Friday, January 5, 2018

Just Some Random Thoughts Five Years Later

(At some point, I really should write a blog post introducing Penelope Quinn Little to this blog, just so that she thinks that I was aware of her existence. ;)

Shawn ran off to the deer lease tonight with his Dad last minute, so I had the pleasure of putting the kids to bed alone. Lex was already asleep downstairs, so I carried him to his bed and got him all tucked in. Easy peasy.
Penny had been asleep, but was now screaming and crying in the hallway- clearly she had been woken up and was extremely unhappy about it. I carried her to my room, changed her diaper (read: wrestled an alligator), and she was yelling at me to "toggle" her (snuggle), so I handed her her Rocky Raccoon me-me and gladly obliged.
She fell asleep almost immediately, and I just stared at her little toddler face, mouth open breathing.
I just can't get over the fact that in two months, she will be three years old. She forms whole sentences now, repeats every word (Note to self- write about Pitch Perfect incident) and can clearly tell me what she needs at this point in her life.
Some things have gotten easier, especially here lately. It's a conflicting stage to be have lived in chaos- true, utter, sanity-threatening chaos for so long, and for things to start to feel more stable. It's almost like an identity crisis. I'll gladly move out of this stage of life, but I'm having to re-teach myself some key things that most adults don't lose. Having a rhythm to household tasks and chores, eating healthy because I have some time to meal plan, exercise again. It's so great, and don't get me wrong- life is still chaotic (I think with 4 kids it always will be), but I'm starting to not wish away every day anymore.
And that's when it hit me, just like everyone always said it would. I wished to go back in time for just a millisecond and hold little, tiny, sweet baby Penny again. To have her squishy little cheeks and gingerish hair in my arms again.
I'm going to be real honest for a sec here. I don't remember much of the past few years. It both scares and saddens me, but when I go into self-preservation mode (i.e. the past 3 years), my memory takes a backseat. Thank the Lord for Facebook, Timehop and Instagram.
In that moment, I grappled for one real, solid memory of holding baby Penny, and came up short.
And then the mom-guilt hit so hard. Why did I wish that time away? Why did I get so mad when seasoned moms said the old "You'll wish for these days back!" Why did I bury my head in the sand, and just survive instead of enjoy and hold and relish?
And then, almost as if it's becoming second nature, I gave myself some grace.
"Those were h-a-r-d times, friend. (Yes, I call myself friend in my head.) You for sure did the very best that you could. Lex was so freaking hard to handle- so angry and difficult at times. Birdie was so freaking hard to parent- she would hit and destroy and just be a disaster. And then you threw in another baby. While you were living with your parents (thank God for them) and building a new house (SO stressful!!!) You have dealt with unimaginable panic attacks and anxiety since Lex's birth. You had to go into survival mode to do just that- survive. You're coming out of that, but you won't shame the woman you've had to be the past few years to get through those years."

Grace is so good, and so healing. Jesus extends it to us, and may we learn from him and extend it to ourselves also. On the daily.

Also- I'm going to rock the teenage years. I can just feel it.