Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Grayson boy...

It has been such a pleasure with this baby to have my eyes wide open to the precious moments with him in ways I never was able to with my other boys...especially the older ones. To look at Grayson and realize he (most likely-sorry honey, I am having trouble with the finality) is my last brings a perspective of misty eyed reflection with each thing he does. I don't think any mother overlooks the simple beauty of how soft a baby is or how sweet their breath smells or how great they feel snuggled up in your arms. It is addictive and has a physiological response that brings a peace and calmness over the body. So, I am trying to soak that in, literally drawing it deeply into my soul and it is like I can feel it filling up the cells in my body. Is that strange? I suppose but I am CONSTANTLY amazed at how God made a mother's body so physically in tune with her child. Last night I was away from home and my milk came in. Two minutes later Keith called and said Grayson was awake and ready to eat. Amazing. My body connected to his even miles away.
My baby is growing so fast now. He has hit this learning curve that is off the charts. He has found his hands and can hold toys now and bring them to his mouth which is so fun because he can entertain himself for a length. And he has found his tongue and he loves sticking it out. He can flip from tummy to back with ease and he can raise up on his hands and look around when he is on his tummy. It is so fun to walk in and see him peering up over the edge of his bed with a smile. And OH that smile. I was just telling Keith that it seems that no matter how many times you catch Grayson's gaze he will smile at you. And I love nursing. I love to look down at his contented face when he is hungry and really nursing hard. His eyelids are half open and he is gulping with great force and his hand is usually grasping my shirt. Or, if he is not as hungry he will be nursing and looking up at me and usually if I am looking back at him he will have to smile at me or talk to me. I laugh because then of course he is not eating but flirting! And my favorite thing right now is that he is beginning to "talk" to us. The other night the other boys were in bed and Grayson had a full tummy, a clean diaper and cozy jammies on so we laid on my bed to snuggle. I laid right next to him and when he caught my gaze he turned on his side and began a lengthy conversation with me. He probably went on for 10-15 minutes just cooing away. Keith came in and saw it and went and grabbed the camera to tape it. I will attach it and you can enjoy it too! It is rather dark but you can still see it and hear it! So precious. Amidst the pressure I feel daily of caring for six is such a treat to stop and enjoy it thoroughly. Thank You God for babies and a mother's heart! ~M.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Laying down a burden...

I wonder if my heart will ever stop longing for a daughter. Day unto day I don't give it much thought. But, then I will see a friend cuddling her sweet feminine bundle complete with dress, tights, shoes, and a darling bonnet (or one of those big goofy bows-sorry, never have liked those things). Or, as I did today, I will get word that a friend has been blessed with, not her first, but her second daughter. Or I will look at pictures of a daughter who I have known since a baby and she is growing up into this beautiful young lady who bears so much resemblance to her mother. Or I see my husband get to enjoy a fellowship with his sons that I will never have. And my heart aches. And I have to fight this tendency towards anger that I have. You see, instead of hurting~ I come out fighting. I guess that was a protective mechanism borne out of necessity in my childhood...tears are more painful than anger or so it seems. But not getting a daughter? Who is there to be mad at but God? Well, even I in my stubbornness can see there is no gain in that! Believe me, I tried is altogether unproductive...especially when my heart genuinely KNOWS that He is a good God.

So it leaves me asking the Lord, "What do I do with this pain? And will it EVER subside?" Well, I think not. I think of the pain of the loss of a loved one, at the pain of infertility, at the sting of betrayal and I KNOW those pains never subside. They just get handed over to the Lord. One day at a time. One pain at a time...each time the pain rises up again. And I suspect that the pain will always rise up again this side of heaven. Some days that feels SO HEAVY. I don't want to ache this way forever. But neither can I go on having children with the sole ambition of gaining a daughter. I used to think a large family would automatically insure me a daughter...but apparently not. For one after another God has seen fit to bless me with sons. Wonderful sons who lack nothing in light of being men and not women. I adore boyhood. It is precious and filled with reasons to be delighted. But not one of those boys can fill a daughter's void. Nor can having as many babies as possible in hopes of getting a daughter. I have come to see that the real issue is contentment with the Father. It is physically walking to the cross and setting down the burden...the anger, the jealousy, the crushing disappointment. It is laying down the questions and the lack of answers. I will never have them. I will not know why God chose only sons for me. I mean, I can attempt to fill in the blank myself but I fear I will always sell God and His view of me short so I try not to do that. So each time I feel the hurt well up so powerfully within me I go quickly to the Lord before the anger takes hold, or the tears, or the depression and I lay it down. That is what this blog entry is attempting to lay it down. As gently but as firmly as I can...I lay it down. ~M.

