Last year at this time I was 20 weeks pregnant with Sammy, still nursing an 11 month old Clara, in school full time for my last semester before graduation, and directing a musical that I wrote for an elementary school. Sam was gone 16 days every month and if weren't for my sisters, I would have fallen apart. And while I understand that LOTS of other people have lives that are MUCH more difficult- believe me, I understand and appreciate that greatly- for me, this last year was simply one foot in front of the other. I've thought a lot about darkness during this time, wondering when the Lord would lead me out of this tight cocoon of survival and show me what waited on the other side. And... dare I say? I think it's here. I think we are in a season of sunny days and grateful hearts and it. is. so. good.
Clara can communicate just about everything she is thinking, which has taken my stress level with her to almost zero. She is speaking in sentences, her vocabulary is exploding, and every single day Sam and I laugh in amazement at what she's saying to us. I can't begin to tell you what a difference this is making in my relationship with her. I think I'm not much of a "one-year old" person. That was not my gig. But two year olds? With their language development and voracity for new experiences and their (albeit often explosive) personalities shining through? Two is good. Two is fun. Two is baking pies together and carrying on real conversations and lots of "Mama! Hurry! Look, I did it!" grinning announcements. And I'm digging it.
Last week I met my sister and her kids at a coffee shop. We were planning on getting coffee for us and treats for our little gang of kids and then walking to the library, but it was raining hard outside and we didn't feel like wrangling them through the downpour. So we split up and I took my two on a downtown adventure. I haven't done many days like that one, with just me and the kids, because I prefer to be with other grown ups when we go out. I get nervous taking Sammy and Clara out by myself, isn't that weird? I'm always worried it won't go well.
But this day? It was sort of an ace. A snapshot of life at the moment. We found a used book store in which a man was walking around with his chiahuahua on his shoulder like a parrot, and room after room was stuffed with crooked bookshelves up to the ceilings (charming, fire hazard - potato, potahtoe). We wandered through an antique shop, its corners stacked with treasures like marbled globes and yellow bird cages. We took 3 different bathroom breaks, bought a copy of Five Little Peppers (a childhood favorite I was SO HAPPY to find it) and my heart sang a quiet song of thankfulness for these days with my two babies. They won't both fit in a stroller for much longer. We won't always spend our days just the three of us, their childhood a handful of sand that I can't quite keep from slipping through my fingers. It's going, you know, life is just going and going and while last year was exhausting-
this new season is blowing over me like a balmy breeze.
I am finding rest here.
I am finding peace in the going and peace in the staying.
And it's good.