5/19/09

The hours are turtles, the summer a hare

Tuesday~May 19, 2009

Sometimes I feel like I say the same things over and over. But I'm realizing that's because there are some things that I'm always going to have to keep reminding myself. Forgive me, I'm a slow learner. It's that way with my boys too, I seem to have to say the same thing over and over until one day it finally clicks. It's easy to figure my words hold no meaning, but I hope they always do, somewhere along the way.

~~~~~~~~~~

As I type this, I'm sitting on our patio, watching Asher play and keeping him happy and occupied with bubbles. The keyboard is getting sticky with soapy slime, and I'm thinking about how much multi-tasking a person can do in one day. This juggling of things can be messy, but especially in mothering, it's just plain necessary.

Our days have been long and full. Summer brings so many hours of daylight, so much time for trips to the park, playing in the back yard, splashing, building, walking, living. And of course this means that the days can drag on, even while I'm eating up every lovely moment of sunshine and fun.

A mother can pack in groceries, a trip to the library, some cooking and reading, kiddos in tow, all before 10 a.m. I find myself exhausted by lunchtime most days. While I rush around the kitchen, pouring glasses of milk, answering questions and the phone, it gets harder and harder to be patient, calm and kind. And knowing I have to try, to make it until night without barking at every little thing, can feel so heavy so often. I end up asking myself, am I showing them that I love them, or just saying the words?

Many times I deal with this by shutting down a bit, trudging through the daily grind. I forget how valuable my time is, how very monumental my role is. I dream of grander adventures, and long for more to conquer than a pile of laundry and a whining habit. I get bored amidst the endless repetitive routine, assuming our family was made to do more in this world than circle around each other within the same walls. And maybe we are meant to do more, but for now I'd like to simply remember that the love I show these boys and my husband will effect generations. That doesn't have to be looked at as a load of responsibility that overwhelms me, I can allow it to simply be the miraculous honor that it is.

Expressing that love freely in the middle of the overwhelming chaos and all of life's pressures is one of the hardest things a person can do. It's a lot to conquer.

Experiencing the miraculous moments of growth and change brought about by a thousand days of doing the same thing over and over, saying the same thing over and over, working, working, working. That's a grand adventure.

Knowing that all the small things will add up to the unfolding of big lives is enough. That's the big picture. When I keep my eyes, my heart, and my mind on that, the long days of summer keep their beauty.

After all, the days may seem too long sometimes, but the summers will always go too fast.

38 clicked right here to comment:

Rach@In His Hands said...

It IS a lot to conquer.....thankfully "His mercies are new every morning" and tomorrow is another day to give Him glory and show love to your boys!

radioactive girl said...

That was a great reminder and beatiful as well. Thank you!

Mike said...

Yes, your words will.

Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com
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Eowyn said...

Well said, Heather. And I don't blame you for saying it again. We all have to remember it over and over again.

Annette Lyon said...

Definitely all mothers have to remind themselves of, especially in the baby and toddler years. They seem to last forever. Then the kid turns 3. You blink, and they're in junior high. Not sure how that happens, but it's sure freaky.

LexiconLuvr said...

Expressing that love freely in the middle of the overwhelming chaos and all of life's pressures is one of the hardest things a person can do.For me, this is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I thought I was naturally nurturing, loving, and patient and it's hard to learn that I'm not. That I have to work at it all the time.

Heather, you don't just repeat things. Every time you post, I get these precious reminders that life is beautiful, even in its infinite slowness. Your voice helps nudge me back onto the trail of patience and love and helps me to see the treasure it is to be a mother.

Kristina P. said...

It's so amazing how quickly children grow up! Eloquent as always.

Sara@i.Sass said...

I thought this post was going to be about turtles and bunnies.
Okay, no I didn't I knew better.
you are so wise dear friend, and knowing and hearing that you are in the place as I am, is so comforting. I look forward to the days when I can sit and think about answers to tough questions instead of answering question in rapid fire succession about snacks and parks, and Daddy and lunch... and the dreaded "I go poopy."
