21 December 2014

Wonderful and Perfect

I am always playing "chicken" with Matt over the kids. I don't know if he's playing too, or if I'm just playing with his unaware body. Usually the winner is the one doing the more important task. Today I was trying to browse the grocery store flyer, read a periodical, drink some coffee, and do it all on the couch. It had been a long, frustrating battle of "Abigail, stop pulling your sister's hair, stop shoving her over, stop throwing your lunch on the floor, stop doing everything!" I kept waiting for Matt to get up and take care of the girls. But he was doing job stuff in preparation for a huge interview tomorrow (prayers, please, tomorrow at 10am!) and I want him to get this job too, so when Abigail finally smoked the coffee and Eleanor started speed crawling to the disaster zone, I lost the game of chicken. I admitted out loud the fact that I have small children and cannot have a post-Mass coffee and periodical moment to myself. Saying it out loud made it easier to bear. We read books, blew bubbles, took pictures. An attitude change turned the afternoon from frustrating to enjoyable.

Now both children are napping in their own cribs and the house is silent. The audible peace is wonderful, but the inside peace of knowing that I was fully present for my kids is even better.

One of Matt's cousins is engaged and she recently posted on Facebook about a show her and her fiance went to see: the happy couple, all dressed up with huge smiles. Her hair and makeup were done, he looked so proud to have his arms wrapped around her. They both emanated such a happy, excited, content feeling. I remember that feeling: like the whole world was so incredibly perfect. That sense that your place in the world is safe and loving and the future is bursting with great things. The exciting wait until the wedding day, that moment when you go home from the show together and open the front door together and snuggle up in bed together, is harder than when you were a little kid on Christmas morning, waiting at the top of the stairs for your parents to wake up. The waiting, the hope, the feeling that life is perfect and wonderful.

One of my friends is pregnant with her first child and she created a Facebook group where she can ask questions and post products to get reviews from her friends. She's having a girl, just like I did, and her excitement and the excitement of her husband are as contagious as that of Matt's cousin. Having a second child is exciting in all sorts of ways, but that first baby...that first excitement is different. Special in a way that you only get once. After so many years of working to heal, I look back with fond memories of my pregnancy with Abigail - I can see the good now, I can remember the excitement. When you feel so close to your husband and your love feels complete and wonderful. When the baby's movement - this first little baby whose life will change your whole world is some mysterious way you can't yet understand but desperately want - is so incredibly exciting. It's the same waiting, the same hope, the same feeling that life is perfect and wonderful.

When you move past these stages, it's easy too look back condescendingly on those about to embark on the journey: "What a silly little new mom, worrying about bottle sanitizers!" Bottle sanitizers, matching shoe and shall colors all seem so insignificant once you pass into the next stage of life, at least in my circle, I often feel like those who are ahead in their journey are prideful in their wisdom, eagerly dolling out one-liners about "new moms" or "young love." But what a terrible way to destroy someone's perfect and wonderful life!

Everyone's place on their life journey should be celebrated and appreciated! Instead of looking at one another with jealousy or annoyance, we should remember how joyful and excited we were at different stages of life. Be happy for one another. Love one another. Give thanks for other people's joy in hopes that one day, they'll give thanks for your joy. A wonderful, perfect life is an example that God is good and loving and merciful. Give thanks for other people's joy in order to thank God for His goodness, love, and mercy.

I'm remembering all the wonderful and exciting times in my life, finding joy in the memories. And I'm thankful for all the ways in which life is perfect and wonderful right now. These smiles and songs and crawls: the Blonde and the Brunette and the Man who is raising them with me.

No comments: