Thursday, October 22, 2009

take a deep breath

We (Hazel, Meriel and I) are visiting Nana and Papa this week - two states away from Daddy and home - and are, as always, WELL cared for.

As Daddy has his bachelor weekend (he's been telling people that he's "bach-ing it"), we are doing the same things in a new place. There is playing (with new toys), reading (of new books), diaper changing (in a new room)... and bedtime - in a new place.

Our little girl is now big enough to *know* that this is NOT her home. And although she is completely comfortable here - plays well and behaves herself and is giggly and silly and everything a little girl should be - she was not happy to sleep in a new place last night.

Nana and Papa stayed by her side, holding her, rubbing her back, and telling her to "take a deep breath" - until her little body relaxed into sleep.

What an excellent reminder - that so often, a simple break, a second to take a deep breath - is all we need to appreciate that Someone IS there to hold us and comfort us - and that it is okay to relax and let go.

My Comforter is with me wherever I go - His arms are around me, I am protected and guided and cherished... and He is waiting to remind me to simply "take a deep breath" - so that I might put down my heavy load and pick up the easy burden and light yoke He is offering.

And so, today, I take a deep breath.

Monday, October 19, 2009

the more things change...

Sesame Street has become a part of our day - not every day, but a couple times a week. It's so different from when I was a kid - and yet so the same. Different characters are in the limelight, and the songs are much jazzier, R & Bish versions of what I remember... but it's still good ol' Sesame Street.

My life feels a little bit that way right now - very different from that of 6 months ago, and incredibly different from 2 years ago.

Today there are two little ladies who are entirely dependent on Mark and me - for everything. Food, water, clothes, warmth, comfort, love, learning. Everything.

I have very little control over when and how much I get to sleep. Or shower, for that matter.

My living room is cluttered with board books, blocks, stuffed animals, baby blankets and spit rags.

My pantry is stocked with fruit snacks and graham crackers shaped like bunnies, and Cheerios.

Today I got up before 6am to hang out with my weirdly-awake little Hazelnut.

She made me laugh, gave me some great snuggles, and shared my yogurt at breakfast.

I've given Meriel a bath, changed a few diapers, wiped tears and put tiny socks on tiny feet again and again.

Sometimes I get frustrated with how little of my life is mine - but then I'm reminded that IT ISN'T MINE. It's God's. It never was mine... I was just better able to believe that it was a few years ago.

And so even though the day-to-day mechanics of my life bear little to no resemblance to the mechanics of years past... the fact that things are different helps remind me that nothing has changed.

Friday, October 02, 2009

getting to know you

Getting to know all abooouut youuuuuu....

Any King and I fans out there?

I'm not sure why it strikes me as a bit odd that we have to get to know our children. Maybe it's because my role as a parent is completely different from any family-role I've had before... I never felt like I had to "get to know" my siblings or my parents... they were just there. And I knew them. Or, in the case of my parents, didn't necessarily ever consider them as people to get to know. Just Mom and Dad.

My brain forgot, just a bit, the process of getting to know your new baby. Hazel and I have been thick as thieves since she was born, and we've only spent 3.5 nights apart EVER (1.5 of those nights being me in the hospital, having Meriel) - and the first night apart wasn't until she was 17 months old. And although I will always be getting to know her as she grows and changes, I've gotten to feel that I know Hazel pretty durn well.

Then along came Meriel... and I remember the not-knowing. Love comes immediately - I'd turn myself inside out for her... but the connection isn't quite the same yet, and I can tell that it's because we are still getting to know her. Granted - at almost-7-weeks-old, there's not a TON to know, relatively speaking... but I feel a little bit of a gap because of it. It fills my heart up to know that the road of finding out who she is, who God made her to be, lies ahead of us. Each little smile, each coo, each fuss... each moment gives me another piece of the puzzle as to who she is.

Sometimes it has been tough, lots of times it has been joyful - and it is all precious, this process of knowing our children.

I wonder if God feels that way about us as we grow... except for the fact that He already knows everything... but is there a sense of anticipation - of knowing that something wonderful is coming up - and anxiously awaiting its arrival? He knows what the picture will look like when it's finished - but is there a sometimes-heartwrenching joy in the watching?

I hope so.