Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Glorious Unfolding - and I don't mean the laundry

The summer days are ending and quite often (almost daily), in the heat of the day, we find ourselves once again on the playground after school trying to undo the wonderful, but kind of sedentary ways of long days at a desk for my 6 yr old.  Fairy houses and wild amounts of dirt and strangely cool August days that always tease of Autumn for a week or two and then go back to the swelter until Halloween. 

The children are getting bigger and we have, quite without my knowledge or realizing, have left the baby years behind.  Our decision to stop at three was a little sad, but understandable.  Forty is looming large and these babies have stressed my health and wellness to the limit.  I had hopes for more, perhaps an even four, but we agreed it was time for us to settle into what our family meant and concentrate on what we have, and who these little people are becoming. 

The up side of that is that our little guy, who is the age that each of our other children were unceremoniously usurped from the role of baby by a new baby, is gloriously 2 and I can see him, really see him, not pregnancy weary or sleep deprived or loving on a tiny new soft little one, while he has to become a "big boy".  My middle guy's 4 yr old brain is in full production, full of fantasy, adventure and instant backstory, no matter what we encounter.  He has ideas and plans and heaven help the fool who gets in his way.  I am reveling in his last year at home, setting aside my plans bigger for his and loving it.  My big girl is fully a school girl and it hurts less this time to see her love someone else as much as she loves us.  Letting kind and lovely people speak into her heart and mind are a painfully wonderful part of letting go of the before-school years home with me and watching her blossom.

And something grows in me too.  From time to time I can see farther ahead than my own two feet, where it seems my vision has been firmly planted for the last 6 years, watching the little ones around me grow, tending to their needs and struggling to just keep awake some days.  Things seem to be unfolding in my heart too.  We are leaving the survival mode! 

Bit by bit and day by day, I get my head up and we walk a little further afield.  I had a conversation with a friend that more than three kids, for me has been the Great Letting Go.  Before, I was keeping it together, getting it done, holding tight to each of the two children I had and then #3 came and I was out of hands.  And the little ones let go of mine like fledgling baby birds and flew, flopping and floundering and learning.  The things that didn't matter fell away and I found it easier to survey the mess that is my life and not judge myself too harshly, most of the time.  I still struggle.  I still see the mess and long for a tidy life, but that won't change overnight and I know it. 

In this mess is gratitude.  In this mess is new songs (I know!).  In this mess is art and making and realizing that taking time to do something and not focusing all of my being on the children next to me is not neglect (and the fact that I did that with my oldest probably contributed to the hard time she had transitioning from only to 1st, but I have forgiving myself for that too), but teaching.  They want my every moment, but my every moment is partly theirs and mostly mine to give if I can and to care for myself and ask for help if I can't.  It's kinda crazy.  It feels a bit remedial to just come to this conclusion, but that's OK too.  My journey is my own right?  And it is all unfolding. 

Let's hope that doesn't also apply to laundry mountain that I just finished folding downstairs.  AmIright?

Edited to add:
And then this came on the radio.  Have a little listen.

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