I'm back at it after a longer than anticipated hiatus.
We did get a fabulous new computer and I have been trying to find a spare minute now and then to learn my way around it, waiting for new software and learning it too, trying to make my camera work with the new computer but mostly not having much time for any of it and being OK with that.
This is a season.
But I have missed writing.
If I don't write every day it feels like something is missing.
After a while, I long for it.
Also, so many of the things that happen here every day, little and big, I want to remember.
I miss writing those moments.
Hopefully I will continue to find my new normal as a mommy to 4 and be here more often.
Now, here's a little taste of where I'm at right now.
Davy's been here for 5 weeks, and I have to say, it's been the easiest first 5 weeks ever.
Maybe it's just because I finally know what I am doing with a newborn.
I think I've hit my stride with #4.
It all just feels very natural and easy with him.
Nothing much phases me.
It's meeting the needs of the other 3 plus Davy that sometimes, often times, throws me for a loop.
I won't lie.
It seems like every time I sit down to nurse the baby, someone needs me to wipe their bottom.
Or every time I sit down to nurse the baby and read someone a book, someone needs a snack.
Or every time I sit down to finally eat my breakfast, lunch or grab a bite of something, anything, someone says, "can I have a bite of that?"
"Can you get down our race track, Mommy?"
"Can you play Crazy Eights with us, Mommy?"
"Can you make Lilly stop drawing on my paper, Mommy?"
"Davy smells stinky."
"I'm stuck in the tree!"
"Davy has spit up."
"Can you read to me?"
And sometimes, I just want to say no.
Because I want some personal space.
I don't mind crowds. I don't get claustrophobic. I don't need an extra seat between me and someone else at the movies.
But those things only last for a time.
After a while, I like some space.
That's understandable right?
But I am realizing that my need for personal space and their need to be near me are at odds right now.
They want to be near me.
They long to be.
And when I push them away, it hurts.
One afternoon last week I was sitting on the couch nursing the baby.
It was the end of the day.
It was hot.
I was sweaty and tired.
James came and sat down next to me, leaned his hot, heavy body against me, and stayed.
All I could think of at that moment was that I wanted space.
I NEEDED it.
I had a baby attached to me, sucking on me, for heaven's sake!
That was more than enough.
So I said in the nicest voice I could muster, "sweetie, could you not lean on me right now? It's so hot and I'm sweaty and the baby is sweaty and you're sweaty."
But as he turned away from me I saw the hurt in his eyes.
And in that moment, I knew I was the most selfish of mothers.
He needed me more right then than I needed my personal space.
How many other times have I done that and been completely unaware of how much I have hurt him? Or the others?
Who knows what door he was trying to open that I had just shut in his face.
I often feel so justified in my need for space, for time, for "just 5 minutes".
But at what cost?
It is not easy to overcome selfishness.
When Davy is, again, attached to my breast, when there is a boy on each side of me, leaning hot, sticky bodies against me, when a girl climbs under my legs and over them, all while I read a book aloud to them, I sometimes feel my skin crawl.
I feel ashamed admitting it, but it's true.
I'd like to ask them if they could just sit in the chairs across from me, if Lilly could get the heck off my legs and if they could at least wait until Davy is done nursing.
But instead, I am trying to remember that they crave closeness right now.
They need me.
And I want them to remember me pulling them close, not pushing them away.
But it's not easy, this dying to self.
This weekend I was hot and sweaty after yard work and washing the car.
The kids were already in the pool when I came out in my bathing suit to join them.
"Are you going in the pool with us Mommy?" cried 3 voices almost in unison.
"Yes I am!"
You would have thought I said I was taking them to Disneyland.
Here's something else that's shameful to admit.
Far too often I use that time that they are happily playing to get something done.
Clean the bathroom, make a phone call, load the dishwasher, sweep, or some other task that I deem more important than time spent with them.
How much fun we had in that pool.
So much so they asked me again today, "are you coming swimming with us today, Mommy?"
"Yes I am!"
And not after I fold the laundry.
They just want to be with me.
"For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command:
love your neighbor as yourself."