Friday Fragments-The Welcome Back Edition

Mommy's Idea

***Sam is going as Lady Gaga for Halloween this year; wearing his sister’s homecoming dress, her black “hooker boots,” and a blond wig, he is totally rockin’ the look. There was a dance at school today-he was wondering how his girlfriend (a new development, by the way) was going to feel dancing with a chick. Me, I am wondering how she will feel knowing her boyfriend is hotter than she is.

***I have decided that when Eli is dating someone, he is no longer allowed to bring her home. Both times he has dated a girl seriously enough to have her spend time here, I have fallen in love with them myself and then when they break up, I am devastated. He picks such nice, nice girls!

***Steve has taken to calling Josie “Joey,” which seems very fitting. When I carry her around in her sling I definitely feel like a mama kangaroo! I have never had or used a sling before, but I think I would go crazy without one now. A friend called her a “velcro baby” and boy, is that true!

***Speaking of Steve, he has been working a second job during harvest for a little extra cash. He has been wanting a goose blind for hunting, and earlier this week I was sure he was going to come home with one. Instead, he came home with a bunch of new clothes for Josie, including a lovely blessing/baptism dress. He is just a little besotted with his baby girl!

***I have been praying about a particular situation for the last month, praying for answers, praying for knowledge, praying for God to just tell me what to do already! The past couple of weeks, in talking with friends (I love text messaging, by the way) and family, I have gotten a glimpse of my answer, but this afternoon I got pretty clear direction about what I need to do. My reaction? “Oh, really God? Are you SURE?” Sheesh, I have SUCH an alcoholic mind!

***There was a Harvest Party last night at Owen’s school, complete with poorly organized trick or treating through the classrooms. We waited so long and it was SO crowded that we actually ended up leaving before it started; Owen said he was just too tired to stand any longer. We came home and he fell asleep at 7:30 without eating dinner, and crawled into our bed in the wee hours burning up. I hate that he feels so bad, but it has been a nice, quiet day hanging out at home with him.

Ah, it is good to be back, truly. Special thanks to Mrs.4444 for coming up with Friday Fragments; I have missed them!

News

First there was this, followed in rapid succession by this, and now? There is this:

A woman came into the office this morning, and I see a lot of people who I don’t always remember but this woman I did-because when I met her, she had just had a baby and looked tired and frumpish and I felt sad for her at the time. Now I have to laugh ruefully because I think people probably see me in the same light, and probably don’t feel sad for me since I chose this.

I have been arrogant, because I sort of thought it would be easy. Or maybe not easy, but not quite so hard. I had not taken into account how different each of my children have been, did not plan for a pregnancy that was not good and a precipitous and very scary birth, and certainly did not plan for a baby who is, let’s face it, a high needs baby. Nor was I prepared at all for how I would feel when leaving her at daycare for the first time, and every day since. Going on my fourth week back at work, and while it might be getting easier for Josie, it isn’t getting any easier for me. Where did this woman come from, this woman who literally aches for her baby during the day? I don’t know, but I surely do feel Josie’s absence, or rather my absence from her. Maybe because I am older, maybe because I know she is my last one, maybe because I remember how fast it all goes, it’s just been a struggle.

But…of course I wouldn’t change it. I am working so hard at trying to accept that this is how Josie is; she needs/wants ME, and she cries, and often we can’t really console her (though I am reluctant to label her as a colicky, or even difficult, just…needy), and she starts to cry real tears now, and my heart breaks over and over again. I don’t love her more than my others, not in a second-but baby love is different, and she has forced me to open my heart wide and love her even more, and it has caused a shattering in my life. She sleeps best like this, nursing and holding on:

And there have been so many other things going on! Owen in kindergarten now and Eli a senior, Sam coming into his own in seventh grade and Hannah trying to figure out how to manage becoming a true adult who has to make sacrifices….Aubry turned a year old and started walking, and when Steve and I get home from work, she waves and says “Hi!” and comes over for hugs. All of this and more, too much and not enough to say all at the same time.

But here I am, feeling like I am starting over and yet picking right back up where I left off, and I feel tired and overwhelmed, yet so full that I am overflowing-both literally (ha) and figuratively.

This for me is grace.