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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Stuff of Life

My house looks like it's been ransacked. Truly. Like someone came in and wreaked havoc all over the joint--someone who knows just what to wreck so that they might cause the most psychological stress to me. The kids are finally in bed, and by 'in bed' I mean that I'm trying not to hear the jumping and maniacal laughter floating down from upstairs. I should be running around like a crazy trying to undo the damage of the day, but I'm not.

Because I'm holding her. And she's tiny and she's newborn perfume-y and she's sleeping curled up on my chest. And while the dishes, the leftovers, the floors, the laundry, and scattered toys will all wait patiently for me, this moment will be gone all too soon. I'm listening to the soft, caramel-scented breaths and already it's bittersweet that six weeks have passed so quickly. She's outgrown her newborn sized clothes and, thanks to my SuperMilk, is now 11 lbs 11 oz. I'm trying to memorize all her little "things"--all her delightful expressions, the sighing sound she makes when a sneeze doesn't happen, and the very early morning smiles I got a few days ago that made my heart want to burst.

Life is chaotic right now. That's why yesterday I accidentally burst into tears at my post partum checkup. My doctor asked me one too many times how I was doing with everything and finally my smile cracked and tears got through. I didn't want to tell her about feeling overwhelmed with 'stuff', about missing J when he was gone all last week, about being so tired that my brain hurts and--to top it off--I may have just discovered that my feet may be different sizes because one of my new shoes kept coming off as I was walking. There have been times that three, count them--three, kids have been crying simultaneously and it's enough to make me hide in my closet.

But

there are other times. Like rocking my baby back to sleep in the fuzzy, predawn hours when the world is still and the sky sort of glows, or the times that I'm reading favorite books with all four kids and magically everyone is quiet, or having everyone around the table eating apricot-almond pie that I somehow managed for family night treat.

Those times are the 'stuff of life', as we like to call them. The moments that real Life is made from. Those are the things I don't want to be so busy that I miss. I'd hate to miss out on my kids' lives so that my house can look perfect, because that lasts only until the first child wakes up in the morning. I don't want to ever wish that I had enjoyed my kids more, or held my babies longer. And that's why I'm sitting here with my laptop balanced on my knees and a sweet little girl in a pink strawberry outfit is cuddled on my chest, stretching her soft fingers and 'rubber band' wrists.

8 love notes:

EmmyMo said...

Amen, sister!

HangerMom said...

You're right on!

My MIL always has a perfect house and was always conscious to keep it that way as she raised her NINE kid. Now, with my 3 (and one on the way), my house is often a pit. But she very graciously says, if she stops by when I haven't tidied for her, "It just shows you're a better mother than I ever was, because you spend your time where it's better spent." She may just be saying that to make me feel better, but it does. Make me feel better. :)

Jessica said...

Thank you for always putting into words what I feel but could never so eloquently express!

Unfortunately, I think I missed the last paragraph because I was stuck at apricot-almond pie. :) Seriously...that pie is amazing and I am glad I have a friend who understands my addiction with it :) I think today might be my day to make one....hopefully!

Aubrey said...

Beautiful post, you are such a great writer! Time goes by too fast. I hope things will get less overwhelming for you soon. Maybe you could get a mother's helper to help out with some of the cleaning and stuff. There's a cleaning company here in Boise and they have billboards around town that say "Life is too short to clean your own home." Good luck with everything!

Laura F said...

I'm still using that excuse, 19 months later. :-) When it might be your last baby it's amazing how long that feeling of "I refuse to miss this moment" lasts! (And girlie can air quote that one for me.)

And I absolutely can not get my bedroom cleaned these days, or the basement, but I can hear three of my kids downstairs playing TOGETHER and laughing, I made a pasta salad for dinner tonight, and the front three rooms in the house are "clean enough" for drop-by company. I feel pretty good about that. (another girlie opportunity there)

Love you, miss you!

Joseph & Jessica said...

Melynie, you are awesome! A great writer, a great mommy, and I think you are good at everything you do! I feel lucky to know you! I am trying to savor mommy moments, but I think I let frustration at the messiness of it all get to me a little too often. Four kiddos is A LOT!

Happy Mom said...

Sigh! I miss that newborn thing!

Housework is so overrated!

The Cook Fam said...

You are so sweet! And you really do write lovely! Always wished I could write like that.