Posts tagged Motherhood
We are on the same team

Three year olds, man. This is THE season. It is the season of pretend and "Doktor Ah-wi-ver" (Doctor Oliver) and "Ast-wo-naught Ah-wi-ver"(Astronaut Oliver) and "Baby Ah-wi-ver."  It is the season of potty humor and poop jokes. It is the season of shoes on the wrong feet, and undies on his head, and Daddy-shirts at bedtime.  It is the season of planting himself near construction sites and watching diggers and dumpers and giving the workers thumbs up. It is the season of snuggles on the couch, and hiding 'awww to-gever" (all together) under the covers, and reading "Go, Dog. Go!" over and over and over.

It is the season of questions. "What's her middle name?", "What car does he dribe?", "Are we sitting at da table?", "Can I? Can I? Can I?", "What day is it?", "Are my shoes on de white (right) feet?", "Are we in da car?". They come at you so fast and so constantly. So many questions. My eardrums ache at the end of some days, and other days my soul is laughing at all the absurd questions I have answered. "Can our house wear a diaper?!", "Can I take a tubby on the roof?!", "I don't mow (know) Mommy, why DID I touch my poo poo?"

It is the season of "No! I don't want to!!!! I don't wike to!!!" It is the season of a little bum on a little time out stool. So. Many. Times. Every. Single. Day. It's the season of a red face and hot tears and a vein in his neck that bulges when he doesn't get his way. It is the season of Star Wars stickers on a chart on the fridge and a music video when enough stickers are earned. 

But that bulging vein.

We see it so often.

So much so that now we have a special time every day where we sit down and simply practice obeying with a happy heart. Because man, we need to work on this, on purpose. The same way we work on counting, and coloring, and cutting... we are working on obeying.

But here's the thing sweet boy. It's not you versus me. It is not a battle, with winners and losers. I'm not trying to outsmart you, or out-wit you, or beat you at your own game. I'm not working on my angle or strategizing against an opponent. I'm not standing on one team, and watching you across the field on the other team.

I know it probably doesn't feels like it. When your face is red, and your heart is racing and that little vein in your neck is bulging.

But, buddy, we are standing on the same side of the field. We are on the same team. We are fighting together, not against each other.

I know it's too much to ask of a little guy... to remember all that in the middle of a crisis. But that's ok, because I can remember it for the both of us. When we are in the thick of it together, this week and this year and ten years from now. 

We are on the same team.

You. And I. And Daddy.

We are on the same team.

Awww To-gever.

Despite what your feelings tell you. Despite what your racing heart tells you. 

Despite what my feelings tell me. Despite what my racing heart tells me. 

We are in this all together.

Oh buddy, we are working with you for your good. For your future. For your character. We love you and we are in this together. You carry our heart inside your skin. How could we ever be on opposing teams? We are for you. We are so incredibly and deeply and profoundly for you.

And oh the grace we pray over your heart and mind for the days we haven't postured ourselves alongside you. When we approach you with the heart of an opponent instead of a parent.

We love you.

We are for you.

We are on the same team.

Running a marathon at a snail's pace

It's like this... I want to fast forward and slowdown every single day with these tiny people that crawl and race and shriek and giggle and scream and dance and tantrum and troubadour their way up and down the hall and across our living room rug.

We spent the morning at the Duck Pond... an indoor play space for little people. Which mean Chap snuck in a 10 minute cat nap on the way there and 10 minutes on the way home... and called it good for the rest of the day. People. He didn't close his eyes again until 7pm. Bless my momma heart.

It's a good thing you are so cute, buddy... 

Milo spends most of his time as vertical as possible. He scales walls and furniture. He spent a good 15 minutes with his nose pressed against our glass door watching the gardeners in our back yard this afternoon. He's been caught multiple times digging in the pots in the indoor plant. And he scavenges for food on the floor under his highchair. I try to sweep after every meal... but if buddy sees me coming with a broom, he thinks it's snack time as I collect rogue cheerios and bits of grapes and crackers.

Matt worked late, which meant we were in a run down the clock situation until bedtime. I took the brothers on an evening stroll/bike ride around the neighborhood.  Oliver, who has developed a bit of anxiety related to the lizards that live under EVERY bush on our street, kept up a constant stream of questions related to the lizards. We had a long talk about wether or not the lizards were "sweepin" (sleeping) and wether or not they wear "jammers" and wether or not their eyes were "cwosed."

