Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Help, Thanks, Wow

Thank you
I noticed this morning that I have not posted to the blog since January 30th!  Substitute teaching has really been keeping me busy!  I’m so grateful for the opportunity.  Add the kids’ activities and John’s work schedule and we have full days!  The treadmill and I continue to see each other often.   I marked my first 8 minute mile last week.  This is a big deal to me.  Slowly but surely I’m getting stronger.  Progress, not perfection I keep telling myself.  (thank you)

The weather is becoming warmer and the days are finally getting longer, thanks to daylight savings.  Elliot’s birthday seems to mark that winter is drawing to a close.  His birthday is February 20th.  He turned 9 this year.  NINE!  I know I blogged last year about how quickly the past 8 years has gone, writing about how 8 Is Enough (click to read)!  Elliot has grown up so much in this past year though.  I can’t physically run fast enough to keep up with the pace of life.  (wow)

Elliot can work out with us at the gym now.  He gets to choose if he wants to be in the Kids Zone and participate in the activities there or be out on the “floor.”  He’s mostly chosen to stand tall and tell the attendant, “I’m 9 now.  We are just dropping off my sister.”  Sydney isn’t as excited about this new chapter.  I guess for her life isn’t moving as fast as she’d like.  (help)

I’ve been thinking lately how raising kids seems to be broken into segments (or maybe that’s just my way of looking at it to keep partial sanity).  We prepare for the baby phase with gear and reading up on “what to expect.”  Then the toddler years arrive and it’s another blur of trying to keep them safe from physical harm as they become little explorers, into everything.  I transitioned easily from that phase into preschool years, which were quickly followed by Kindergarten.  There were so many “firsts.”  It was all I could do to mark them down.  (help and wow)

Now though we are in this whole new phase.  More firsts have found their way into the baby books.  Sydney lost her first tooth on Elliot’s 9th birthday.  Elliot finished up his first season of Upwards Basketball at our church.  Sydney goes to her first sleepover party this weekend.  Elliot has a favorite band now (under John’s influence it’s AC/DC).  Both kids are reading independently before bedtime.  This segment has a lot of firsts that they conquer independently.  Independence has arrived.  (WOW)

Upwards Basketball at Fredericksburg UMC

When Elliot was in that toddler phase I can remember telling John I just wanted to be able to shut the bathroom door and be alone.  I didn’t want small people barging in.  It was rare not to see a face staring at me from the other side of the shower curtain.  In this current segment, I have that peace.  The funny thing is, now I find myself wishing that the kids wanted that same peace for themselves.  John and I remind them to shut the door—they don’t seem to need much privacy.  I know the day will be here before I know it…they will be behind locked doors; keeping us out, searching for privacy.  (help)

When Elliot was a baby I remember John saying, “Never in my life has there been a time when the days seemed so long but time moved so fast.”  The days of sleep deprivation are long.  I gained an appreciation of just how many hours are in a sleepless night.  Daytime hours were lived with effort.  I pushed my tired body through life's molasses only to do it again the next day and the next day.  (help)

1st tooth gone!
But, then…all of a sudden, the kids change.  The days don’t feel so long anymore, even the nights have picked up speed.  We rush, rush, rush and holler “shut the door please” and “did you wash your hands?”  (thank you)

I pray mom prayers a lot.  Those are the words in the parentheses at the end of each paragraph.  3 simple prayers…help, thanks, and wow.  My favorite writer, Anne Lamott, helps me to know these prayers.  So many moments I pray “thank you.”  Thank you for these kids and this crazy fast-paced life. And, when Elliot shows his preteen attitude or I am in the midst of “hair torture” as Syd refers to it, I pray “help.”  Help me keep my patience.  I think the help prayer will be used more and more as we approach adolescence.  And, many times I pray “wow” because so much of this is just that. 

"Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides. It means that you are willing to stop being such a jerk. When you are aware of all that has been given to you, in your lifetime and the past few days, it is hard not to be humbled, and pleased to give back." Anne Lamott from her book Help, Thanks, Wow.

I am so grateful.  Thanks for reading.