Just a little bit about not much!

I had the best laugh this morning after I read big mama's blog. I apologize if your sense of humor is more delicate and lady-like than mine. As for me...I get a big laugh out of funny pictures and other people's crazy habits. Probably because I am comforted by their obvious weaknesses and the fact that they can laugh about them whereas I tend to be so stinkin' hard on myself. Big mama is worth reading...she is sarcastic and self-deprecating but she also offers GREAT fashion advice every Friday...truly. over there for a laugh or two.

It is RAINING here again. It stormed ALL NIGHT. I mean, at 10pm it started and did not stop until 8am. We slept terrible because the lightning and thunder was so loud and bright that we felt nervous. And Garrett made his appearance twice to let me know he wasn't sleeping. Poor guy has hated storms since he was about three thanks to my innocent exposure of him to a documentary on tornadoes. Smart huh? Since we have a queen bed-and not a king-we do not invite large 10 year old boys into our bed...come to think of it, we do not invite small two year old boys into our bed. In fact, it was only with our fourth son, Gage, that I invited precious little newborns into our bed. And I have been rewarded with peepee tinkled sheets more than once for that decision! :D But that is ok...they are so stinkin' snuggly. But, I digress...I had to send Garrett back to his bed after reassuring him that all was well and that he'd just have to listen to the storm and attempt to sleep just like Keith and me. I love a good storm...during the day. But at night my fear of tornadoes wells up within me and I find myself listening for that freight train sound that everyone talks about. You see, my fear of tornadoes was birthed when I was about 5 and actually lived through a tornado that demolished our house. I remember nothing of the tornado except afterwards walking through the piles of debris and finding lipstick. But apparently my subconcious remembers it well for I frequently have nightmares about them. Lovely. So, between nursing a baby and riding out the storm..I am beat this morning.

Well, I have been totally unproductive this morning as witnessed by my need to blog about other blogs! I go...M.

Monday, May 4, 2009

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock and covers me there with His hand...

I am in a terrible funk. I should probably not blog but then again, probably I should. Writing puts things in perspective for me and can sometimes unweave a mess in my mind. I should tell you right has been endlessly raining here for DAYS! When the sun doesn't shine...I am miserable. Not that I mind a rainy day because I don't. Actually, I love a good hard rainy day. (emphasis on DAY. not week.) The weekend was rather long and dreadful. One house...8 people...six of whom are boys! Boys who need to get out and parents who need them to get out! Keith and I were pretty miserable. We were low energy, low patience and low on creativity. Not a good thing. Actually, I should back way up and say that on Friday night Keith surprised me with night out...babysitter planned and all. We went to Cracker Barrel and then to hear Stanton Lanier play piano. It was lovely. I sat in a pew at this church and soaked in the peaceful music. Keith stood in the back the WHOLE time and held a restless baby...good man. But apparently, despite the endless soul is like a dry sponge and that night was merely a few drops of water. See, truth is, I think Keith and I are both dry sponges right now. We both are in desperate need of a break. It has been a year since we had a night...ONE night away without kids. And before had probably been a few years. We are tired. You can only go so long without refreshing. No one would expect a person who LOVES their job to go on doing it endlessly for twelve years without a vacation. Granted, we have had days off here and there but...not nearly as many as parents of six would need. I am not asking for pity here...really, I am not. Facts are facts. We are parents of six. This is the life we chose, we are called to. We do not have family nearby who can help. It is a lot to ask even if they did live close. And I am just flat out not good at asking friends for help. Don't have the finances to pay someone and hate leaving them anyway. So, you can is a situation of our own making...thus no need for pity. But every once in a while I step back and I see two parents who are pretty well depleted and operating out of their reserves.

