Thursday, March 24, 2016

Today I boast.

Okay. I worry so much about what people think. I just can't do that anymore.

This is my blog. Here, I can complain, but I can also boast. I don't know who reads this, and I don't care. I would never want to write this blog for a hundred thousand readers. I write this blog for us. The only regular reader I have is Brian, and that's just the way I like it. So if someone happens to read this and thinks that I am proud or boastful... well, too bad.

So today, I boast. I have a husband who comes home to me right after work. He is an introvert, like me, and he loves to be home. I never have to wonder where he is. He never prefers to spend the night with his buddies. He likes to be with us. We sit down every night as a family and we eat dinner. Sometimes dinner is fried eggs and toast because I didn't make anything special. Does Brian ever complain? Never. Brian helps me put the kids to bed each night. He brushes teeth and put the kids in pajamas and lays on William's bed with the boys and asks them questions about their day. We pray together as a family.

Our kids are great sleepers. When they go to bed, between 8 and 8:30, they stay in bed for ten or eleven hours. The rest of the evening is ours to enjoy. Every night I get this time to recharge. I don't always use it wisely. Many nights I putz around and look at my phone between tidying up and I never really sit down to take a break. But it's my time, and every night I have it.

Brian and I will have been married 10 years this year. More and more he's my best friend. Last night I brought up the topic I was sure he was sick of hearing. But he talked about it again with me, and his support was so comforting. The fact that he even agreed with me was reassuring. I feel so thankful to have him in my corner. This morning I was a jerk to him. I really was. And I didn't even say sorry before walking upstairs to nurse Neva, fully expecting him to be gone by the time I came back downstairs. But as I nursed her, I became mortified by how I had treated him and I prayed that the Lord would give me an opportunity to apologize. She finished up nursing and, as quickly as I could without waking her, I deposited her back into the bassinet and rushed downstairs. I heard the sound of the door closing and I ran outside. He was just about to get into the car and I apologized. He forgave me so graciously. The Lord answered my prayer. I hate being a jerk to somebody I love so much.

I love my kids. I love spending time with them. My favorite thing to do is read them stories, and they love hearing stories. I sit Neva on my lap, leaning her back against my chest, with a boy on each side of me, and we read and read and read. This recharges me.

Brian works so hard to provide for us. I look around at our beautiful home, much of which he has improved with his own hands, and I think to myself how nice it is that I can be a stay-at-home mom, that there are four of us here enjoying this house all day. Brian only gets to enjoy it for a few hours in the evening. What a sacrifice he makes for us.

I love not having a schedule that binds us, no hard-and-fast time we need to be out the door. No pressure to yank the kids out of bed. No rushing at breakfast. We have a loose routine, and many days I shake my head in frustration at myself and berate myself because we don't have a rigid schedule. But I wouldn't change it, not really. We have a routine, some days it's tighter than others, but I'm so grateful for that flexibility. Many days I struggle with guilt that I must work around the house all day and don't spend "enough" time with the kids. But then I think to myself, everyone needs to work around the house. If I were a working mom, I would have to do all of this, but I would have to do it in a few hours of the evenings and on the weekends. Instead, I can spread it throughout the day, taking chunks of time here and there to sit down and play with blocks or race cars or read books.

My kids are good. They can be little stinkers, but they obey me and they listen to me. They are kind to each other. I make them be kind, but I am also seeing how these forced kindnesses ("tell Barrett 'hello'," "no, let him have a turn,") are slowly becoming second nature to them.

I don't spend enough time teaching them about the ways of the Lord. But we talk about the resurrection and the crucifixion. They enjoy talking about these things. We talk about Jesus and we sing Bible verses. And I'm not bragging that we do these things, I am just thankful that despite my busyness and my flaws and my inadequacy, my kids are still learning about the Lord even in a small way.

Neva is a perfect, dream baby. Barrett is barely a month past his second birthday and he is 95% potty trained. William sits and look at books on the floor for hours each day. His imagination is incredible. My kids are not the smartest, the biggest, or the most gifted. But they are good and they are a joy and I could brag on them all day long. So today, I brag on my husband and my kids. I am incredibly fortunate.

Truth be told, I have been in sort of a funk the past couple of months. Many a day goes by that I feel discouraged and scatterbrained and hopeless. I don't know if I will ever be the person I dream of being. But at the same time I feel content. A friend asked me recently what the next thing was that I was looking forward to. I couldn't answer her. There are enjoyable moments ahead, trips and vacations that I am looking forward to, but the truth is that I look forward to each morning. I look forward to nap time. I look forward to reading stories. I look forward to going outside and working in the garden. I love each day.

And that's where I am right now.

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