign that I have an amazing little son.  It's a sign that God gave me a perfect gift that I am to take care of.  It's a sign that I carried a baby to full term (almost), that I am around to care for him, and that he graces this household with his presence (and sometimes, his smell!).  

I have a lot to be thankful for, and not just the "obvious" things.     

Friday, May 22, 2009 |

Small Things

Small things I'm taking joy in today:
  • Having a picnic at the job site with my husband and son, in the SUN!
  • Watching Sam's droopy eyes in the car ride on the way home from said picnic, and then seeing them eventually close, and seeing his head bobbing around
  • Taking my sleeping boy inside, all his body weight slumped on my shoulder - just like a rock!  
  • Smelling the roast I have in the oven, and realizing that I can put a roast in the oven!  (I feel like my mom!)
  • Anticipating the arrival of a good friend, and looking forward to a visit
  • Reading an awesome book on the deck while my son sleeps
  • Watching a bee go to my flowers, and not running from fear - just realizing it's just going about its day, like I am
  • Learning some things about myself that I'd like to change, and learning that God wants to GENTLY bring me to a better place, just because he loves me and that's his nature
  • Pulling more dandelions
  • Listening to my newly tuned piano, and looking forward to not having to check if my chords are right because the piano sounds so bad
I always tease Kris (and by "tease", I sometimes mean "get mad at", too) for being a glass-half-empty person.  But I am realizing that I am too.  A few decibels quieter, but a pessimist, nonetheless.  Sometimes it's nice just to be intentional about thinking about the good things.  And to realize that life can be pretty great, when you stop scowling...
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 |

Quiet Moments

When Kris and I head to bed, we always sneak into Sam's room.  We do this for a few reasons:  to cover him back up if he's kicked off his blankets, to reposition him if he's all twisted around, and to make sure he's alright.  But the biggest reason, is just because it's nice.  It's so fun to watch him sleep so soundly for a few minutes, listening to his little breaths, watching his mouth make little sucky faces, and chuckling when he makes a funny sound.  

Often, I'll pick him up and just hold him for a bit.  I love to feel him in my arms.  It's so peaceful.  Sometimes he'll touch my face, or my hair, in his sleep.  I really treasure those moments.  I try to memorize what his little face looks like, what his noises sound like, and exactly what he feels like as I hold him.  I'd like to be able to retrieve those memories as accurately as possible, because there will be a day when I can't do this.  He'll be too big, or think I'm weird.  Or both.  It just reminds me how fast things can go, and how important it is to make the most of these times.  

But, at the same time, I have to remember that there will be something beautiful and worth treasuring at each stage.  He's not a newborn that I can lay on the couch with anymore (THAT is just a huge fight, now!), but now he can walk over to me and put his arms up to be picked up.  Soon, he will be able to say, "I love you, Mom!"  Not long after that, he will be able to make me macaroni jewelry boxes.  There'll always be something to delight in.  Which is such a nice thought, isn't it?!  But for now, I will still enjoy holding him while he sleeps, while I still can.  It reminds me of this book, which is such a beautiful story.  And is SHE can still cuddle her sleeping, adult son, then I should be able to, too, right?!  ;)

Friday, May 15, 2009 |

Nosy Neighbour

So we have this neighbour.  I just have to say from the get-go that she is a very nice person.  Her and her husband are amazing to have around - they're friendly, helpful, and even brought us a gift for Sam after he was born!  So nice.  

But here's the hitch.  She's a bit on the over-bearing side.  You know the type, right?  They're so nice and well-meaning, but also find a way to get their opinion in.  For example, I had taken Sam for a run in the jogging stroller a few weeks ago.  When we got back to the house, they came over to say hi and chit-chat for a few minutes.  Seeing that Sam's legs were bare between where his pants end and his socks begin, she felt his legs and talked about how I should have had him better bundled.  And she says it in words like this, "Mom, my legs are cold!"  And then just a few days ago, after supper, I had Sam in his little car to take him for a really quick stroll down the block.  She saw us and started saying that Sam EITHER should have had a hat on, or some sunglasses.  Here's the thing:  It's May, it was 6:30 in the evening, and we were out for about 15 minutes.  Not really a recipe for sun-stroke, heat exhaustion, or melanoma, right?!  I just kind of chuckled and said that he didn't keep them on anyways  (which is true, but why was I justifying?).

