Thursday, March 27, 2014

Too Much Fear

I have too much fear.

Tonight, My Other Half is sick with a cold and asleep by 8:15pm.  All three kids are in bed and asleep.  I am awake downstairs and alone.

The doorbell rings.  It's 8:45pm, dark and pouring rain outside.

I freeze and feel my heart pounding.  Do I answer it?  Usually, I make My Other Half answer the door at night.  But he's in that deep, sick sleep and can't hear anything.

The doorbell rings again and then there is knocking.

I scrape together whatever courage I have, turn off the house alarm, turn on the outside and inside lights, and answer the door.

It's my next-door-neighbor!  And he's letting me know that My Other Half's trunk to his car is wide open in the storm.  Oh how silly and stupid I feel!

I profusely thank him and he closes the trunk for me.

My heart slows down and realize that I have too much fear.  I almost didn't answer the door.  Why?  What has caused me to fear the doorbell ring at night and the person on the other side?

There is so much good and so much bad in the world.  When I allow the bad to be my only judge, then I have too much fear.  And while I understand that a healthy sense of self-preservation is wise, when I almost don't answer the door by myself at night, I've allowed the fear to rule.  I don't trust the person on the other side of the door.

But how do I balance the trust and fear?  I don't know the answer to that...

Linking up with Things I Can't Say

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's My Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me! :)

This week marks 33 years on this earth.

I don't feel a day over 23. :)

It's strange to me to think I have entered into my thirties when, in my head, I always think of myself as the young kid just out of college and newly married.  Maybe it's that feeling of having your whole life ahead of you.  Because I still feel that way.

In those ten years, I've had a lot of new experiences: I taught junior high science, we bought a house, I left the school and became a mom three times over.  But I still feel a lot younger than my years.  Isn't the saying "You're only as young as you feel"?

Even though time and responsibility have proven otherwise over and over again, I just can't wrap my head around feeling older than a college graduate.  When I think of myself, I always see that 23-year-old.

The date tells me otherwise, but I choose to ignore it.  I'm still very young inside my head and I like it that way! :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fulfilling My Promises

One of the things I severely lack is the follow-through on a promise, big and small, to my children.  This can range from saying "Yes, you can have a snack" to "Yes, we can go to the library, museum, aquarium, etc. today".

It was disheartening when I realized that my kids didn't really believe me when I said I would play with them after I was finished with whatever task I was doing.  They didn't think I really would take a minute out of getting dinner ready to give them a piece of fruit.  In short, I wasn't following through on my promises and they were on the verge of not asking me to play with them anymore.

Last week and this week, I've made it a priority to do what I said I would.  I promised Prima and Segundo a snack this afternoon.  It took me over an hour to get it, but I finally cut up some strawberries for all three kiddos.  Segundo asked and asked for me to build one of his Lego trucks this weekend.  I said yes, clarified that I would work on it a little at a time, and between myself and My Other Half we finished it on Sunday.

What I noticed, especially this weekend, was that I tend to say "Yes, I'll do that" or "Yes, we can go there" but then reality gets in the way or I really don't mean it or I just don't make the time to make it happen.  And I end up with disappointed and disillusioned kids.

Making good on my promises has forced me to actually listen to what I am being asked to, think about whether I can make all or part or none of it happen, and then do what I said I would.  It has also put some things into perspective for me, and made me realize that I am much too obsessed with my own chores to enjoy playing with my kids.  It's forced me to step away from the laundry and go play cars with Terzo or build with Segundo or read with Prima.

And that has been the best gift about keeping my promises.  I've spent real time with my kids and they got their Mommy back.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

He Missed Me!

My little Terzo absolutely loves his Daddy!  He asks for Daddy, wonders where Daddy is and what Daddy's doing.  Terzo misses My Other Half so much all day long that when My Other Half is home, Terzo wants almost nothing to do with me.

Today, Terzo and Segundo spent the afternoon with Grandma while I was at Prima's school helping with recess duty.  Both boys were very excited to see Grandma and have lunch with her!  They had an extremely adventurous lunchtime involving my turning on the house alarm this morning, Grandma setting off the alarm this afternoon, and a nice visit with a local police officer.

When I came home, I apologized profusely to my Mother-in-Law (who was unbelievably kind about the whole thing) and said hello to my boys while they were eating lunch.  Terzo looked over at Grandma and said "Mommy's home!  Grandma go now!"  He was basically telling her to leave!  He wanted out of his seat and he wanted me to hold him!

Terzo missed me!  He actually missed me!  After freezing my behind at recess duty and worrying over the alarm, Terzo's snuggle when I picked him up was exactly, exactly what I needed.

My Other Half says that I spend so much time with Prima, Segundo, and Terzo that they actually don't have time to miss me.  Since he's gone all day, of course they miss their Daddy.  He makes perfect sense.  Still, it's nice to be needed and today Terzo gave me a little reminder of that.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Am I Unimportant?

I asked my husband last night if I was useless.  But I didn't mean useless, I meant unimportant.  Am I unimportant?

I'm not super passionate about being a fitness instructor, or a runner, and I can't remember the last book I actually read (even though I love to read).  I'm not a marathoner, a rock climber, a kayaker.  I hated being a teacher and I don't have a charity I am so into, nor am I even remotely invested in my kids' school (meaning I really don't volunteer there at all).  I just don't have this passion, this fire, for much.  

Except my family.

But how extraordinary is that?  I mean, that's ordinary.  To be a Stay-at-Home mom is a dime a dozen these days.  And those Stay-at-Home moms work from home, volunteer at local charities, run marathons, and save the world.  That's what your supposed to do, right?  Earn money or volunteer or do something extraordinary while raising children.

And I don't do any of that.

This morning I read these words:
"Review your life. Is it not composed of innumerable actions of very little importance? Well, God is quite satisfied with these. They are the share that the soul must take in the work of its perfection."-- Jean-Pierre de Caussade, p.7

I am not a very religious person at all.  Religion and I have some major issues, but this kind of struck a chord with me.  And then my son fell asleep in my arms on the couch this afternoon.  Terzo climbed into my lap while Segundo and I were listening to an audiobook.  Terzo laid his head on my chest and that was it.  And while I sat next to Segundo with Terzo asleep, I felt important.  I felt that I mattered.  At least in this little section of the world doing nothing that was super important.  

Here in these four walls, what I do matters.  How I act, what I say, it all matters.  These four people don't care that I am ordinary.  They think I can move mountains, even if those mountains are really just piles of laundry.  

And this is my extraordinary moment today.  Here among the ordinary afternoon tasks, I had a sleeping toddler on my chest and a growing boy sitting next to me listening to a great story.  For the first time in a very long time, it was enough for me.