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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lessons in the Dark

I read the book to them for the zillionth time.  Eyes sparkle as if the words have never fallen on their ears before.  "Open!"  "Open!"  The one with curls exclaims and drags the bag of legos to my feet.  We stack the tower that is never finished because little hands much prefer to knock it down.  Then we make our daily attempt at using the crayons until the adventurous one takes a bite or two.  Back into the closet they go while I am hoping she has not acquired a permanent taste for colored wax. They call for a "Nack!" and I whisk them into the highchairs for a snack of goldfish and applesauce.   Giggles fill the room as I tickle our way through naming the body parts of my captive audience.

Our days are mostly the same.  The routine doesn't change that much.  Except that it will in 4 weeks when we add another tiny, wiggly one to the mix.  I have the first short gasps of panic as I think of how we will all adjust when the grandmothers have gone home.  And I am in charge again.  Alone.  All day.  With all 3 of them!  How will we survive the busyness and the not sleepingness and the messiness and the toddler clingyness?  How will I meet all the needs of these three teensy pairs of eyes that will look to me almost every waking minute?

And then I remember.  The lessons in the dark. 

I remember the weight on my chest and how I could barely breathe from the pressing pain after she was taken from me.  The emptiness of aching arms.  The suddenness of disaster.  The grinding away to nothing of my heart that repeated itself each morning when my eyes cracked open.  And how I thought to myself,  "I can never live the same way again.  I simply cannot go on breathing if my focus stays on what I can see."  What I could see, and what I had seen, were just too terrible.  So in my drowning I grasped desperately for something more.  Something eternal.  I begged for a view of heaven... for both my literal eyes and my paradigm of life.  I thought if I couldn't learn to live in a way where my focus was on the eternal weight behind things,  then I simply would not be able to keep living.

It is so easy here in the light to forget what we have learned in the dark.  So I whisper a prayer that these most agonizing lessons will not be forgotten.  That my vision will not grow clouded by sinks full of dishes and crying and 10,000 dirty diapers.  That I will not feel the weight so much of things that are not really weighty. That I will be able to teach my girls in the light what Mommy had to learn in the dark.  In the deepest of darkness.  That I will not stop begging for a view of heaven here...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

So Easy to Miss

I admit my attitude was not the best... ok, so it was a lot worse than that.  I walked in the door from my first day back to work at my part time job with the school after being off for the summer, and my excited munchkins made a beeline for me.  I reached down to embrace one of them who was headed for my legs with arms outstretched.  Before we could hug each other, she projectile vomited all over me.  Lets just say even my shoes were filled... I mean filled!   Ugh!  (Now, I know this is totally gross, but don't you people read this blog because it is "real?" :)

My first thoughts, well, after "disgusting!!" were something like "Seriously, God?  I am eight months pregnant in 100 degree weather and the first day back from work looks like this?!"  I am sure none of you ever think that way... So the rest of that evening was hard.  We repeated versions of that welcome home scene quite a few times.  Between dodging puke, cleaning her and me, trying to keep her twin out of the nastiness, and frantically trying to sterilize the house, it was one of those nights to remember...  or maybe to forget!

Several hours later she and I are the only ones up.  The house is dark and quite and I sit rocking and holding her close.  The only sounds are our breathing and an occasional whimper from my little one.  I run my fingers through her soft curls and brush them against her sweet cheeks.  And then I feel a change.  It seems almost like a warmth blows through my chest, and my heart wakes up.  The specialness of the moments grab me.  And suddenly I am so so thankful to be there rocking my sick baby.  In my arms.  Her blue eyes focused on mine.  Searching for reassurance.  Her gentle breathing comforting me in a place deep down.

My heart swells with thankfulness.  For my sweet, little one.  Still here with me.  For these moments that waylay you  in the midst of all the yucky ones.  For the time I had rocking the other sweet, little one.  Not still here with me.  I am suddenly, overwhelmingly thankful for the Gift of these moments.

And to think, I almost missed it...