I was thinking about Mary

Sunday, November 23

The other day, when I went to put Clark down for his nap, he surprised me. I closed his blinds and turned on his sound machine. I sang "Jesus Loves Clark," his favorite song, and I told him to tell the doggies goodnight because it was naptime. Then, instead of trying to escape out of his baby gate, or handing me twenty five books to stall the inevitable, he climbed on my lap, snuggled deep into my chest, put his fingers in his mouth, and fell asleep. Within two minutes, he was out cold. Breathing deeply, his forehead just a little sweaty and his little curls tickling my arm. 

And I sat in his chair and rocked him for a good twenty minutes just taking it all in and smelling him and looking at him. And then I was rubbing his back and I started thinking how small he is. And suddenly I had a vision of my baby as a grown man. Or, rather, I suddenly pictured him as a young adult, leaving our house for college. I have no idea where it came from. (Perhaps hormones?) And I've always known that YES, my baby will someday fly the nest, of course, but for some reason in that particular moment, it seemed so very real, and I got panicked. And then I started to cry. Yes, cry.  Like a dummy. I sat there and allowed myself to imagine the profound sadness I might feel someday when my baby isn't a baby anymore. When he doesn't want to cuddle up on me or kiss me or have me rock him to sleep. When he goes to sleep every night in a different house, probably a different zip code. And I know my time with my child is fleeting, but man...in that moment, I really felt it, and I had a profound feeling of sadness that I couldn't shake. 

And then, I don't know, I guess because it's almost Christmas and I keep listening to Christmas music, I started thinking about baby Jesus and Mary. And please bear with me because this is about to get profoundly dumb, but it's where my thoughts went next. I started thinking about how Mary used to hold her own baby, all those years ago, and surely she had these same moments, right? Moments where she just wanted to freeze time and keep her baby little forever. Moments where she rocked him and pictured his future, separate from her.  Except her son was the son of God, and I just can't even fathom her thought process. 

Recently our pastor spoke at our MOPS group, and when talking about Mary, he made the point that she was just an average woman. But more than that...she was likely a lot more simple than we imagine. He made the point that in today's world, we know so much more- understand so much more about the world and life and people and things-than Mary could ever have. There was no internet. She hadn't traveled the world or met people from different places. Her perspective was likely very small. And unlike me, she didn't already have history to rely on. She was making it, so her perspective was...limited I guess you could say. 

And so now, when I hear the lyrics in the song that say, "Mary, did you know...the sleeping child you're holding, is the Great, I Am" I can't help but think NO, of course she didn't.  I guess she knew in a way, but no, I don't think she could have ever fathomed the enormity of what she was doing. It's hard for me to fathom...and I know how history plays out. I don't believe when Mary held baby Jesus and stroked his face and kissed his little forehead she could ever understand really. Because the enormity of her son's future would be too much.  I think it would be too much to really, truly understand the future of baby Jesus and still love him with a mothers love.  And I think that's probably the way it was supposed to be...maybe for all of us?

I was thinking that maybe I need to spend less time thinking about Clark's future...next year, five years, twenty years down the road. I should probably stop trying to understand or grasp the enormity of raising a human, and focus more on the toddler that I'm raising today. And just accept that God already has it all worked out, right? I don't want the weight of the future to steal my joy today.  

And in my mind, with my (probably very flawed) logic, Mary is an example for me to follow.  

Life with My Boy

Thursday, November 13

Last week, there was one night when Clark was feeling especially cranky for some reason. The whining was getting a bit out of control, so I did what every mom would do: I walked Clark into the living room and told him to "play with daddy" for awhile so I could start his bath water. Five minutes later, I walked back into the living room, and I found Clark. Naked. Standing on the ottoman, knees bent like he was about to jump, laughing hysterically at his dad. Then I watched as he pitched himself forward bravely, and just threw himself, FACE DOWN, off the edge, where Jared grabbed him at the last possible moment, then held him in the air upside down, and ran around the couch making monster noises while Clark laughed and laughed and laughed. 

Aaaaand, repeat. Like for ten more minutes, this game of Naked Dangerous Upside Down Furniture Jumping continued, to Clark's obvious delight, and eventually ended with Clark in the tub, where a splashing contest with daddy ensued.

And then, the other day...I was in the laundry room, when all of a sudden I hear laughing in the living room. I walk in, and there's Jared and Clark, each with a bra on their heads, laughing at each other. Meanwhile, Jared is saying things like, "Look Clark! It's funny to do this, huh? Even though we don't have boobies!" And Clark.  He's loving it, and so what do I do? I just walk away because boys will be boys I suppose.

I remember when I first got pregnant with Clark (and again this time), people would ask me, "What do you hope you're having?" I think it's such a strange question, because what does it matter what you hope? And also...I couldn't imagine wanting one over the other. But time and again, people would say, "Oh I hope it's a girl!" As if a girl is the more desired sex? 

And now that I already have a boy, and I'm pregnant again, I can't tell you how many people have told me that they hope it's a girl this time so that we can have "one of each." It seems to me such a presumptuous comment. I won't even get into why, since I think it speaks for itself, but my point right now is that I will be happy with a boy OR a girl. A girl would be fun. Something new. Girls are sweet and pretty and you can dress them up and all that jazz. But let me tell you, I LOVE having a boy. Being a mom to a boy is so much more fun than I ever would have imagined. 

I can't tell you what makes a girl extra special since I don't have one. But I can tell you that being a mom to a boy is so sweet and fun and exciting-more so than I ever imagined. My boy is only a year and a half old, so I know I'm no expert here, but in that short time, I've learned some things. 

