18 March 2013

what we're doing

this week, we are:
building a fort in the front room.
watching, and playing, How to Train Your Dragon
waiting for warm weather
browsing pinterest to look at pictures of amazing birthday cakes
cleaning out the frightening and overwhelming basement
playing checkers
teaching G how to play Settlers
getting ready for kindergarten roundup tomorrow (more on that later)
playing with the camera again
kicking around the idea of a garden this spring
marveling over C's newfound and early (for our family) skill of walking

14 March 2013


So I have been keenly aware of my kids' emotional immaturity lately.  They are ages 5, 3, and 11 months, respectively, and each deals with exhaustion, hunger, and frustration in delightfully unique ways.  My oldest is a whiner, my middle child throws tantrums, and my baby... well, he's a crier.  I can't fault him for that, but there it is.

It has been driving me nuts this week.  We are at the tail end of winter.  It's a long tail.  My spring seasonal allergies are acting up, and there is still snow in the air and on the ground.  We are ready to get some fresh air, exercise, and a change in routine.  My patience is spent and the kids are feeling the same way.

But just as I was launching in to a lament in my mind about the kids' whiny, bratty ways, I felt that annoying nudge of the truth.  The tantrums I throw in the privacy of my own inner dialogue are far worse than any my children are capable of throwing.  They inherited their charming self-centeredness... from me.

And I remember, too, that if I am out of patience and love and understanding for my short people, it's because I have been trying to cruise by with just my own little supply.  My bucket of energy and joy is on the small side.  Most of it is used up by the time I get up in the morning after a rough night being woken several times by the bebe.  Which is the way it is meant to be.  This is what is supposed to drive me to a far bigger supply.  No, not Diet Mountain Dew!  Although I've tried that too.  My children's raw anger or whiny neediness and my own wounding impatience are flashing arrows pointing to our need for a Savior.   And when I beg him to show his strength and love in the gaps where I just. can't. make. it... he does.  And I can breathe. Smile. See the humor in the stall of the Wal-mart bathroom when the newly potty trained and underwear clad says that she missed the toilet and hit her underwear instead.  And the floor.  And she stepped in it.  Because in that moment, your heart hardens in despair- just a little- or you take a breath and exhale tenderness- just a little. Because there are far harder places to die to your own agenda and comfort than a warm bright Walmart bathroom. Because even white porcelain and taupe tile can be an altar.