Weekending — A very intense craving for Fall

In an effort to practice more writing and less blogging (and to try to work up to that 1000 words a day goal that I wrote about and subsequently ignored) I’m going to start posting a writer’s style weekend recap on Mondays.  A post where I talk about my weekend at great length with lots of details on specific feelings and such, and less of a bulleted run-down with pictures in-between.  So, you’ll either love it or hate it.  But at the very least, I hope you appreciate it.

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Walking along the hot sand yesterday, a bag of beach toys in one hand, the hand of a daughter in the other, I couldn’t help but wish so suddenly for fall.  Perhaps it was the fact that it was just 80 degrees–which up here could mean a hot, summer’s day or a cool, crisp fall afternoon–and I just wanted to be out of shorts and into jeans with a soft scarf wrapped around my neck. 

I’ve never craved fall before.  I anxiously await the heat.  I sit around enjoying the throes of summer.  I relish each bead of sweat the falls down my forehead.

But now?
Now I want fall. 

We drove an hour north to Wingaersheek beach yesterday, the only beach we’ve found with white sand, tidepools, and miles of cool water that’s barely waist deep.  The only beach with sand that will make a proper castle because of its lack of rocks.  We climbed all over the big rocks close to the shoreline.  We waded with the minnows.  We packed our buckets full of sand and turned them upside down.  Littlest just kept pouring sand from one bucket into another.  Little clutched Daddy’s hand and waded out in the waters for hours.

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I would be lying if I said that I’m enjoying this season to the fullest.  I would be lying if I said that each time I look into my daughters’ faces I feel this quick tug on my heart.  I would be lying if I said that I was prepared to be right where I am.

I can truthfully say that I’m so glad I have these exact two daughters.  And that it makes me so happy to see them smile, to say a kind “Hello!” to strangers we pass, to hear them call me “Mom” or “Mama” or “Mommy.”  It makes me content to know they’re not leaving and that we’re done with this one part of the journey (even if legal guardianship is still to come). 

But I think I’m beginning to crave that moment all moms say they have of looking at their child for the first time and becoming instantly overwhelmed with joy and love.  I still have to practice that one.  In the midst of being angry or impatient I often have to remind myself that these are actually my children, no one is coming through that door to relieve me of my babysitting duties, and that if I want the rest of the afternoon to go well perhaps it’s my attitude I should change.

I’m beginning to crave that next season in motherhood when my brain automatically realizes that I am a mom and sees these two as my own children, instead of me having to work to get there.  I’m beginning to crave that next season in our marriage when we become more of a team rather than two people that live together.  I’m beginning to crave new beginnings–new move, new home, new family, new friendships. 

I’m craving an almost fresh start, where people stop asking me How’s it going? because they’ve assumed that I was the one who birthed these children 4 and 2 years ago, and why would they want to know how I’m doing?

I need that crisp air to dig itself in and encircle all of us and carry us away into a new season of parenting, marriage, and living.

Perhaps I’m giving too much credit to fall.  After all, it’s done little for me before except bring a work week.  I don’t like pumpkin flavored anything, I don’t care for hot chocolate or hot coffee, and I don’t routine pop in to Starbucks to see a changing menu.  But there’s something different about this fall.  I smell cooler air and new promises on the horizon.  Things I’m going to soak in as much as I would a beating hot sun.

And even if this fall brings more of the same pain, struggles, frustrations, and long-suffering as the rest of the year has, I’m going to trust that it’s for my own good.

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Weekending — Monsters Under the Bed

In an effort to practice more writing and less blogging (and to try to work up to that 1000 words a day goal that I wrote about and subsequently ignored) I’m going to start posting a writer’s style weekend recap on Mondays.  A post where I talk about my weekend at great length with lots of details on specific feelings and such, and less of a bulleted run-down with pictures in-between.  So, you’ll either love it or hate it.  But at the very least, I hope you appreciate it.

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I often wake up in the middle of the night now.  I guess I should put a disclaimer on that and say that ever since I got married I would often wake up in the middle of the night.  Those first few months of sleeping in our full size bed I woke up wondering why there was a boy in my bed and I couldn’t figure out what room I was in.  Then I started waking up because the husband would thrash about and smack me repeatedly in the face (at which point I told him it was a queen size bed or a divorce). 

But now, now I wake up in the middle of the night when there’s crying coming through our baby monitor.  More often than not the crying comes from the littlest, who is merely uncomfortable and she begins to whine.  So one of us trudges down the stairs to move her pillow off her face, or to unstick her from between the bed and her railing, or to untwist her from her blanket so she can roll over. 

Sometimes, though, the crying comes from this deep rooted pain. Terror echoes throughout the house at 1AM, 2AM, or fifteen minutes before the alarm is supposed to ring.  Those times the both of us shoot out of bed, racing each other down the stairs and bust down the door to see which of the monsters that live under the bed are wreaking havoc on our daughter’s sleep.  One of us lays with the little that’s asleep, so that she doesn’t wake up to the screams and become afraid herself; the other tries to comfort the tearful little by praying to her, stroking her head, rocking her in the chair.

