Friday, December 24, 2010

Don't wait.

She screams when I lay her down for a nap now. Merry Christmas to me. She's getting wise in her old age of 2 1/2, and is one of my best manipulators yet. I will not be shaken (which I repeat three times while closing my eyes and clicking my heels...).

So let the blogging distraction commence. I'm a task-oriented kind of girl, and getting on task helps me to not be tempted to give in. So there. You'd think this would be easy by now.

There was a time when I thought that we'd get it figured out once and for all. Surely after our second (or third, or fourth) baby, we'd slide into parenting cruise control. You know, taking life in stride, not getting ruffled about things that make us uncomfortable and limit our adult lives.

Once upon a time I cared about things like cute matching outfits for events like trips to the Christmas tree farm. You know, for those Hallmark-looking photographs where children with sweet pink cheeks are behaving perfectly, and tilting their heads at all the right angles.

Somewhere along the way, in all of my parenting maturity (ha!), I realized that matching puffer vests do nothing to help an outing go smoothly. In years past, most likely someone peed in those matching pants, or threw up on their brand new coordinating sweater. Forget about the Hallmark picture. I just wanted a set of clothes that didn't stink the entire van up on the way home. But we trudged on. We kept trying. We learned to not take ourselves so seriously, and to add a lot of laughter a long the way.

We learned that memories are made in the moments, not in the outfits.
We let go of unrealistic expectations for our kids, and for ourselves.
We decided to keep traditions, even if they are a little bit of work, and they don't always go as planned. Because boys grow up and start to remember the best parts, and laugh about those little details that make us parents tired just thinking about it. Our trip to the farm this year? Pretty uneventful. Don't be surprised, ya'll. 'Tis the season of miracles. No one's outfits matched, and I didn't even get a picture with all six of us in it. I'm not even gonna lie... I couldn't find a pair of gloves for Tess, so I just grabbed an extra pair of her socks before heading out the door. Worked like a charm. And I almost didn't care what anyone thought. What a peaceful morning outdoors with the five loves of my life. I breathed in the fresh air, and it was almost as if God confirmed our craziness: "Don't wait until you think it will get easier. Just engage yourself in the moment that's called today. There's so much joy in the moment. If you think too hard, you just might miss it."

P.S. And... she's finally asleep. Sweet relief.

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