We stopped at every street sign and found out what it said and listened to the lovely sounds that our hands make when we tap, clap and bonk it. One thing that having a toddler has taught me is that there is no need to hurry while on a stroll. An evening stroll is an evening stroll... it's not a race to get anywhere... for whatever reason, I still have to swallow and resist the urge to rush past street signs, or sticks in our path, or lady bugs or any shiny (or not so shiny) thing that catches Oliver's eye and demands inspection.

And so, we moved slowly around the block... sometimes biking, sometimes walking, sometimes strollering... at a snail's pace. 

But when I slow down... and chose to enjoy the toddler pace, it is an amazing and hilarious and bizarre thing to experience the neighborhood from a 2 year old boy's perspective.

The most random things stop him in his tracks.

I want to memorize this season.

I want to memorize Oliver's voice, and the way he moves, and the way he pronounces his "L's and R's." and how he asks for comfort: "I want my tummy to hode your tummy."

I want to memorize the wight of Milo in my arms, and the strength of Oliver's grip when he's sitting on my hip.

I want to memorize the secret brother language between he boys. Every time Oliver hollers "Oh-cha-whaaaa" both boys belly laugh uncontrollably.

I want to slow it all down and soak it in and memorize it.

And I want to speed it up, and move around the neighborhood and through this season at a steady clip.

But this seasons and these evening strolls happen in fits and starts. Some moments and days fly by, and other moments and days crawl along and we wait until 7pm shows up on the clock.

And most days it is one foot in front of the other. One more load of laundry. One more sippy cup rinsed and loaded in the dishwasher. One more bedtime story. One more diaper. One more stroll around the neighborhood. One more stick to inspect. One more bonk on the metal street sign. One more "snuggey me" and "hode jew" (hold you) before bed.

Strengthen those feeble hands, mommas. And steady those knees that give way.

This is hard work. This is a marathon, accomplished today at a snail's pace.

Be strong and do not fear.

Your God will come. (Is 35:3)


Toys. Blankets. Laundry.

So it's like this at the Sanders' house right now: I get one room cleaned up, the random toys that have been strewn about, the blankets that have been dragged in, the laundry that has been sitting for too long... and then I move on to the next room and repeat. Toys, blankets, laundry. Toys, blankets, laundry. Toys. Blankets. Laundry.

It's relentless.

The picking up.

The rinsing.

The loading.

The unloading.

The washing.

The drying.

The folding.

The putting-upping.

And we are, by no means, perfectionists in this house when it comes to order. 

Which is a good thing. 

Because how in the world do all you precious perfectionists survive out there with a toddler and a crawling baby moving behind them, undoing all the perfecting?

Oh the heat that radiates off my head when a bowl of yogurt gets spilled on a freshly mopped floor. 

It's a marathon, mothering. It's no sprint.

And the toys. blankets. laundry. can be paralyzing sometimes because most days I'm not making progress, I'm just setting limits around the growth of the "messy, messy, messy" (as Oliver is so fond of telling me.).

And my heart starts to throb and my head starts to ache and my mind starts to wander to things that feel bigger and more important than what is happening inside our four walls.

And then I read this friend's sweet words about the work of mothering.

And it was such a gentle reminder about the work we do as moms. 

There is so much more going on in the toys. blankets. laundry. routine of our lives.

We are image bearers, doing image bearing work.

As we slip books back into book cubbies and use the end of a broom to sweep out toys that have rolled under the couch and match one tiny blue striped sock to another tiny blue striped sock, we are restoring order and pushing back chaos. 

And isn't that such God's heart? This God of ours who loves peace and establishes order. (1 Cor 14:33)

As we sort lights, and darks, and measure out scoops of white laundry powder. As we carry full laundry baskets on our hips and fold clean clothes on living room rugs we are taking something dirty, and making it clean.

And isn't that such God's heart? This God of ours, who spilled his own blood, that we might be washed whiter than snow. (1 John 1:7, Isaiah 1:18)

The running of baths, the tipping of wet chins while we rinse soapy hair, and the wrapping of towels around nakey, wet little bodies... it is a labor of love. Sitting on knees and leaning over tubs, ministering to the least of these.

Isn't that such God's heart? This God of ours who runs to the weak, and the outcast, and the shamed and the shunned.  (Matthew 19:14,  Matthew 25:40)

This work that we do. It has the Father's heart beat all over it.

We are bringing peace, making clean, and doing it all to the least of these.

Oh that my mind would stay put within these four walls today. As I'm folding size 2T undies, and putting a size 2T bum on a red timeout stool, and wiping spaghetti hands at dinner, and picking up all the toys, blankets, and laundry.

It is a reflection of God's heart.

And if I am attentive, if my eyes are open, if my heart is tender and my mind is present... I can hear echoes of the gospel in the work of morthering.

So let us not get weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9