Friday, January 23, 2015
Linking up with Kelly this week. Head on over to discover more blog fun.
That's where I was last week.
My lovely husband took me, sans children to Hawaii. The trip was incredibly restorative. I didn't realize how much I needed it. Having the luxury of uninterrupted time with my husband in beautiful surroundings was like a dream.
A bonus picture that has nothing to do with the complainy take that follows, because hibiscus are gorgeous.
The reality of life struck me in the face on Saturday when we got back. During our week in Hawaii, I missed the kids terribly, even though I was very happy not to fulfill any of their near-constant needs. But the kids had spent a week at their grandparents, to whom I'll be eternally grateful, of course, but even after a weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's when we are there, there's always what we call "a disciplinary hangover."
It's like a reset button where the kids forget every rule we've ever taught them. Just to be clear, I don't think this has anything to do with the Grandparents themselves, Lord bless them and restore their energies, but I think it's the difference in place, routine and interaction, and possibly the inability to communicate their feelings about us up and leaving them for a week.
So this week has been particularly challenging in that regard. Patrick said to me Wednesday, "I thought your vacation was supposed to make you a better mom!"
We've since established that being a better mom still means there's no snacks unless the previous meal has been eaten.
This is the construction site I spent part of our last full day in Hawaii outside of while Joseph spent a little under an hour talking to a local builder, handing him things and working on stairs with him, and taking pictures of the steel studs and framing (They frame for hurricanes and termites in Hawaii, while we don't have to worry about either because, cold.)
I had the foresight to pack a book for the day so don't worry. I've learned to love that Joseph's enthusiasm for his job doesn't leave - not on weekends, or vacations.
He's always saying that you have to love what you do, especially since you spend most of your waking hours working.
A pearl of wisdom perhaps?
We have a climber everyone!
I've been less than thrilled at this development, because a. Babies + high places = nothing is safe, and b. My other boys think it's their duty to get him down, whether they're capable of such endeavours or not.
But... And here's where you'll question my parenting, I discovered this fabulous thing when my first, Patrick, began climbing. He didnt want down, and wouldn't try to get down if nothing was within reach. He'd stay there and play with whatever, and one time he was happy and content as I worked on the desk near him on an assignment, and he laid down and fell asleep.
Zachary did much the same once I moved the chairs.
Now, uh, before you call the authorities, caveats:
I was right there in my teeny kitchen and went over if he stood up.
I'm not saying this is what you should do.
We also don't have baby gates and have never - not once - had anybody (except ME) fall down those ungated stairs, so my confidence that kids don't just walk off ledges if they've been taught about them (yes, even at one year) is pretty high.
This was more of a "let's just watch and see what he does" moment than a solution for the climbing, and basically I learned that my child, even at 1, has a little common sense.
I made a turtle on the beach while I contemplated life last week.
Maybe it's because I hate air travel, or because I was leaving my boys for the longest I'd ever left them, or because I'm a little scarred from my father's unexpected and highly traumatic death in 2011, but I really thought we might die on our way to or return from Hawaii.
So the prayer/question of whether or not my life has been what it is supposed to be was on my mind the entire trip.
You're like, "Wait, they doesn't sound like a vacation!" But bear with me:
It was really good to be asking that question on the edge of the ocean with my fingers and toes in the sand.
My husband was swimming, and I, not being a strong swimmer, was a little afraid of the crashing waves and tide and current, so I sat on the beach, thinking and praying things over.
That's who we are - a doer and an observer.
It occurred to me then that God probably isn't finished with us yet. I looked at our little life and our little selves on the edge of the ocean and realized that God wants us to be better than we are, than we've been, and continue on building our little life for His glory. That was of great comfort, and so I stopped imagining what our funerals would be like.
Oh cliche! A good cliche. This is the revelation I've had over and over in my spiritual quest, yet something new happens each time.
This is the key reason the trip was so restorative. I came back ready to take on my life and responsibilities and calling with new appreciation for them.
I'm still getting my mind around blogging more often. In my roster of new posts are
Why I Attend A Small Church
Slow Living in the City: How We Beat The Rush
I'm in a writing rut, so here's hoping I can pick myself up and get back to it.
Forgive the unrelated flower. There were too many beautiful ones not to share.
Thank you, dear reader, for making it this far with me.
It's taken me the entire day to do these takes! Kids needs, car troubles, pre-school snack day and other diaper-related realities have left me just done.
So I've poured a glass of wine and will put myself to bed shortly!
Have a fantastic weekend!