Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Mathematics of Wholeness

The past few years have been marked by divisions. We divided ourselves from control and manipulation, starting over in a new state, with new careers, believing we had a new life. We believed making money, having high speed careers and living inside the Beltway was our proof we had 'made it'. What we came to realize was the division caused a subtraction of security, relationships and trust-of God, our family and sometimes ourselves.

We relocated almost a year (!) ago back to Pennsylvania. We again divided ourselves from the life and friends we made in DC. We subtracted stuff as we added ourselves to my Father's life and home. We moved for a job. I was let go just short of three months. It took my husband over 8 months to find a job. It seemed as though our bank accounts and our spirits couldn't get any more less than zero.

We added ourselves for the first time in just short of a decade to a church family. This has brought a multiplication of challenges and blessings-sometimes all in the same day. Whereas before we had a small circle of people to share our small apartment and even smaller amount of free time; for the Memorial Day dessert party, there were 21 people (a function of only 4 families being invited) and we talked in the driveway until close to midnight.

I've added my own consulting business. Though it's less than a formal company, I'm working on a website and letterhead, it still calculates into the family budget. My own business equals time with the kids, a semi-flexible schedule and I get to pay some bills. Not bad.

In my own soul and spirit, there has been much subtraction of ideas and assumptions. I thought I was a bad mother, a function of the PPD to be sure, but my belief nevertheless. Shared smiles, giggles, hugs and messes are all factors in my new mothering equation. I assumed success was based on my own calculations and not on submitting to the One who knows the total before the opportunity even presents itself. I have divided myself from the rejection from my own mother. She is losing exponentially with each passing day, as the children grow at the speed of light. I no longer will lose because of her, though my heart aches for a mother of my own.

There is a mathematics to this wholeness in our lives. The right subtractions and the right additions at the right time have added up to so much, it takes my breath away. I love and even like my husband so much more than I ever have. I see him in the pulpit and in the office and in the yard with the kids and I see who he was created to be. I have whispered conversations before bed with my oldest son about who he will marry and how she will think he is awesome. These conversations and connections were simply unimaginable when our lives were ruled by commutes and commitments. I have joined the Mommy Mafia and seen friendship and care of me, my family and my spirit grow three fold. I see myself in my toddler's smile and know, even on my worst day, that he loves me and that everything will, eventually, add up.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day Meanderings Part II

I know it was days ago, that hallmark holiday of holidays. I was given a certificate for a massage. NICE!

I was also given a sheet of paper with an interview on it from my 5 year old. It's like a kindergarten level mad lib. My mommy likes to, my mommy does...that sort of thing. Here are the items that made me laugh and cry at the same time:

I like when my mommy sings-----at church (now keep in mind at church he is either playing air guitar in the corner, transformers with his friends or sleeping-I didn't know he even noticed I am up there singing).

My mommy knows------everything (you betcha, tell all your friends!)

My mommy works hard on-----her projects (the gift/curse of being the child of a tellecommuting professional, he was mimicking checking e-mails at two and often will work on a "report" at the same table I am working)

Last night was the kindergarten celebration. In lieu of a formal 'graduation' children sang songs. On one he had to sign language I love you. He did so, looking right into my weeping eyes. I wept harder.

On another, he had to act out what he wanted to do when he grew up. He kept saluting. It occurred to me later, he wants to be a soldier. As an Army brat, I know, first hand, the cost, the pride and the challenge a soldier's life presents. I lived it during the cold war. He is living in the very hot, and very real, war on freedom. Inside I cringed, thinking of my baby, joining the thousands of other mother's sons, giving their lives in some desert, town or cave so far away. Outwardly, I saluted back. He'll never know the pain that choice would cause me. What he'll know, is that his mother loves him, is proud of him and would move heaven and earth to support him becoming who he was created to be. I can cry in private. I will cheer in public!

The last song they did was called, "Big, Big, Dreams". I thought of my own dreams for that handsome squirrely fella (who untucked his shirt halfway through to give his tummy a good scratch all while standing in the front row of the chorus!).

I dream, for him, and for my toddler son, that they would always know they are loved.

I dream of their wives and children hearing the wisdom, mistakes and victories that they experienced with their own mommy.

I dream of hearing their giggles and seeing their wiggles in my heart forever.

I dream of being their biggest champion, their biggest fan, that they would see themselves the way that I see them-full of potential, powerful and awesome young men.

That someday, if given a chance to mouth something into a camera, they would both say, "I love you Mom!"

Thank you Ian and Caden for making me a mommy. Thank you for taking my life and giving it back to me fuller, tougher and better than I could have ever imagined. Thank you for making me into the woman God created me to be.

With love from your Mommy.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mother's Day Meanderings Part I

Mother's Day for me is a study in contrasts.

While I have come to embrace this call to mothering, I also recognize the need to sometimes not pick up the phone. For Part I, I'll dial in.

The other night we had friends over. We were mentally, spiritually and emotionally spent from a long weekend conference at church. Our lives were enriched and our hearts encouraged by the weekend's events. It was a little bit of insanity to get the families together. It was a LOT of insanity.

I let my five year old sweetie stay up way too late. It's my personal 'big up' to the oftentimes stranglehold 'school' has on our schedules.

So it was past nine, the livingroom was full of humanity. On the cozy couch our friend was playing the remaining 4 strings on the baby's guitar with a rendition of "Mr. Sunday" (an ironical twist on all things Sunday school ish). My husband and our other friend were having a discussion of Batista, Che Guevera and....can't remember, as I tuned out. I was responding to and answering random questions from various 5, 6, 7 and 9 year olds. We all were commenting on a certain noxious smell and how 'tremendous' (my son's favorite descriptive word) the waffles were for dinner. We also paused to wonder which child kept farting and could it be the baby's diaper? I started to laugh. Not just laugh but howl! I was laughing until tears misted.

I laughed because my heart was so full. It was full of the mess, noise and wonder of this mothering moment. I laughed because this room and all the muddy footprints and farty smell was a million miles away from the life I once lived. I was an entirely different woman, mother and friend that wasn't stressed by the messy mass of humanity, rather I reveled in it.

At the church conference the night before, some of our girls came late. Nothing new for teens right? Except these teens came from their prom. They left their prom and came to church. Before you scoff, keep in mind these are young women who could have done anything else (and in their past had indeed done everything else). They chose to come share their night with us. The Pastor, who is the only father figure in these awesome girls lives, called them up to honor their coming. Me? I cried. I cried like it was my daughters with an updo standing there in sparkling finery. I took pictures. I hugged them and cried some more. I may have two sons, but God is giving me many daughters (and I don't have to pay for college!).

Last night I was cuddling with my 5 year old before bed. I talked to him about his future wife. He looked at me and said, "She'll look at me and smile and I'll look at her and smile and she will think I am AWESOME!" He sucked his thumb a minute and said, "We'll have 20 kids and then you'll be like my NaNa!" I asked him if I would make a good NaNa, and he said yes.

It made me stop and think of the speed at which this mothering is traveling. Soon, too soon, I'll be seeing my boys in a tux at their prom. Too soon I'll be the NaNa.

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