Compelled

I am sitting here at my desk this morning.  Remembering the way the pink filled the sky just above the horizon.  Watching my youngest board the bus from our window, just to make sure.  Smelling the sweet teenager perfume hit me as they hug me goodbye.    Listening to the blow-dryer go as our tween-ager styles her do.  Gazing on a contagious child sleeping away curled up under the covers.  Then I hear it.  Words that singe my heart.  Reminding me that this time is fleeting.  The moments we try to capture are passing us by.  And yes motherhood is a bit like trying to keep all those memories in a live scrapbook, you know like the newspapers in Harry Potter.  They just don't exist.  If they did, though, you can guarantee that mothers everywhere would have that market cornered. 

This parenting job, the responsibility of being called "Mama" is a tad overwhelming at times.  And while I'm on the adolescent years my siblings are in the toddler and infant stages of it all.  When I talk to them and the exhaustion oozes from their words or when I hear the latest battle of wills that has taken place I smile.  Ok, sometimes I laugh and more often than not I do stop and say thank you that isn't me.  I remember those days.  Oh so well.  With four that were all under five years of age I will admit they are a bit blurry.  But they are some happy times. 

Jared and I went from the two of us to the six of us in a blink of an eye.  We learned together and how I wish we were at liberty to have bottled up all those firsts and miniscule moments that seemed like no matter and save them in a jar.  Save them for a rainy day when we needed to remember.  Or hear a sweet giggle.  Maybe for when I needed to see the twirling around.  Or to find out who really took my lipstick from my purse and made beautiful body art.  Who took the sharpies from the drawer and colored on the sofa, the clothes and the table.  Oh, not to mention their own body and those of their siblings.  Hmmm.  All the park days and zoo visits in the heat of Arizona summers.  Dancing in the hot summer time rain.  Swimming until their little fingers turned pruney.  Moving across the country and having family road trip become a mantra for us.  Catching fireflies and playing spotlight tag.  Jumping on the trampoline under summer skies and fishing at the lake.  Climbing trees and talking in tree houses.  Going halfway around the world together and loving every second of it even when fear gripped us so tight.  The dinner table conversations that have evolved from learning manners and asking to be excused to contemplative thoughts ranging from our current state of government to travel dreams and geography games.  Late night discussions and prayer sessions intervening for friends or family or just praying that whatever it is that has a strong hold over their hearts is taken from them.  From lighthearted laughter and playful games to the heavy, deep intrusive job of living life together.  Of not being a friend but a parent. 

All those priceless moments bottled up, shown in a reel in a newspaper, there at my disposal.  To remind me.  To compel me.  For me.  To show up.  Be present.  Breathe it all in.  To love more.  To love better.  To love deeper. 

If this post seems a bit all over the place that's because it is.  I followed the tangent and let my fingers do the weeding through.  I am grateful.  And when I think about the awesome job given to me of parenting these four and being a family of six it is sometimes daunting.  Sometimes swallows me up.  Tosses me around like shells in the sea, riding the tides and eventually being thrown on to the shore.  Then there are seasons of peace and understanding.  However fleeting.  This is my life.  So recalling all those moments inspires reflectiveness and thanksgiving.  A life lived.  Time on this earth shared.  Challenges met.  Battles lost and won.  People loved.  People lost.  All the in between.  There is purpose.  And the mere fact that I am standing, well sitting in this case, breathing, means it isn't over just yet.  Thank the mighty Lord. 

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