Things are hopping around here!  Drew’s hopping, yes.

But lots of other things are going a million miles a minute too.  Sometimes I feel rather insulated from the “real world” out there.  Don’t worry, I caught about 8 hours of Royal Wedding coverage thanks to our DVR.  Alex kept saying, “Is that princess STILL getting married?!?!?”  And randomly, I turned on the news to catch the Bin Laden drama.  But finding time and energy to do much more than be present with the daily needs of the boys and making sure we all have food, water and sleep, is beyond me.

Trying to “force” a little creativity here and there.  By force, it means requiring Alex to get started on things on his own and then seeing where he goes.  It’s always WAY more intricate than I’d ever come up with and in the end, I think it’s more satisfying for him.

Case in point, last night he got his bug net, bug cage, camera, a tube to use as a telescope and Drew’s bottle…he declared he was going hiking.

Later he added the glasses to make himself invisible and search for a hiding spot.  I told him hiding wasn’t necessary if he was invisible….but that was lost on him.  OH, well.

Or earlier, pretending he was a king with these scarves.  Seriously….these scarves have been EVERYTHING!!  Super great, versatile fun.

Trying to offer some organized fun to give him tools to create and craft new things…

And yes, I am that mom.  The one that bribes her kid.  Today is the Mother’s Tea at the preschool.  So many times I wonder how I got here.  Not here as in Sunnyvale.  But here as in….A MOM.  I remember labor and delivery well enough.  But I still look at their faces and think, “WHAT?!  Who left us in charge, thinking we could raise and handle them??”  (Luckily, I’m currently enrolled in a “Love & Logic” parenting class at church.  No need to fear.  There’s a lot of, “That’s so sad” comments flying around these parts lately.)

Anyhow, I bribed Alex to wear shorts today.  He only likes cozy pants, but it’s supposed to be in the 80’s today and geez, Louise….dress up a bit once in awhile. So he put this on:

And then he went and looked in the full length mirror in our bedroom and declared, “What in the whole wide world?!  I look really great!!

I’m so grateful that our life circumstances allow me to be present for many more of these moments lately, and yet, the hopping back and forth in my mind continues.  The delicate balance of me time, vs. focused time for them.  Getting up at 5:30am to go and work out compared with sleeping an hour and a half longer.   The tension between laying down the boundaries with empathy and consistency (yes, I was listening in the class on Sunday!) vs. wanting to lose it and yell.  The crafting ideas I want to do for myself, and the to do list items that need to be attended to….

(I squeezed in one on Monday night!)

There are way too many things that no doubt go through ALL our heads, as parents, as citizens of the world during this tumultuous time, as friends to others, as believers, called to love others as we love ourselves.  Right now, though, I’m trying to practice what I preached to the summer staff and volunteer counselors at Westminster Woods.  The need to focus on your sphere of influence.  If they were at campfire, for example, and two junior high kids were sitting a little **too** close and were distracting others with their “purpling” (serious term, folks….when boys–blue–and girls–pink/red–get too close and comfy….it becomes PURPLE.  USE IT.  It’s such a freeing, fun term.  Ha ha.) then they should quietly, use their own body language and influence to get them back on track.

So now, as a mom, I’m coming to terms that my sphere needs to shrink a bit.  I’m just not going to be able to keep in touch with as many people, commit to as many opportunities, volunteer in the same way or even find a job with the same reckless abandon I might have 10 years ago.

My dear friend wrote this to me in an email this week, and it totally sums up my own thoughts as I hop from thing to thing….

“Still, I have moments of feeling…lost…not feeling myself…lost in babies and their feeding schedule, lost without my support network nearby from my former church community, lost in my lack of independence and vocation. When will I feel like a mom…and feel like it’s right…and really me?”

So true.  Exactly what goes through my head as I seek to redefine my new identity.  She just had her babies in February.  I’ve been a mom for almost 4 years, and I’m still asking those questions.  I guess it’s hard to know if we ever really feel like a mom, completing accepting our own starts, stops, pitfalls, successes.  Instead of planning my days down to the minute, living by the clock as I did while teaching, I’m now having a much simpler list.  Today’s included working out while reading Real Simple, getting breakfast made (& eaten), making sure Drew gets two naps, showering, going to the tea, having quiet, everyone in their own room, time (seriously, a LIFE SAVER) and hopefully enjoying some outdoor time with the boys this evening while Matt’s at youth group.  Yesterday I managed Trader Joes with both boys and a full shopping list.  I was ready for someone to hand me a trophy when we’d all gotten home safe and sound, successfully unloaded the bags and food and were settled for naps.

Rather than following Drew’s lead, trying to hop from thing to thing, commitment to commitment and find myself trying to scrape myself off the pavement, I’m just going to be happy and satisfied with slowing things down.  Even when I question my identity as a mom and vocationally, I DO know that these are the moments I don’t want to miss.

Gotta love Natalie and how well this song has continued, over the years, to remind me to savor…(go ahead and play it and enjoy some 1999 video “goodness”!).

These are the days
These are days you’ll remember.
Never before and never since,
I promise, will the whole world be warm as this.
And as you feel it, you’ll know it’s true that you are blessed and lucky.
It’s true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.

These are days you’ll remember.
When May is rushing over you with desire to be part of the miracles you see in every hour. You’ll know it’s true that you are blessed and lucky.
It’s true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.

These are days.
These are the days you might fill with laughter until you break.
These days you might feel a shaft of light make its way across your face.
And when you do you’ll know how it was meant to be.
See the signs and know their meaning.
It’s true, you’ll know how it was meant to be.
Hear the signs and know they’re speaking to you, to you.

3 thoughts on “Hopping

  1. Oh my goodness, I am falling off my chair over here. Love the shorts, button up, new hair and glasses… more than that? I really love the mirror reaction. What a funny little guy.

  2. I have to agree with the comment about the silks. My kids still play with them. No dress up clothes needed. They make whatever they want out of these.

    The rest of what you said sums up how I feel on a daily basis…except that I always feel like I’m moving from one thing to the next making sure all three of the kids get what they need for school stuff. In a way I feel a little like a slave to my life circumstances. Let’s just say I’m really ready for a trip to CA in June!

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