|my pumpkins in the pumpkin patch|
i started writing this post in october. that's why there are pumpkins. that's why bean is small. that's why charlie looks like ... i don't know, a pound puppy or something with his shaggy hair in his eyes.
that i started this post five months ago and it remains largely unwritten - that there is also an unfinished post on a belated birth story for ben ... it is indicative of where our family is these days.
we are happy - look at those beautiful boys in a pumpkin patch!
we are grateful - we have so many blessings to count and recount and positively bathe in.
we are together - there are so many of us! ok, there are only five of us. but that is a lot when two are loud blustery beautiful big boys and one is a sweet busy baby boy. oh, yeah, and technically we're six, with the world's orneriest dog.
we are also certifiably insane. and by that i mean, everyone else is fine and i am crazy.
* * *
before we found out ben was going to exist, we had decided our family was complete. we were wrong, of course - now i cannot imagine our family without the littlest bean. but our plates were already full, our lives were already busy, and let's be honest - i was more than a little overwhelmed.
enter ben, who while the easiest and happiest baby ever is still a baby with baby needs and baby challenges. and who is also just one more person in our cadre of people who want things and need things.
enter the babysitter debacle, which left no physical or emotional marks on the kids, thank god, but surely scared and scarred my husband and i.
enter postpartum hormones and extended breastfeeding and a big job doing big things, and the end result is a wibbly-wobbly mama whose anxiety can sneak up on her and leave her feeling like it's all too much; like she's not enough; like it's not ok.
* * *
i have the help of a fantastic mental health professional, and i am improving every day. i have bouts of high anxiety, particularly around the children's health. a mere sniffle or gag, and mama's heart is racing, blood pounding, tummy-ache inducing adrenaline coursing through her. but i know what to do, and i do it, and we are all ok.
and the other thing that is getting me through is this: this is a season. some days i see glimpses of a time ahead, where these brilliant monsters are a little more self sufficient and a little more able to help themselves and us, and i know that we will get through.
some days i see a glimpse of the young men these boys will become, and i know i will lament the loss of their little bodies clinging all over me, their little hands grasping me, their little eyes turned to me to solve all the problems of the world.
and for now, i remind myself of this: this is a season. it is a season of grace and good enough. some days, the boys are going to eat king cake for breakfast. some days, i am going to yell.
some days, my sweet sensitive john will pat my shoulder and tell his tearful mommy, "it's a-okay, mommy, everyone makes mistakes."
some days, my beautiful mercurial charlie will cease scowling when he sees me in his classroom, and run to me for "one last huggy, mommy, i love you!"
some days, my happy little ben will crawl-scoot himself across the kitchen to reach up at me and purr in his little cooing voice, and i know he is saying he loves me just how i am too.
some days, my supportive and understanding husband won't blink an eye at the prospect of buying last-minute plane tickets because his crazy wife can't stomach the idea of a two-day drive with the kiddos in tow. and he also won't think i'm a crazy wife. because he loves me how i am too.
* * *
i have given myself permission to surrender the idea of "family dinner." oh, we will do it when we can. but that is a pressure that i don't need right now. we're not the waltons, try as i might. beaver cleaver does not reside at the heid house, for sure.
but this is a season.
it is a season of grace -- where i will forgive myself for the things i think i should do but can't.
it is a season of good enough -- where happy, fed, clothed, loving family is what matters, not how "well" i've achieved those goals.
this is a season of grace and good enough.
and some days, it's my favorite season of all.