Friday, June 2, 2017

Time hop

Surely I’m not the only one who wishes I could go back in time, just a little. To the moments when faith came easy, when Jayci was small enough to cuddle her tiny frame entirely in my lap. When our life and hope and marriage and beliefs were all less complicated. When good and evil, and following Jesus felt simple and straightforward. When I knew just enough about parenting to think I knew at least a little bit. Instead, life gets lived out in shades of gray in neighborhoods that gentrify while we all remain mired in generational ideals of success, and hopelessness gets lived out in never-ending loops in front of our eyes.
The last week has been a frenzy as I try to juggle the full-time jobs of parenting during the summer and collecting camp forms for over thirty five kids. I’ve never been very adept at juggling, and the whole thing threatens to topple a few times on the precarious edge of my frustration and the kids boredom (already!?).  Next week, we leave for camp in the new 15 passenger van we bought (because we have never been cooler). I keep asking Adam for reassurance, it can’t be worse than last year right? For those of you who weren’t around, just know that last year approximately 20% of the kids we brought got kicked out of camp for various behavior infractions ranging from running away to trying to stab his counselor. This year, we decided not to bring any older kids (who gave us the most trouble) so we have a gaggle of excited 8-10 year olds mostly who pepper our door with knocks and questions about packing and departure times and requests for snacks.
Parenting Jayci has been a struggle the last few months, and as she grows in her understanding of specific issues facing our neighborhood, the pressure to both help her understand and extend grace seems heavier perhaps than I know how to carry.  Caden is joyful and exuberant, which extends fully to the amount and demonstration of “love” he shows his younger and older siblings, both of whom grow quickly frustrated with him. Breaking up fights is a full-time job in and of itself around here. In just a few minutes, I will leave to take Caden for his (routine) cardiologist visit, and I feel less anxious than I usually do for these meetings. Caden goes full-throttle most days and I would be shocked if they found anything wrong. Zay Zay is nearly two years old, and alternates between wildly independent and willfully defiant, with a dash of clingy-ness for those days when I really need to get things done.
If you followed along on my instagram or via Facebook, you saw that I did Whole 30 in the month of May. Truth be told, we made it about 25 days before we threw in the towel, mostly because we had a kid-free weekend full of date nights, but also because I was frustrated by following the program religiously without losing a single pound of this pesky extra weight that seems to love hanging around my midsection in particular. I guess, however, that my metabolism has just realized I am not quite as young anymore, and I will need to move my body and fill it with boring healthy food (eye roll). Whatever.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m feeling extra complain-y today. Life is actually just normal, ordinary and brimming with the fullness of life with three small children and a busy neighborhood and ministry. We raise money (never enough), buy bigger vans, and host dinners in the backyard. It’s just I can’t quite shake this sneaking suspicion that it’s these very ordinary tasks that I am least equipped for. The setting aside of time for each child, the picking up of clutter and washing of laundry and dishes. The shepherding of hearts and the relentless task of teaching the boys to throw their trash in the actual trash can.

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