Friday, February 21, 2014

their screams are different

we were SO SO happy for some sunshine and above freezing temperatures this week! we just might survive until spring now. just maybe.

when i just had babies in my home, i spent most days with only 2 goals: for us all to be clean and fed at some point in the day. and, sometimes, even the "clean" part didn't get done. their needs were SO immediate and SO often, that if i got a load of laundry done or (!!) a bathroom cleaned, i felt SO accomplished. all day long, their screams would tell me i was needed, they needed me, and i was the one there to fill their needs.

as they've gotten older, and more able to feed and clean themselves, i've let my expectations of myself change. i try to accomplish so.much.more than just the basics. and, for the most part, i'm so very glad about that. i love to be able to be a friend in some of those spare moments. and to exercise. and to be creative and feed my family healthy meals. actually, in all honesty, i still spend SO much of my day feeding and taking care of these 7 humans basic needs. but there aren't infant screams anymore. so i am tempted to go on about my own list or my own agenda.

when, really, they are still screaming for me. all.the.time.
and it is my job to listen.
but the screams are different. it's in their body language. or the way they answered that question. or the look they gave. or the extra long hug.
i have to be SO in tune with them to pick up on it.

i am a "check it off my list" person. and i always have a list going. if i don't have a paper list, it's in my head (but i usually have a paper list :-))
i have a routine. and schedule. and, truthfully, i think it's the only way all 8 of us stay alive!

BUT. one morning this week i woke up and decided, i'm listening to them today. no list. no expectations. read them. listen to them. meet THEIR needs.

the beauty of that day is still carrying me.

i sent rebekah off to school with a cup of hot chocolate and fancy marshmallows. after listening and hugging and wiping tears. {i wouldn't go back to middle school for ANY amount of money!} i didn't fix anything for her, but i was there. and it meant the world to her.
i let the little boys take a 45 minute bath at 9:30 in the morning. just because they ALWAYS want to stay longer in the bath and we usually take them at night and are usually in a rush to get to BED!

we played a game.
we went for a walk. and they all rode their bikes. and i just walked with them and enjoyed the sunshine and listened to their chatter and took no pictures (didn't even take my camera or phone with me!) saw a neighbor and stopped and talked. and listened.

my days are so full. so very full. i am tempted to feel smothered by the demands of my day. my time, my minutes, seem so tightly used and i have so few free minutes that i want to scream sometimes. just as i was feeling that loosening, i brought one home to school here and lost any "free" minutes i might have had. it's hard to find time to take a deep breath most days.

BUT. this is where i am. today.

and, just like i woke up every day ready to respond to their infant screams, i so desire to be willing to respond to their screams today - no matter how quiet.


Six In The Sticks said...

I am such a list person, too, and this post spoke to me so much! Tomorrow (even though we do have a basketball game in the middle) I'm going to have a "listen" day - I'll put my list away and just try my best to tune into their needs. I still have a baby (well 21 months) but everyone else can sort of "fend for themselves" and I forget that they do indeed still *need* their Mama. Thank you THANK YOU for this reminder today! I'm glad you share your heart on here - you touch so many more people than you realize.



Mandy said...

i loved this. :) thanks, girl.

Michelle said...

This is such a good encouragement for me to hear from a mom of older kids....something that I will need to work on being intentional about as the years go by. Thanks for being a great mom and great example for me!