09 February 2012

Jumbled Thoughts on This Tightrope Life

Finally, a spare moment to write, and she starts talking over the monitor. I wonder if she'll last until I can marshall some order to these words, and if it's fair to ask her to.

***

I'm tempted to feel pushed to the margins of my own life, sometimes, like the things that value most to me get the least time right now, because of kids and teaching and being a wife.* Tempted, I say, because this IS my life. The diapering-feeding-sweeping-washing-reading out loud-cleaning spit-up off the sofa again-all of it. It's not glorious and it doesn't make for feeling significant or important, but it's my life.

It's the life I chose and the life I was given. Wishes, here, have become horses, and so beggars must ride, whether that means holding on for a pell-mell run over rough terrain or trying not to fall asleep after hours in the saddle when everything looks the same.

***

There's a balance, I know. My heart matters, even when there are a million things that legitimately need to be done before I do the things that nurture it the most. Sometimes, though, it's not a matter of not leaving room for self-care, but of looking up from the tasks that must be done to achieve basic living and realizing it's time for bed.

Jesus calls us to give up our selves, but to give up a self, you must have a self in the first place. To give myself to the tasks Jesus has called me to, I must know what the other things are, too. I must know the things that are for later, for when the kids are older, for a time when I'm not up at night feeding the baby and teaching two classes on top of (still) getting used to being a mother of two.

***

There's enough time in a day for everything I'm legitimately called to. I don't believe God calls us to more than will fit into our days, if we're faithful to spend our time well. That includes rest, by the way. And so I trust him with my heart, trust that he'll make time for me when I don't see a way.

***

She's still talking, by the way, happy as a little bird. I'll get her, now, and know that this time was a gift straight from his heart to mine


* There should be a word for that. Wife-ing? Maybe there is one and I don't know what it is. That's entirely possible.

01 February 2012

Growing Up

Time wings by, passing us unless we mark it somehow. He's more than two months now, and the early days, the ones everyone tells you to hold onto, are going and gone, and me with vague impressions in my head of smiles and coos. Already, too-small clothes pile up and I try to face truth that I may never see a child of mine in them again.

And she's two years, and I wonder where the hours are. I feel there must be a pile, somewhere, of seconds and minutes that I missed. We couldn't possibly have lived enough of them for her to be so big.

Time passes, and I can try to hold onto it or I can look at their faces now. I can wonder what I missed, which precious moments didn't get catalogued by photograph or memory, or I can look at what I have, at what my hands hold now, and marvel.

Moments weren't meant to be held. A few, perhaps, we'll cradle forever, but most of them are meant to be lived. I mean the bad ones, too, the ones where she learns she's not part of me and two asserts itself with a vengeance, and the ones where tummy aches keep him awake and tired baby eyes beseech the world for sleep.

Stopping time would be a luxury, but it would also be a curse. I could hold the moments I want to remember, have enough time in them to write them down or take that picture or build an altar. But how to know when to stop the clock? What if the next ones would get even better? And, oh, the agony of choosing to start time again, not knowing what's ahead.

And so we go through life, unable to skirt around the edges even if we want to. For truly living isn't just making memories, it's also marching through the unmemorable and choosing to continue, and it's knowing that we can't hold onto everything we love, that not even our memories are entirely our own.