Monday, November 07, 2011

Trying Again

Last night we were at Scott's brother's house, playing Apples to Apples, eating dessert, hanging out and talking.  It was nice and cozy and warm.  The kids built forts, us girlsies chatted.

 (pic taken in June 2010)

The guys talked and were looking at stuff on the computer.  It was so fun to be together.  
Then we bundled up and went home into the dark.

Darkness is settling in on the valley.  Daylight savings time came and it's dark before 6 now.  It's cold out, moisture in the air.  We listened to The Cambridge Singers singing Christmas carols on the way home, looking at the lights from buildings, and, eventually, our quiet street.

Everyone was tired.  We got the kids in PJs, brushed teeth, read scriptures and said family prayer.  During the prayer, I felt Mia's little hands softly touching my eyelashes, still accented by mascara.  Then she was touching my earrings.  As this was happening, I had this distinct impression.  I'm still her everything.
She's watching me.
She's learning about womanhood from me.
What it means to mother.
How we talk to each other.
How I act under stress.
What I think is important.
How to be a wife.
How you show love and compassion.

That's a tall order.
One I most certainly have small successes with sometimes.
One where I also make lots of mistakes, and teach her things, by my own example, that even I don't believe are right.

I felt so aware, once again, of wanting to try harder.
To try to give my best.
Because I want so much for them, and I can't possibly be everything that I want them to learn.
Already this morning, waking up about 7 to fighting and slamming doors downstairs, I was very aware of having tired children (time change and all).  Already feeling frustrated because it just seemed like it was going to be one of those off days where folks get frustrated easily and there's lots of crying and fighting.
Already stubbing my toes at patience.

I remember this, before we had kids.  
 It was just the two of us.
Motherhood was the perfect dream in the distance.
When I thought I would name it.
I wouldn't ever yell.
I would be endlessly patient.
I was going to be a perfect mom. 

That's the true tall order.
Too tall.
Too exhausting.
Inspires a lot of the ugly G word: GUILT. 
I've stopped saying never.

A while back, I remember having the distinct thought that instead of trying to be Supermom, I should just try hard to be a Super Mom.  To take my role seriously.
To try hard.
To love.
To teach. 
To apologize when I make mistakes. 
And also to be kind to myself, and not expect Supermom.

I remember this, when they were still so tiny.  Never contrary.  Always so cute.
 Never whining.
Never fighting with each other (oh, the fighting sometimes!). 
A time when I felt like the perfect mother, because I wasn't tested. I was oh so in love.

And now we have this.   
 There's a lot of laughter and a lot of love.
Lots of things I cherish about this stage.
I'm still so in love.
In fact, the bonds that I feel for them frighten me because of their strength, their powerful tugging.
But I'm tested.  
And this work that I love so much can be exhausting in so many ways. 
I think it's about balance: trying harder to consistently be what I want to be for them, but also not expecting Supermom from myself.
Motherhood has been my most lovely dream, and more than perfect ever could mean.
I love it beyond expression.
But it demands a lot.
And I'm trying to give it my best. 
And practice forgiveness and trust the Lord with the rest.

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