I hesitated to use that picture up there. But, I like to be an open book. And this is one of those posts where, you too, might need a coffee and a cigarette. I only smoke a few times a year, ok?!
I’m just going to come out and say it. I am overwhelmed this week. Really, this month. I mean, I am in one of those seasons of life where I feel like I am clawing for a break. A moment to catch my breath. Recover from whatever it is I just experienced. The stress has been continually on the rise. Both good stress and bad stress. But man, stress is stress. And I am in a sea of change. Of big decisions. Of supporting and loving those around me. Of learning to let go. To trust in my work. To trust in God’s work. And to face the fact that, at some point, the weight of my world cannot be carried alone. That it doesn’t have to be this hard. And I know this is true.
But sometimes our intuition works in complete opposition of our survival.
Dave’s had a rough month. An exhausting month. Both physically and mentally. And I, well…, as his wife, as the woman who loves him with every breath in my body. I have been worried about him. Facing the death of his mom which happened as a child. Or the death of his grandfather just weeks ago. And just this weekend, in the ICU, laid his dad, not only lucky to be alive, but lucky to have use of his body (long story, full recovery in progress.)
How can this man not have a broken spirit?
I find myself watching him sleep the same way I do my children. Just wishing I could carry the weight for him. Heal his sensitive heart. And hold him, the way he does me, almost all of the time.
And the kids. Collectively and individually, they are a lot. I worry about them. I love them to a point where I am not even sure what is best for them. Is it wrong to want to keep them all to myself? I’ve never made clear decisions based on emotion — and boy am I emotional. Brooks started Pre-K this year. And I find myself clawing for more time with him. Like, somehow I feel that when he starts school next year — Kindergarten. Full days. Full years of school ahead of him. I will have lost something. Something I have loved with every ounce of my being. These long long days.
In the moment, you think they’re killing you. But I will forever cherish being present for each and every moment of these early years.
And this sensitive boy. He ain’t no daycare baby. I’ve rarely even left him with his relatives, let alone a teacher over these past four and a half years. He is my heart. And the thought of not feeling and watching it beat every minute of every day is terrifying. And for all of these reasons, when I drop my boy off at school lately, I can feel that lump in my throat start to rise. Not for the day. Or the school. But just for the fact that this baby is a boy. A boy that is learning and must learn to be independent. I start to see why homeschooling is so appealing to some mommas. Except that I have a boy that is wildly curious for his world. My first baby. I feel myself grasping for more time with him. As if somehow this is my last year. To have him home. With me. I can’t believe I am going to say this… but… I think I am going to miss those days. The hard and long ones. Where you think you’re going to die. But you step back — out of the moment — and realize we were all together. The whole time.
And, as I struggle to catch my breath, I remember that, beyond Dave and Brooks, there are still two more to this equation. Two that have my soul just as much. Who carry their own burdens. Who break my heart in the most beautiful ways. Two little ones that require this momma in the most exhausting ways. Who fight to both be held. And loved. Who fight for their place in this family and this world.
And some days, like today, I just wish I had more to give. More hands to hold these people that deserve a moment all to themselves. And while every instinct — every momma intuition — tells me to work harder. That if I reach down deep enough I can give them the world. I know it’s not true. That I cannot do it alone.
And that this world is not mine to give. It’s God’s.
And in knowing I need Him. In knowing this world is His. I no longer confuse my fear of inevitable change for instinct and intuition.
Some of us talk to ourselves. Some speak affirmations in the mirror. For me, I pray. So bare with me as I put this out there:
Dear Lord, please give the ones I love the world. Your world — not mine. A world I so desperately want for them. And mostly Lord, please guide me as I shape these little hearts. A job that I know is much bigger than myself. Amen.