Sometimes the lumps I take are as sweet as sugar and the only thing that gets me through the day. Since coming home from the hospital I have been working my tookus off for the good of my family. Five days without a Mom around means a house that needs tidied, clothes that need folded and put away, a kitchen that needs cleaning, and a family that needs over-the-top love and affection. To go along with cooking, grocery shopping, and a much needed rest for Daddy.
I wake up at six am or earlier with a need to start getting things accomplished immediately. Lately my seven year old has been waking at the buttcrack of dawn, ready to hang with Mom and get her innocent jabber on with the parent who has been lost behind the veil of mania for what feels like an eternity. Somewhere in there my six year old wakes up, always wanting alone time with Mommy (but never getting it because of her Jabber-Talky older sister being unable to control her eavesdropping and interruptions). Soon after it is breakfast and “the-day-ahead” prep mode. Swiftly I am expected to come up with whole swatches of plans for different people, for different time frames, and without any recommendation for what to do and somehow guide them through the endeavors all day long while being able to loosely plan food, rest periods, and alone time breaks based on different personalities and constantly changing moods. And that’s just the “day schedule” which is completely different from “evening time”. In both day and evening require cooking thrown in there along with a repeating necessity to “tidy” (defined as regularly grabbing the items always left laying around and attempting to put them in a “makes-sense” place to be dealt with a more ideal cleaning time).
As a person who does not care for telling other people what to do, this task comes as a doozy for me and causes quite a bit of stress between me and my family. I am attempting to liberate my husband from the bonds of enslaved “grownup” thinking and into the mold of an intelligently passionate adult, ready to fight the system and bring change where it is needed. I am also attempting to raise mature children capable of out-thinking the typical lazy-minded grownup whose life is full of practiced habits and ritualistic behaviors to which no real thought is ever given.
Both of these tasks require that damn “think-for-yourself” gene to be activated and dammit, no matter what approach I take it seems when I am around my family their bodies revert to the “leave it to mom” gene that lets me run the show with minimal friction and no real discomfort – also known as the “ask mom anytime there’s a question” mood. So I spend a lot of time getting frustrated that he or she didn’t think of this or that and wondering the whole time why I can never get people to stop and pause, ask a dozen questions, and then come to mom ten steps down the road when there’s an unsolvable problem to be fixed or an enigma to ponder and answer. I feel often that I am supposed to be answering tough questions that need creative fixes and instead I’m spending most of my time answering lame-brain questions because my family knows I will answer it and will almost always come to a better solution than others. Basically I’m handling rookie matters because my family is wise enough to be lazy and let me do things for them, taking advantage of my nature to nurture while enabling their own lazy-brain tendencies.
But this creates dumb people who are incapable of asking questions to solve their own problems. I often feel up against a wall when trying to help my family feel better in the less that we have to live with. Sometimes it is easy for me to forget how much I am appreciated for the very simple things I contribute towards the wellness of our family. And one of the simplest things that slips my mind as even being a contribution is my ability to think creatively first, purposefully second, while maintaining passion and meaning always. It is first nature for me to behave so and seemingly not natural to others.
But the same can be said for each family member – We all give something special with our unique blend of talents and comes together to make a piece of art that shows a really beautiful picture of what family means to us. Our family portrait is one of a kind, in my completely biased and totally unfair opinion.
Daddy gives this amazing blend of parental protection mixed with unconditional love and honor and trust and an ability to make everything matter, nothing forgettable, and almost everything something worthy of paying attention to. He is our politician with a problem solver personality coupled with a family first orientation that always seems to guide him to a calm demeanor and understanding nature. He is the rock of our family. While Mommy gets attention for her glamour, Daddy gets overlooked for his constant ability to be the stable stone mom needs to brush up against to create her magic. While the others notice a flare for the dramatic, they overlook the gentle comedy that is a man willing to face off against the world to take care of business, stand by the woman he loves, protect the children he cherishes, and always do what’s best because it is the right thing to do. That man needs the spotlight because he is the answer for how to make life feel good and right. He plans it, I make it look pretty.
