All posts tagged: parenthood

The Inevitable Aftermath of Travel

I’ve written a lot lately on positive perspectives because, in this season of life, it is incredibly easy to operate in the opposite frame of mind. Yesterday, we returned from a two-week vacation in the Pacific Northwest. It was, at times, as slow going as Sun Road traffic. It was, at other times, as swift as cold currents. By plane cross-country and by car through three states, from Montgomery to Dallas to Kalispell to Essex to Spirit Lake to Spokane Valley – and back and forth between Spokane Valley and Spirit Lake a dozen times – all in the name of visiting family I miss dearly everyday. In the throes of such travel, it is the promise of familiar faces – and the pleasantry of familiar places – that fill the hours of travel with joy, not dread. Though traveling with two young children graces that mileage with an extra challenge. Still, I was happy to carry sleeping Izaak on my chest, sleeping Abigail on my hip, and loaded diaper bag on my back from …

Humble Pie at the Playskool Kitchen

One dog forgets his size while the other requires an escort to the backyard. Rufus and Scout. Amplifiers of chaos. Two extra children to raise. When all hell breaks loose, Rufus and Scout are the first to get the boot. “Scout! Kennel! Go!” He’s too swift to spank; I tap him on the butt with the toe of my tennis shoe. He runs in the opposite direction. Hides under the dining room table. Freezes in the shadows until I finally get close enough to scoop him up and just carry him to his kennel. He’s gone in a flash. I give up. “Fine,” I say. “Stay out. Whatever.” You’re small enough to not frighten anyone, though your yap is obnoxious. Rufus at my feet – and legs and hips – turns in the hallway like a yellow school bus stuck on a one-lane country road. “Rufus, move!” When he, like a horse at the stall door, is on the other side of the baby gate, I can finally open the door to greet whomever. Or …

Try Again

The baby, hungry and in search of warmth, cries. The toddler, energetic before nap time, refuses a diaper change. The doorbell rings and sleeping dogs fill the house with barking. And un-showered, un-prayed me is so tightly wound I’m shaking. It did not bode well when I slept though my alarm, fell asleep nursing, and walked into my day, chaotic and without so much as a completed prayer. It’s Monday and it feels like it. But I stop later to shower and catch my breath; the hum of the hairdryer puts Izaak to sleep. I vacuum up dog hair while Abigail sleeps. It’s visible progress, therapeutic. A small step in the right direction. When I can inhale more deeply, less shakily, I stop to pray and start Monday all over again. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,     for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;     great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23). His great loves helps me to stop, take a step back, and see my Monday from his vantage …

When You Go to Urgent Care for Alone Time.

I did not want to waste a sunny Saturday in a cold, sterile building, shuffled from one closed off area to another. Yet, my heavy head, stuffy nose, and lost voice begged I go see the doctor. I contemplated my options. But wait, it was Saturday. Which meant I could leave the kids at home with Zach. Which meant I could endure the waiting rooms of PriMed without complaint, for I had a scene rolling around in my brain. I envisioned myself waiting, alone, writing the minutes away. “Yeah, I’m gonna go,” I told Zach. And I left as soon as I could. The entire experience lasted approximately two hours – two sweet, long hours. It’s terrible to battle illness, especially in seasons already stressful. It’s also terrible to be forced to escape to urgent care, the mailbox, or even the bathroom for quality alone time. The night my chills heralded what would become bronchitis, I watched the stars above the tree line in our backyard and recalled the verse from my devotion that morning: …

Time is a Gift

When I am an old woman, the vivid image of your gray-blue eyes may flicker and the way she scolded you for crying. The sound of your whimper recalled only by recordings. That funny look that made her laugh, only a photo. One afternoon, the last ten miles home, you cried. She cried, too. Weary of the road, missing her YaYa. We were a family of four on our own for the first time, and the car filled with the kind of desperation that dissipates only when the engine dies. Your week old voice crescendoed. She matched your volume. I would have felt helpless except for your dad, who smiled back at me. Time slowed. I took in the June sun on summer kudzoo; the gray asphalt snaking through farmland, lush, even in drought; the unison of your distraught cries; the hand holding mine. I memorized the moment for myself for tomorrow, next week, next year. For the days when I am an old woman and unable to remember. Remember tough times. Sweet times. I …

Not So Subtle

The first time it happened, I thought maybe it was coincidence. The second time it happened, I knew it was real. Sometime after Thanksgiving, when our paper plates held another round of leftovers, Zach and I stopped to pray. It’s out custom to pray before we eat, and we always hold hands. This time we just folded our hands and bowed our heads. Months ago, Abigail caught on to our custom. We first had to grasp her tiny hands and they’d slip out to pick up whatever food lay before her. Eventually, she began to reach for our fingers before grabbing her food. Tonight, she put down her half-eaten pizza to pray with us. It didn’t take much for her to catch on except encouragement, modeling, and patience. So, when we were in the base chapel’s cry room a few weeks ago, her actions during prayer time shocked me. Abigail didn’t reach for our hands. She folded her own, closed her eyes, and bowed her head. Zach and I weren’t even doing that at the …