In these situations I'm always caught between 2 reactions:  1) Look at the ground, say "Yes'm", and then make sure to listen to her next time; OR 2) Tell her where to go and how to get there (I mean, not really, but at least be a bit more assertive and hold my ground, and NOT justify myself to her).  I mean, there's certain people in my life that I WOULD be more assertive with.  But I have a lot more invested in those relationships, and it's important to me, however hard it is, to have those relationships function in a healthy way.  But this is my neighbour.  It's a lot more complicated, because it doesn't really affect my life.  But it does.  *Sigh*  What's a Sarah to do?  

Well, at least it can maybe help me get to a place where I don't worry if other people think I am a good mom or not, where I don't feel the need to please people, and where I don't feel the need to explain my decisions to others.  Oh, but it can be so hard... 

Another step in the journey....  :)
Sunday, May 10, 2009 |


Now that I know "someone" (you know who you are... haha) actually reads my blog, I thought I'd like to keep it up better... So....

Unlike Kris, I really enjoy yard work.  I love weeding, and planting, and making things look nice outside.  Last year, being a new, and very tired mom, I didn't get much of a chance to get some flowers out.  The most I got up to was buying a hanging basket that was 50% off in July - hanging baskets are 50% off in July for a reason.  I didn't really water it much.  Within about a week, it was just a basket of brittle leaves and vines.  Totally brown and crunchy.  With a tiny little bit of green trying so hard to grow (it was like the plant's tiny little protest against the lack of care it was getting - "I'll show you!").  Kris' mom stopped by one day, and noted that she thought my flowers needed some water.  They were completely dead at this point.  I thought it was cute that she was trying to be nice, when clearly I did NOT take care of them, and clearly, it was one step PAST being dead.  :)

Anyways, I was excited to get a few pots out this year.  And just generally put more effort in to the yard.  So before Kris mowed the lawn, I got out there with my dandelion puller.  I just LOVE pulling dandelions.  I think it's just so much fun to spot one of those little pricks, and then just yank it out by the root.  It's exhilerating AND satisfying.  Plus, I like to get them before they turn to fluff and disperse their evil little seed all over my front yard.  As I indulged myself in dandelion revenge, I started thinking about things.  I often think deep while I do things like dishes, and vacuuming, and apparently, while I do yard work, too.

It just reminds me a lot of life.  We need to weed the bad stuff out.  And the same principles apply:  
  • You have to get at the root, or it will just grow back.  You can just pull the leaves off, but that's only temporary.  
  • You have to get at it before it multiples.  The more you leave your weeds (bitterness, anger, etc.), they just grow and manifest themselves more and more.
  • The more you keep on top of it, the less you have to do as time goes on.    
  • Your yard looks way nicer when you're done!
I asked myself as I was weeding, "why do I care so much more about the front yard"?  (I only get to the back yard if I realllly feel like it.)  We spend most of the time in the back, so that SHOULD matter more... but I realized it's because people SEE the front.  I care what my neighbours, my guests, and even just people driving by think of me.  So even though I should think about the back yard, because that is where I enjoy more of my time, I put more effort into the "facade" of looking like I'm together.  Oh dear.  So I should really be focusing on "weeding" the inside of me, the part that I really enjoy and that affects my life.  Instead, I put more effort into just looking "together".  God forbid someone see the back yard...  So I realized, that I need to spend more time weeding out the things in me that aren't healthy, and that don't make me feel good about who I am.  And doing it for ME, and not because another human will think better of me for it.  And one day, the back AND the front will both look great.  And if someone got a glimpse of the back, that would be okay.  I wouldn't feel like I have something to hide.  That is what I am striving for.

That is what dandelions taught me about life.