Patience is our information overloaded overlord. She is always up in everyone’s business, openly letting all parties know she is a snoop and will eavesdrop any chance she gets with an unabashed propensity for interrupting and asking questions about things she needs clarified. She often tries to use wrongfully acquired information to get herself out of trouble, make rules for her sister, and generally act like a little snotrag trying to be a bossy-boots. I run with it because in her own way she is working out the kinks of how she would lead people. In my opinion, she is coming along flawlessly. Patience is well equipped to enforce laws as she is always able to remember the details. Her fatal flaw is her inability to incorporate the spirit of the law into her day to day or create rules completely fair and understandable to others. She is very by the book and always willing to punish for a small party foul like it were a CAPITAL CRIME just because it broke a rule. She holds herself to the standard of going without when things go wrong which seems to work for her, keeping her in line without much guidance on my part.
Prudence is the natural born drama queen. From infancy, our little Proodle-Doodle has always been the one to cry first, resolve later, and ask questions never. According to my husband this is a direct result of me picking her up too much when she was a baby, while in my opinion I feel I left Pru laying around too much as an infant which causes her over-used desire to have people help her now to compensate for the trust she never built as a newborn. Basically I didn’t make her trust me right out of the womb and now I’m paying the price of a child who constantly needs love and attention to make her feel loved and appreciated and comforted. Or I could just have a child who is lazy and doesn’t want to do the work herself and knows her soft mommy will cave and help because she is a total pushover. Smart cookie she is, if that’s the case. Intelligent laziness still frustrates me. But I’m still watching and learning how she operates. It seems as though Prudence is the type of leader that works from the inside. She dazzles with her grace and beauty and then runs to the beat of her own drum. Having such a hypnotic beat, others naturally want to do what she wants because she is both creative, kind, and generous and usually tries to make everyone happy while she is getting what she wants. Truthfully, she’s a lot like me but I worry she’s taking the dark side path which can lead to a selfish brat who doesn’t care about anything but what she wants and what she can do to get it. I dread my daughter’s life if she chooses to walk that road.
Providence is the light laughter and fanciful fun of our family all packed into a tiny petite little people body that is almost always in motion. She is absolutely adorable and coupled with her advanced talking skills she is constantly being complimented on her “cutest kid ever” trait that seems to have been activated from in the womb. Her happiness and lightness completely overtakes a room every time she enters it. She just has a way with talking, moving, and being that makes you want to pay attention to her and not care exactly what she is doing because it is just so stinking cute! This is a dangerous child for us. She has all the makings of being a spoiled brat. She tells us what she wants and we almost always give it to her. We tell her what to do and she doesn’t always listen to what we say, sometimes blatantly and verbally going against or commands. No matter, good or bad, she always make us crack a smile even while desiring to bang our heads together in frustration. She is intelligent and magnetic. It is a recipe for one of the most adorable children ever created or one of the brattiest turds ever born. I’m planning for the former while preparing for the latter and assuming I’ll get some interesting mix of the two.
Patrick-Henry is my hope for mankind. With only five weeks of life under his belt he has already changed my perspective on the male species of people and makes me want to find a better way for boys to live in the “real man’s world”. Too often I see boys being boys and pushing and shoving and hurting others. My boy will not be this way. I am actively using soft words like pretty, sweet, adorable, cuddly and other words normally reserved for baby-girls. I want him to know there are two sides to human nature and both are equally important to incorporate into his sense of self. Meanwhile we are nurturing his relationship to Daddy so he will have a strong male role model and not need to be a Mama’s Boy or NancyPantsy as he grows into his male-ness form of being “grown up”. He is already showing signs of being physically focused as his noises are predominately grunts where his sisters were all coos and squeaks. He is constantly kicking and putting pressure on his legs. His arms are constantly rotating around and gradually losing the jerkiness of movement natural to babies. He’s already starting to follow people and things with his eyes despite the weak eye muscles of infancy. He’s just a month old so it is really hard to say if anything is really telling of the work I’m doing or the life I’m protecting for this baby.
I love my family and more than anything I love how we come together to create a peaceful and simple life together. These are the good days even if they are mixed with the negative consequences of focusing on love and not “love of money”.
Today is my kind of lump-day. Happy, healthy, and full of excitement for the day to come. And fully cherishing the very real living blessing that grace my every day.