I think it’s safe to say that I cherish late evenings, now that they’re few and far between.  I cherish those hours and minutes where it’s just me and the husband playing cards at the table or watching HIMYM on the laptop in our bed.  Sometimes we use that time to discuss everything about our days the last few weeks, or we discuss how God is moving in our lives, or what we love most about each other.  Sometimes we don’t talk at all and we just mindlessly watch one episode after another snuggled under a pile of blankets because our HVAC system is out of whack and our bedroom is the coldest now that we have to put on our AC at night so the girls don’t drown in their own sweat.

DSCN9458But no matter how the night goes, no matter how many times we get up throughout the night, no matter how many cokes I have to drink to get through the next morning, no matter how long the terror lasts or how long it took to get the little back to sleep, when that sunlight bursts through all our windows, it brings a promise of a new beginning and a fresh start.  It brings with it a promise of better things to come.

Best of all, it brings with it four sets of chubby cheeks that I can’t help but squeeze, and four wide-eyes that have forgotten the past few hours and are lit up with what the day will hold.  Two smiles that brighten my own day when I walk into their room, and two bellies full of laughter so loud and glorious, no monster under the bed could ever survive.

Weekending–A New Project

In an effort to practice more writing and less blogging (and to try to work up to that 1000 words a day goal that I wrote about and subsequently ignored) I’m going to start posting a writer’s style weekend recap on Mondays.  A post where I talk about my weekend at great length with lots of details on specific feelings and such, and less of a bulleted run-down with pictures in-between.  So, you’ll either love it or hate it.  But at the very least, I hope you appreciate it.

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There’s something about the heat that spurs me to action.  I know, the opposite is true for most people.  But not me.  Rather than reaching out to me with it’s sultry, hot tendrils and pulling me under it’s long waves of exhaustion, it breathes almost a new spirit in me, rekindles a fire that was extinguished by a long, dreadfully cold winter.  And now that I’m in New England rather than Texas, the winters kill me more than they used to, and it takes the heat a long time to wake me up.

But wake me up it has, as the last few days have been mid-70s or higher.  A temperature that once had me covering my arms with long-sleeves or wishing for hot chocolate and a warm blanket now has me favoring projects over sleep, community over isolation, hard, laborious work over cozy, soft cuddles.  I wake up excited for what the day will bring, and I go to bed disappointed that the sun is finished for the day.

This past week was spent working in the yard.  We tore up the ground and dug a long trench to bury our TV cable.  We realized it didn’t take much effort for Foster Kiddos to dig it up to play with it, and the exposed cable was a problem needing remedy before Future Children arrive.  We enlisted the help of our friend and his daughter, a three year old who spent more time joyfully throwing dirt from the ground into her bucket and then back again.  After the dirt was broken up, replaced, and smoothed down again, after we dug up every last root left by plants planted by the people before us–plants who weren’t content to stay in their corner and insisted on taking root all throughout our tiny yard last year–after the promise of their return was dug up and dumped out, we went and bought some grass seed and some plants.  Mostly vegetables, some herbs, and all things that were already healthily growing.  My thought being that if they’re already flowering, then it’ll be harder to kill them.

I made myself a two-pallet garden and I now have my lettuce, tomatoes, onions, strawberries, herbs, and bell peppers in rows.  As much as I may love the heat, our grass seed and our veggies do not.  I often come home to find them half-wilted.  One spray of the garden hose and they perk up, but I’m afraid they’re not going to last too long.

I have dreams for that yard.  Dreams conspired over hot chocolate and under warm blankets with the husband all throughout the winter.  Dreams that are finally be acted upon.  Though the space is tiny, I imagine growing food for our little family.  I imagine two little girls digging for worms, or rolling their trucks through the terrain’s tiny hills and barely-there mountains.  I imagine spending many a night under stars and outdoor lights talking about life and love while the kids and dog run under our feet.  I imagine sitting at a tiny table for two, or a picnic table built for four, with just the husband–he’ll drink coffee in a giant mug, I’ll sip lemonade from a straw–as we dream up more plans for our space, for each other, and for our children.

I imagine all the scenes as I walk out the front door and down the sidewalk to hook up our water hose and while I walk back into my house, through my living room, and out the back door where the water is already sputtering out of the hose, ready to be used.  (Our condo complex didn’t seem to think it was necessary to put a spigot in the actual backyard, so we go to great lengths to help the grass and plants grow.)  I imagine all these things while I press one thumb over the hose opening and spray the grass until it’s all thoroughly damp.  I continue to imagine it while I do the reverse process of turning the water off and putting the hose away.

Right now these hopes for our near future are just imaginations–dreams–that fleet away the second my attention is diverted by a barking dog or a yapping neighbor.  But I know, and you know, that dreams don’t have to stay lingering in the black hole of unseen space.  I know that I have a hope and a future, and that even if these particular dreams don’t come about exactly how I want them to, there will be dreams that will become living breathing things.  And for that, and the lettuce leaves that are perking up, for those things I am so very grateful.