December 14

 I sit in the middle of the living room floor, adjacent to the Christmas tree and the random bits of trash leftover from the morning.  There’s always trash with kids.  I don’t know where it comes from but every day it’s there waiting for me to sweep it all into the bin (felt like being British, leave me alone).  

I hear the scrapes of Winnie in the kitchen peeling carrots for lunch and the low conversations of boys gathered around the computer in the big room.  The washer is agitating, and I think about how easily agitated I’ve been for the past few months.  

Having a baby is wonderful.  Those first few days are exhilirating and beautiful, and as a mother you are high on oxytocin and newborn snuggles.  Slowly, real life creeps back in and the reality is that this too small house can feel like it’s caving in on me some days.  There’s always someone asking something, schoolwork and housework that needs done, laundry to fold and a baby to feed.  

And it’s the work of peasants, the everyday schlepping as a mother.  There are bits of beauty that weave in through the madness: the beautiful loaves baked in the morning, the sweet conversations by candlelight in the waning afternoon light, and bowls of popcorn shared while reading together.

Beauty and madness can feel intertwined in my mind too.  Realism and idealism mix, making for a perfect storm of mom guilt until I squash it with a prayer, and perhaps a funny text to friend.  Soon enough this swiftly moving season of exhaustion will pass me by.  We will enter into an easier period, one with less questions and more sleep, and I will look fondly back at the photos from this season and ooh and ahh over how little everyone was.  And maybe somewhere tiny in the back of my mind I’ll remember the hardness too, and thank the Lord that in some ways life feels a little more routine.  But I will also miss the long hazy days with lots of kid in lots of different seasons of life, and I will miss the dirty hands always ready to help me stir, and I’ll even miss the constant questions without a breath in between for an answer. 

So I sit here on this mess of a floor, with a roast in the crockpot to feed some friends this evening and nuggets in the oven for lunch, reminiscing about how beautiful and harrowing life can be, thankful that I get to be in the thick of it with my best friend Jesus by my side  

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