Do you think you’re awesome? I have the remedy for that! Two babies. Thirty minutes. Ego dissolved.
You will begin to doubt your own ability to dress YOURSELF. And you should. Because your T-shirt is probably inside out and stained with flung baby food.
It became clear to me this past week while Bill was away helping his dad in New Jersey that children were why we evolved within tribes. This two baby thing really needs to be done IN SHIFTS.
A 9 month old baby is a crawling, exploring, dog-chasing, shoe-chewing, couch-climbing, tiny ANYTHING-eating, CONSTANT DANGER TO HIMSELF.
And a three year old WILL fling her toys around dangerously close to said baby’s head if she is not getting her way.
She doesn’t get her way fairly often so, baby’s learning to duck.
Baby’s also learning to pull himself up to a standing position while I’m busy explaining to Ellie what will happen the next time one of her toys becomes airborne. Baby then wobbles and otherwise holds on precariously, preparing to fall onto anything sharp or hard edged near-by while I leap over downed toys and abandoned puzzle pieces to try and catch him in time.
Cue a high pitched anger-scream from Ellie because she is not getting the 99% of my time attention she is used to and…now you know how I spend my days.
I thought she was handling this baby-thing quite well.
I was wrong.
As a newborn he was sleeping a lot. And not in any immediate danger most of the time. And not trying to take-stand-chew-drool on all her favorite toys.
Now that he’s ‘out and about’ in the world, she is realizing he is a totally separate being in this family that also needs toys to play with, time, attention, and love. Toys, time, attention and love that used to be ALL HERS.
My solution is simple: Drinking wine instead of water until they’ve graduated University.
Ok no, that’s not it either. My solution is even simpler. Taking one day at a time. Sometimes they both get what they need, sometimes they don’t. But I’m doing my best every day and trust it counts for something.
Which brings me to my OTHER coping mechanism, I also meditate, AND pray, every day.
Not because I’m pious or super-spiritual, (um, obviously!) but as a means of sanity survival.
I was checking out a new church with the kids last Sunday and during his sermon he made fun of meditating. (And also anyone who mediates, IE, yours truly.) As soon as he said it Ellie's eyes swung to me like...did he just make fun of you mommy? And the answer is, yes. Yes he did. From the pulpit.
To me praying and meditating are two sides of the same coin and it kills me when I hear preachers come down against it from the pulpit. It’s closing off a way to connect with God (and yourself) that I have found invaluable in my life and it really irks me to hear someone slam it thoughtlessly. As a crowd pleaser during a sermon. (Always gets scattered laughter and a positive response).
They’re both coping mechanisms for when life gets hard to handle. When the gap between who you WANT to be and who you ARE gets a little too wide, it’s time to sit still. And listen. And unwind and let go.
There are a host of scientifically proven benefits to giving your mind and body a few minutes every day to be still and rest: from faster recovery times, lower intensity of chronic pain, less incidence of heart disease and, of course, less stress. All of these also apply to praying.
I'm all over the place today but lastly - I’d be remiss if I didn’t say SOMETHING about all these hate and confederacy statues…
To me, those statues were a part of history I probably should know more about. I didn’t realize what they symbolized until I watched men and women (and their poor kids) marching around it with hate symbols and signs, with weapons and shields and...rage. A rage I don't understand.
To sum up - if the KKK is for it? We know we need to be against it. Easy. Peasy.
Take. Them. All. Down.
Lastly, a few quotes about love and compassion that I think applies to any time we encounter hate, anger undeserved, racism and/or ignorance about something (or someone) we love.
“World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.” Dalai Lama
“In separateness lies the world’s greatest misery; in compassion lies the world’s true strength.” Buddha.
1 John 2: 9 (ESV)
"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.”
John 12: 34-35 (ESV)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Where's the love people? Where's the love? Also, WHERE'S THE BABY!? Ack.