Then I stop and think ENJOY this, because not long from now you're gonna WISH you could have those needs to fill. DEEP BREATH, Mamas work is tough.

JustRandi said...

Absolutely true...every word of it. And you say it so well, Heather. You have amazing skills.

Muthering Heights said...

Your posts may feel repetitive to you, but each one gives a fresh perspective, and an important reminder! :)

Becky said...

I think I'm going to have my husband read this post. So many times he assumes that because we are not doing grandiose, world-changing things, we are simply trudging through life. He has so many things that he would like to do, so many places he would like to travel. I also long for adventure sometimes. But we often remind each other, "Hey, look at these little people in our home. We're in charge of helping them navigate through the early years of their lives. This IS an adventure."

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

I think we feel the monotony of the same old routine the most when our children our little. I remember dragging myself through the days at times. Some days I still feel that way, but these days come less often. You have a great perspective on this. Keep doing what your doing and don't forget the hugs!

a Tonggu Momma said...

I struggled so much through the Tongginator's toddler years. Now that she is five and headed to kindergarten in the fall? Gasp.

I still believe, however, that in our commitment to nurture and love, we sometimes cripple our children by filling every moment of their days and entertaining too much. There is something to be said for boredom and forcing them to play by themselves.

If you want a child sure of herself and able to take on the world, force her to entertain herself without electronics. Then again... perhaps that's not a good idea. Look at the Tongginator. LOL.

Kimberly said...

Once again all I can think to say is Amen.

Carrie said...

I'm glad other people feel like this, too- I often feel like I'm always just hurrying my son on to the next thing, and not able to sit & enjoy time with him. Thanks for this reminder & for sharing your feelings! :)

Tooj said...

Remembering the small tasks are the fun tasks. THEY are the ones to dwell on...making bubbles, closing your eyes into the sunshine...not the laundry, the dishes, the cooking. They pass by.

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Love every word. And you aren't a slow learner, you're just reliving the good stuff :)

Jillene said...

BEAUTIFUL post and a great reminder to slow down and remember the IMPORTANT things.

sara said...

I hope you will say it again and again and more young moms will hear it! I know you hear from us "old folks" that it goes so fast, enjoy it. But it really does....much too fast. I wish someone had reminded me more often!

Growin' with it! said...

beautifully said heather. i know i have tried to be more thoughtful in my touch. hug em, stroke their hair, hold their hand...all sorts of ways to show my love. i didn't get a whole lot of that growing up, so its sorta foreign but i know without a doubt it will make a difference in these little men's lives!

Cynthia said...

I have a tendency to be impatient too. I'm trying so hard lately to just say "It's okay" when the kids do something irritating. In fact, I just did that 20 minutes ago when one of them stepped on a bag of groceries in the car and crushed the chips.

The days are especially long and hard when the kids are as young as yours are. I so remember wondering if I'd last to the end of the day. Mine aren't that much older than yours (9 year old twins and a 6 year old) but the physical maintenance of them is so much less. The time when the 3 of them were really little is such a blur to me. It really is going by so fast.

I'm glad to know you're trying so hard to live in the moment rather than just get through it.

Mary @ Parenting said...

Just reading this sentence: "A mother can pack in groceries, a trip to the library, some cooking and reading, kiddos in tow, all before 10 a.m" made me tired.

I'm hoping I can blame this on my child being less than three months old, but there is no way I could accomplish all that before noon, let alone 10 am. What's the secret?

Deb said...

your intro is really great. of course, there's never a need to explain yourself on your own blog, but you took the words right out of my brain. i think blogging, for me, is an exercise in behavior modification.

the lesson you outline for yourself is very profound. i never learned it. i feel like i kind of "bided my time" until the boys got to be school age, and a better, saner, EASIER balance fell into place. i think in some ways i lost a few years.

