Sunday, March 22, 2009

Baby, You're the Lucky One...

So I'm sitting here, and I am exhausted. I was on my way to church* at 7:30 a.m. to play and sing in both services. From there, I went to Target. From there, I picked Olivia up and went home. I fed her lunch and cleaned the kitchen. I let her play for a bit, then I put her down for her nap and Waleska and Brad came over for their engagement photo shoot.

After they left, I simultaneously folded two-day-ago-dried laundry and tried to find Lost Season 5, Episodes 1-5 online. They are gone, and that makes me want to boycott ABC. Except they own Lost. And Ugly Betty. Instead, I may write a very strongly worded letter. After folding the laundry, I curled up and resignedly watched Lost S5 episodes 6 and part of 7. Halfway through episode 7, I hear the babe. She had been asleep for 2+ hours, so I knew she'd gotten her nap out, and it was time to switch back into Mommy gear. So we came upstairs. She found a pencil and some paper (Waleska's wedding invitation, no less), and went to town. About every twenty seconds, though, she would stop for a kiss. It was the sweetness that I have struggled to infuse into our lives because of our frantic pace over the last few weeks, and I felt like this was her saying...I'm good. We're good. It's good. Mwah.

We needed to take a trip to Shermee's to pick up some things, so we hopped in the truck after some serious playing and rode over there, windows down, country music on, in our new favorite ride, the Highlander (heretofore referred to as Lefty. That is another blog post altogether.).

We stayed at Shermee's for just a bit, but I knew LiviLou needed to eat dinner, so we headed home. She ate - with the help of Aunt Rachel - and I uploaded Brad and Waleska's pics to my laptop, along with the twins' bday party pics

and some great shots from Livi playing this afternoon. Then we went downstairs, so she could play, and I could clean. I folded some more laundry. I put away all of the laundry I have been folding since Monday. I showed her how to clean up a bottle full of water when you (she) spill(s) it on the bamboo flooring in our hallway. She learned, firsthand, that the drawers on her bureau have never really laid on their rollers straight, so if you pull one all the way out, it will be nearly impossible for Mommy to get the thing back in without the whole bureau looking like it fell off the back of a truck at some point in its history. I stripped my bed and showed her how we wash our sheets while she tried to make a run for it because the garage door was still open. Then I heated up her bottle - it is a battle I am not fighting right now - and we started our bedtime routine...dim lights, sound machine, diapey change, clean, fresh pjs on, cradle hug from Mommy and down we go, pink blanket and Dux (her favorite bear, whom she named herself) tucked in with her.

I walked upstairs and got settled with the laptop, TV remote control and Diet Coke, and now I am ready to talk about this. The Sabbath.

I am so guilty of cluttering up our day of rest with anything but rest, until I find myself clamoring to jam some rest into any moment I can for the rest of the week, until Friday at noon, I am one big heaping pile of fatigue. My reserves are spent, and I can't wait for the weekend to get here so I can finally relax...except that I don't do that for any longer than a few hours at a time, at best.

Recently, my mother started nursing school. It is an intensive program, and it requires a great deal of her time, focus and energy. She is also working 24-30 hours a week. Plus she has her own home to maintain and, honestly, she is still pretty much a newlywed. Before, I was able to make many more requests of her time, but right now, she is spread fairly thin, so I am really trying to give her the space that she needs so she can excel in this next phase of her career. Nothing is different when Olivia and I do go to spend time with her and's just that, for now, we have to be a little more intentional about scheduling. And I am totally okay with that. I want my mom to finish her RN, and to finish well. The best way of describing it is this: the changes in her availability have forced me to begin pulling the other leg of my big girl britches up. And this is a good thing. All of it is very, very good, for everyone. I suppose it is just another reason why I am pondering how I structure mine and Olivia's life together.

So I am going to start praying about the Sabbath. I am not content with 2 hours here, 1 hour there, 3 hours here (if I'm lucky and she sleeps that long). The phrase "sun-up to sun-down" is ringing in my ears, and I think the image there - of beginning and ending a day having done nothing but rest, enjoy your family, and, of course, eat - is beautiful. Of course it is beautiful. God designed it, so its destiny is beauty. My intention is to carve out a chunk of time when the house is clean, the errands are run, we are bathed, dressed and presentable, and we can rest - relax, freely enjoy leisure activity with no distracting thoughts of laundry, budgeting, rehearsing, scrubbing, organizing, winterizing, springerizing, or any other "izing" that keeps us from enjoying the simplicity of being together. My daughter is getting older. Her emotions are maturing every day, and she notices when I am distracted, disconnected and stressed. Those moments are inevitable for any family, for any mother. But I think the healing comes when you can spend solid amounts of time connecting, really looking at each other and laughing with (or at) each other, and enjoying the life God has given us together, as mother and blessed, amazing daughter...without all the riff-raff getting in the way.

So please pray for me as I seek to be intentional about this. I am just so thankful that we live where we do - with people who love us and who also value rest and relaxation, so that there is no worry that the house will always be in a constant state of activity and we will have to go somewhere else to slow down. We are always able to slow down right here.

*On the way to church this morning, I flew past a Trooper going 80 mph. I slowed down, of course, and then about a mile later, I see said Trooper in my rearview mirror. What does he do? Flies right on past me. I couldn't believe the mercy. And I drove the speed limit the rest of the way to church and was, of course, late. :)

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