Monday, January 14, 2008

Reflections on my daughter, and myself...

Last week, Sarah got herself contacts. A VERY big day in her thirteen-year-old life. Well, she didn't exactly get them herself, but rather, her father and I provided them for her. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited she is. Still. Almost a week later.

I know exactly how she feels. I was once in her shoes - the awkward young teenager, fumbling into adolescence, complete with gangly limbs and plastic-rimmed glasses. But I must confess that Sarah is much less of a dorky girl that I was. She's actually pretty, and much more self-assured than I was at her age. I hope that means I'm doing something right...

I HATED my glasses. I had to get them in 3rd grade, but I probably needed them sooner. And, being one of the smarter girls in the class, wearing glasses did SO MUCH for my social life. *insert sarcastic-smilie here...* I was no longer pretty - I was just geeky-looking. The day I got contacts, everything changed. It was, literally, one of those places along the journey that transformed the entire course of my life. I was still the gangly, unsure kid, but I was no longer handicapped by glasses. Just those darned braces... *rolls eyes* I felt normal again, like I'd been given a precious gift. It all sounds so trite and vain, now, I suppose. But I still feel it, deep inside.

And I saw it on Sarah's face. The joy, the freedom, that she now carries with her. I remember it, as if it were yesterday. She no longer has to worry about losing her glasses during a snowball fight, and she can cook without her lenses fogging up. But one thing was missing... getting contacts didn't change how she saw herself. They just changed the way the world sees her. I wish I would have had her inner strength as a child, to be so sure of who I was, and not have been so insecure.

God bless you, my daughter. May I learn more from you as we grow together on this journey - mother and daughter, and one day, friends.

Monday, January 7, 2008


The last almost-seven weeks (gosh, has it been that long already????) have been wonderful. And exhausting. And peaceful. And absolute chaos. In other words, I've just had a baby. And I've been reflecting, as I've exited that 40-day period of post-partum stupor, on just exactly how blessed I am to have been able to babymoon for the sixth time. Really, I mean, how many other women get to do that? Or are crazy enough to even contemplate it??? Not to mention that this babymoon took place over the holidays, something I have not done since my first (Sarah was an early December baby).

There were times when I did feel a little resentful (ok, in my hormonal haze, it was probably MORE than a little...) that I wasn't able to get all the rest that I thought I needed, due to having to mother 5 other kids and tend to the household alone, b/c the Christmas season is notorious for making temporary widows of clergy wives. *sigh* But Hannah is such a little sweetie, and the other kids are so well-behaved in general, that my life has been able to return to more-or-less what it was before adding another wee one into the mix. And I haven't suffered too much.

Now, there was more than one occasion when the kids ate ramen noodles for dinner more than they ought, and I allowed them to watch more TV or have extra snacks, simply b/c I was too tired to get off the couch and do something about it. But I kinda think we're all entitled to a little of that, every now and again, right????? And not as many Christmas cookies were made, and not all the decorating got done. And even some of the traditional stocking stuffers were forgotten (BAD Santa.....). But we all made it through, and I don't even know if anyone, besides me, really noticed.

But soon, too soon, my baby will no longer be a newborn. And I will no longer have the luxury of spending the entire day in my jammies, eating nothing but chocolate and cookies, b/c the baby wouldn't let me do anything else. And I'll have to chase her away from the cat food, and down from the table. So I think I'll just enjoy the rest of this sleep-deprived fog, and snuggle up with my babies - all 6 of them. As long as no one minds that I haven't showered recently, and I smell faintly of spit-up, and that it's ramen noodles for dinner, again.

Happy babymoon!