I'm posting pictures of sunshine because it has been raining for what feels like forever. Grey stretches across the horizon in striations, and stretches back across my memory for an endless string of days. I think it doesn't matter all that much, until the sun peeks through for a few hours and I feel my spirits lift. It doesn't even so much rain as mist. Less of a downpour than a spitting on the back of your neck. It's irritating and I find myself settling into a near-continuous state of exasperation.
I feel cheated. Fall, after all, is my favorite season in Atlanta. Crisp temperatures and no humidity under deep blue skies and gentle breezes. I try not to tumble into stereotypes, but oh how I love a scarf and some boots with a pumpkin spice latte. Apple picking, pumpkin patches, and warm apple cider spiked with something special. Don't mind if I do.
The best parenting advice anyone every gave me was this: it's all a phase.
Which means, of course, that I better enjoy rocking my crib-adverse little one at night and nap time, instead of wishing for more time to get-things-done. Because before I know it, he'll be climbing up onto the top bunk and reading under the covers long after lights-out. Come to think of it, I better enjoy that phase too. Because soon enough my little girl might not want to read under the covers (unless she's as much like me as she seems, because then that phase isn't going anywhere).
This sounds a little hard to pull off, enjoying all-the-phases. But for me it's less carpe diem and more letting-go. Recognizing that I can enjoy the good stuff (because who knows how long it will last), and not stress myself out too completely about the bad. Because with my first baby, when she didn't sleep "on schedule" or how/when I thought she should, I found myself quickly falling into despair. Sleep deprivation has added horror when it carries with it the thought that perhaps I will never sleep again. Waiting so long to have baby number three (Caden is, after, four years old and solidly no-longer-a-baby), reminded me that I will, in fact, sleep one day. So the nights when Isaiah is up all of the times, and when he insists on sleeping in my arms rather than the crib, those nights feel less daunting and more special.
Perhaps this is the key to finding the joy, or the pretty in the gritty if you will. Remembering the fleeting wisps that comprise a life. But a breath, the Word says. And remembering too that even seemingly endless days of grey won't, actually, last forever. The sun will rise. Seasons will change. And so will we.
This is day three in a 31 day series Finding the Pretty in the Gritty. Each day this month, I'll be writing on how I am finding pretty, even when things are gritty. Click here for a list of all the posts in the series. Or if you want to make sure you don't miss a day, feel free to subscribe (link on the right).