I think Satan just jumped on my back early this morning....very early...about 4:45am to be precise. Grayson was up for his second feeding...a reality I am having trouble accepting since he was only up once a night for a while. But, it seemed that somewhere between feeding and burping him and getting back to sleep that my mind clicked on to the thought of homeschooling. The year is winding down. And it is always at this point that I realize my failures. Can I be brutally, painfully honest here? I stink at homeschooling. Truly. And I am without excuse. I have the training needed to school my kids. I even have the creativity. What I don't have is the energy. What started out when Grant was a boy as a creative endeavor full of dreams and possibilities has turned into me buying standard textbooks and feeling guilty for it. I think of my friend who wisely chose to buy the entire set of Abeka curriculum for her kids. She made no apologies (and should not have) for the fact that all she cared about was that they get a solid, complete education. Meanwhile, I dreamed of creative whole book options to teach various subjects. But time and again, any subject that I have left to my own creativity and planning has failed. Any subject that relies on a textbook gets done because my boys can master that without much help from me. Is that sad or what? I just feel like a failure. I don't feel that my boys have really had a quality education. Are they smart? Yes! They are on level with their work but only I can really know the true potential that they are missing. And I just can't tell you the days that I LONG to go back in time when Grant and Garrett were little and I didn't have the heavy burden of school on my shoulders. I miss that with my three little ones. Gone are the days when I could just feel guilt-free about being really productive around my home, running errands and just playing with my kids. Now, if I am productive in my home I know that school suffered that day. Or, if I need to run an errand it interrupts everything. I hate the burden. Do I love having my kids home...yes, mostly I do. Do I want to send them to school? No. I just want out of the burden of knowing that if they fail at school it was because of ME. And it truly is. They are smart boys. It is my job to put all of that potential to work. It is too much. It really feels like too much. And I feel it is all on me...

And finally...I have hit such a wall of discouragement about my weight loss. I have hit a wall after losing 7 pounds pretty quickly I cannot lose one pound more. And I have 25-30 more to go. I know, I know...Grayson is only 3 months old. I am breastfeeding. I get it. But, when I am working so hard to lose it...I want some gratification. Yeah, patient. I hear you. But, I feel like I have been trapped in this body for 4 years now. And I hate it. It is not me. So, what do I do? When I step on the scale and see NO loss...I eat chocolate. There is wisdom for you!

So, that sums up my foul mood. One foot in front of the other. That is all I can do today. I need to get in the Word and hide in the cleft of the rock until this storm moves on...and it will. Love you all ~M.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A man in a boy's body....

I am a mother of boys. I am a mother of boys. I am a mother of boys. Maybe I should emphasize the word in bold that I mean to stress....I am a MOTHER of boys. Note: I am not trying to emphasize that I have many BOYS...because believe me I KNOW THAT! :D But, rather...I am trying to put emphasis on ME. I am a woman...once a girl...forever a female...but alas...a mother. Why do I tell you this? Because we are hitting puberty around here with boy #1 and it is hitting me HARD that I have NO clue what I am doing. I am a WOMAN, a MOTHER, a female for stinkin' sakes! I absolutely DO NOT get a boy's brain. Pah-leeze...I do not even get my husband's brain most of the am I supposed to get a boy's?

I mean, the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy is NOT funny. It is based mainly in poop, pee, and boogers...or things exploding. When a boy begins a sentence with: "Wouldn't it be funny if..." the answer, at least for my female mind is, "NO!" I don't even have to hear the rest of the sentence! And a boy is like a large breed puppy. You know the kind with the HUGE paws on a small body who has ZERO control of his limbs? The one who jumps on you at full force but doesn't know his own strength as he lovingly knocks you to the floor? that. A pre-teen boy hurts everyone, including himself, constantly for having NO CLUE about his own body.

But, here is the dilemma. Inside that bungling boy is a man very much wanting to get out. And as his mother I am supposed to help bring that man out. And that boy wants respect. When he tells a dumb joke or a REALLY long silly story...he wants (no, make that needs) me to laugh. And when he hurts himself or me or his brothers accidentally, he needs me to look the other way and not humiliate him for it. And when he cries (yes, boys do this) he needs me to hug him and not press him for words. After all, he is still a boy...until the man comes out. But, I fail so often. I tend to give that, "What were you thinking?" look far too often. I am the first female he has a relationship with. I want to model how to treat a woman. I want to model how a woman should treat him. Ugh. What pressure. Six sets of eyes looking at me. Oh Lord, I am definitely going to need lots of grace here. And lots of their forgiveness. But Lord, make them wholly Yours...despite me....and if I could but ask one thing more... Lord...make them wholly Yours sometimes because of me.