wendy said...

I remember as a young mother feeling like all those things are so mundane and not feeling like I was accomplishing anything. BUT trust my words Heather, some day you will miss a few of those things as everyone grows and leaves home and you look for NEW things to enrich your life. I love my stage of life right now---but it came by going through all those years of "mothering" 5 little kiddies.
so cherish your summers -----and those days when it all seems so mundane

Jamie said...

A most excellent post! Time truly passes too quickly...a great reminder to cherish the moments.

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

AMEN to that!

Sheryl said...

the days are long but the years are short!

i am proof that it just flies by - wish i had taken more time to just "be".

totally random note - i didn't realize you had a button until i saw it on another blog. guess i'm not very observant. it is now on mine!!

Debbie said...

You said it and I needed to hear it! My life has been way too hectic lately and my nerves frazzled with one child in particular. Thank you for the wakeup call.

Carol @SheLives said...

As I look back, each day seemed like years, but the years flew by like days.

Much of what you do will not be acknowledged or appreciated by them. But, when you see them doing the same for their kids, you will acknowledge and appreciate the fact that they got it from you.

Lee of MWOB said...

Oh I love this post Heather. Talk about climbing in my head.....the days to me are like pages turning in a book, so quickly, but I never have any clue where the story is going. I have trouble keeping the big picture in mind in the middle of the daily chaos but once in a while, I get a glimpse of clarity and I realize too that to them, these moments are big. This daily life adds up to the memory of their childhood, their lives, and it's giving them a foundation on which to stand. Thank God for these glimpses I get - otherwise I would be insane.

Great post Heather.

:-)

Jen said...

you just put to words what I often think about. great post.

2Thinks said...

Those were my thoughts often in the days of old. Time flies, believe it or not. Head over to my last post about a Greyhound bus to see what I mean. You're right about summer, too, it always goes too fast.
Heidi

Kazzy said...

Yes, showing love is the key. The mutil-tasking used to almost kill me, but I have discovered in my advancing years that I thrive on it!

Pink Ink said...

*I dream of grander adventures, and long for more to conquer than a pile of laundry and a whining habit.*

I struggle with this, too. I always think my next adventure lies beyond my laundry pile, or boo-boos, or homework.

Yet if I take time, really take time, to look in my children's faces, I can see a canvas where I can leave my mark. And what better adventure than that??

Love this post, thanks. Helps me gear up for summer full of kids at home.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I am fairly sure you've heard the illustration that shows the different between the urgent and the important. (If you haven't, let me know.) It's a HUGE life-lesson for me. Somehow, it's just more exciting to put out fires all day. It's an adrenaline rush, I guess. But it's the important that will last.

Jessica said...

I love your comparison of summer with how quickly it all goes by, even as the days are long. I think this post is perfect.

Heidi Ashworth said...

I have often felt this way, esp about the Little Guy. With the more urgent needs of his older siblings keeping us so occupied, I sometimes worry that he might feel unloved. Then I read a school assignment he wrote. "At my house there is tons of love and tons of food!" Another time I asked him if he felt neglected and he said, no, that he really enjoyed our talks (in the car--on the way to and from school--ten minutes each way, is what he was refering to!) I think kids must magnify every good thing--I know I always felt loved by my parents in spite of being one of eight and a twin, as well. Kids are so authentic and they get our authentic feelings even if we don't express them as truly as we feel them.

Beth said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog...and this post is PERFECTION. You so perfectly capture the beauty/frustration that is motherhood for me.

"Experiencing the miraculous moments of growth and change brought about by a thousand days of doing the same thing over and over, saying the same thing over and over, working, working, working. That's a grand adventure."

I suffer from an extreme case of wanderlust, having travelled and experienced a few "grand adventures" before I had my kids. Thank you, for reminding me that THIS adventure is the grandest of them all!

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