Like, for example, boys are goofy. I think it's just in their nature to be funny little balls of crazy.  Clark always has me laughing at the shenanigans he thinks up. Boys think it's funny to put bras on their heads, or run around naked for no reason, or lift their legs and pass gass dramatically and then laugh about it. Or, IF WE MUST GO THERE, boys seem to laugh hysterically at anything and everything that makes "that sound". 

Boys are energetic, physical beings. AND BRAVE.  The other day I heard grunting.  I walked into the living room and found my boy with his legs straight in the air kicking frantically while the top half of him was wedged, facing the floor, between a chair and the wall.  Because boys seem to have no fear.  It doesn't scare Clark to pitch himself into the unknown, just to see what's there.

And gosh, boys are sweet.  I know it's special when your child gives you kisses and hugs no matter what, but, jeez...I don't know.  There's just something special about the times when my boy is running around like a maniac all day, and all at once decides to take a rest and come touch my face.  All of my eyelashes.  Runs his fingers through my hair and smiles at me like he thinks I'm so pretty.  And then he gives me giant, sloppy kisses while holding my face JUST SO.  And then,  just as I go in for even more cuddles and start thinking how amazing this is, he's done.  He's off again.  He wants down so he can terrorize the dogs.  Or throw something on the floor.  Or go bang the crap out of something.  And he's all boy again, just like that.  And I think that's what makes those moments with my little boy so sweet.  They are are an unexpected interruption from his normal, crazy, boyishness.  As though he consciously decides to just take a break and go love mommy, and it makes my heart about explode.

Maybe I'll have a girl this time (or someday), and if I do, I will write a post about all the things that make a girl special, because I know there are probably a million.  But in the meantime, I am truly content being a mommy to a boy.  More than content...I love it.  And I will be happy with another boy.  Or a girl.

We will see very soon... 


Monday, October 27

I've seen the saying, over and over, "The days are long but the years are short." I don't like it because I couldn't disagree more. Yes, the years are short. It seems like just yesterday my sweet baby was born. Like I just brought him home. And sometimes when I look at him, I'm shocked that he's not really a baby, but a real, full-on toddler. But the thing is, my days are all incredibly short, too. Sure. I occasionally have days that stretch out, and sometimes, rarely, I look forward to bedtime. But if I'm being honest, then I'll tell you that my days pass in what seems like an instant, and I hate it.

Most days, we wake up and and the day starts in a flurry.  We cook breakfast. Always cheesy scrambled eggs for my little sugar lump, and always raisin bran for me.  We clean up and then usually head to the park so I can get some exercise in and Clark can play on the slides. And then maybe we run an errand, and it's already time to come home, eat lunch and nap. And maybe there is something wrong with me (probably), but I spend at least half of Clarks naptime missing him. Knowing he needs 2-3 hours of sleep to be well rested and happy, but secretly wishing he would wake up soon so I can just see his sweet face again and hug his neck and play with him.

And then he does wake up, and the afternoon is a flurry of more activity. Playing outside. Playing in his kitchen inside. Torturing the dogs. Helping mommy with chores. And before you know it, it's time to start dinner. Dinner leads into the nightly dog walk, which leads right into bathtime, and then bed. And so, every single night around dinnertime, I get sad that yet another day has passed. Just like that. It's over. How does it go so quickly? I wish I could add more hours to my day. Spend more time with Clark. Freeze time maybe. I'm in no hurry for him to get even a single day older. 

And meanwhile, there's this other baby, growing and growing, and I SWEAR, trying to claw it's way out lately.  So things are going to change, and I have all sorts of anxiety about that.

I read this blog once (can't find the exact entry but the blog can be found here) that really resonated with me.  The writer basically said that at the end of every summer, she feels like she's climbing to the top of a slide.  And when she gets to the top, she's going to take this glorious ride down to the bottom.  And the ride will go so fast and be so thrilling but it will be over in a minute.  She was talking about how much she loves fall, and all the things her family looks forward to each fall, and how exciting it is.  The anticipation.  And the descent, despite how fast it goes.  Something like that.

I loved the entry because it perfectly summed up how I feel so often in my life.  Like anticipation is mounting for something new and exciting.  And even though I know the fun and exciting moments sometimes pass quickly, I live for that anticipation.  I love it.  And I feel like I'm mounting a giant slide now.

The next few months are full of so many unknowns for us.  We are about to have another baby. A BABY!  And, I mean, first of all, is it a boy or a girl?  So exciting.  And when will the baby arrive?  What will his or her story be?  How will Clark do as a big brother?  What will our first Christmas be like as a family of four?  Will we be a family of four by Thanksgiving maybe?  I love not knowing any of these answers.

And meanwhile, sometime around Christmas, we could maybe find out where we are moving this summer.  I know some people are anxious about the unknown, and it IS true...I'm excited to see where the Air Force sends us next, and excited to plan for a new city and a new home. But until I find out, I LOVE the building anticipation.  Love it.  I love not knowing.  Will we move somewhere with four seasons (please dear Jesus!)?  Will we live near mountains?  Or an ocean?  Or maybe in another country?  I crave change and I'm so excited for the next chapter to unfold.

But as I anticipate all of these huge changes coming our way, I'm also a little anxious.  I know that this special time with my boy is quickly coming to an end.  Because there IS something special about having just one child, isn't there?  From the time he was a newborn, I used to think, "Man.  One baby is pretty easy.  You can throw one baby in the car and drive anywhere.  Do anything.  Just you two..."  So two will be a change.  And I already know that maybe things won't be quite so easy anymore.  And I know that my boy won't get my full undivided attention anymore, and it makes me sad.

So.  For these last few weeks, I'm just reveling in it.  Loving and soaking up every single moment with my baby.  I find myself being exceptionally unproductive sometimes, because I just want to sit and BE with him.  Enjoy him while it's still just us two.  Me and him.  In our own little world.  Before everything changes.