Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Can You Find Me?

So, I know I've been gone for a while...
It's because I'm writing over here: http://kjpatch.blogspot.com/

This blog has a lot of personal stuff and things written at 2am and not really edited, so I'm starting all over with a more public blog that I can market more as I begin focusing on my writing/publishing.

Come check it out!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

When a Mom is Not a Loser

Tonight (it's 4am), I was feeling a little bit like the worst mom in the world.  My little boy is up every few hours to puke for his first bout with stomach-sickness ever.

We used to joke around in my family that because puke is the one thing I positively cannot handle (not even in movies--the WORST scene in The Sixth Sense to me was the puking one) that I better marry a man who could take care of that part of child-raising.  I've never been able to see/hear/smell it without joining in myself.  Is this TMI yet?  It gets better . . .

I thought that after having James do the baby spit-up thing all over me that I was now super-mom and up to anything.  But tonight, reality hit me square in the nose.  James puked.  I rushed in to help.  Larry told me to get away.  I tried to help.  I came; I saw; I ran into the 2nd nearest bathroom and lost my dinner.

Mom fail.

Larry, all night, has been the one holding James as he heaves and the one stripping his bed.  I've been on find-another-sheet and find-more-pjs and get-a-wet-washcloth and double-wash-a-million-loads-of-laundry duty.  In my head, the mom is supposed to be the one who inspires her husband with her heroic level of sacrifice directly with the sick child.  That's always how it was growing up in my family, and I can't thank my mom enough for being that woman.

Tonight, I learned a different (and more essential) truth about the roles of spouses.  Their roles are to support each other and to sacrifice for each other.  If puke is the one thing I can't directly handle, Larry loves me enough not to hold it against me and to pitch in at the crucial moments.  This doesn't mean I ditch him and leave him to handle it all on his own.  It means that we each sacrifice in the middle of the night for the sake of our son in the way that we are able to.  And we both become holier in the process, not by outshining each other in heroism, but in complementing each other's strengths and weaknesses with love and patience.

I read this article tonight as I was trying to eat something to keep my energy levels up for the sake of baby #2 that I'm responsible for protecting inside me right now.  I love how she talks about motherhood as a gift to help us work on our weaknesses, not as a reward for those who are already strong.

It's funny how God can confirm one's vocation in unlikely moments.  As Larry, James, and I slumped on the floor praying a decade of the rosary that Momma Mary would watch over our little guy and help him sleep, I was so happy.  Tired, a little overwhelmed, but so happy because my family loves each other, loves God, and loves me--even when I feel incompetent.  True love is stronger than any illness or inconvenience or failing; it builds up persons (children and adults) and shows the evils of this world to be only passing reminders that we are not yet the people we were created to become.  How merciful God is and how great is our hope in our eternal joy with Him!  Thank you Lord for the grace to transcend the moment, at least for now, and help us all get some needed sleep.  Amen.

[12 hours later: Update--James is doing well, slept beautifully for his nap, and has his appetite and a little energy back.  God is good!  Mommy got a nap too.  :)  ]

Saturday, July 23, 2011

God is a Game Changer

So . . . about those goals.

God had some different plans--some stuff I'll have to write more about later and one very exciting networking connection which landed me a chance to pitch my book in person to a major publisher . . . next week.  SO, there has been no painting, no sewing, and lots more writing of the book I didn't plan to have in reviewable (is that a word?) shape until next summer.

I have also been working on school prep and keeping up with my busy son and his creative (read: mostly destructive) imagination.  I HAVE found more time for spiritual reading and reflection--necessary components to my writing and also (more importantly) to my vocation.  That has been glorious.  I have even been praying the rosary again, even if it's often in pieces.  For some reason, the rosary is always my first devotion to go when I'm weak and my first to return to when I'm desperate.  Poor Mary; I'm glad she's so merciful.  I treat her just like a kid treats his mom--a few choice moments are precious and shared, and then mom might as well be chopped liver except when there is a crisis and the kid remembers the person who is always there for them.

God has really really blessed me this summer.  Some days, He blesses me (like today) by withholding pit-hour for some mysterious reason.  Others, He "blesses" me with sufferings and a lack of energy that help me see how generous and wonderful my husband is.

God is a game changer.  He appreciates that we make plans, and then He adjusts them as needed.  I'm not complaining.  :)


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Goals (realistic ones)

This is probably t.m.i. for a blog, but I thought maybe it would inspire you to make your own list.  Plus, unless I put a list someplace where I can't really change it, I'm going to keep cheating myself out of a productive summer.  Here are some goals I'd like to accomplish before mid-August.  Some are more precise (and thus more practical) than others, but I feel that they are all important in different ways.

*Cultivate a spirit of greater gentleness and peace, even in moments when I need to be firm.  I want to be a parent (and spouse and teacher) who can transcend the anxiety of the present moment and think more about the person I'm addressing than my own frustration.  I'm pretty sure Mary and my own patroness Bl. Margaret of Costello were experts at this, so I pray that they'll guide me through this process.

*Find ways of investing in my relationship with my husband in the evenings and on his days off more than just "chilling" near each other but not really together.
*Be creative about the ways James and I play together.  I know it excites both of us to try new things and explore new areas.

*Have the dishes clean before bed every night except Sunday.  (It's really tempting to just toss some things in the dishwasher and leave the hand-washing for later!  I'd cook through half the day as happy as a lark, but dishes are definitely within the realm of sanctification for me.)
*Practice simplicity and really think about how much we need something before I buy it.

*Finish at least two sewing projects.
*Discipline myself to exercise (at least a long walk) a minimum of 3 times a week.  (I know, that sounds like nothing, but right now it feels pretty heroic).
*Schedule painting my deck and kitchen and waxing our cars into our calendar and do it!
*Go to an hour of adoration once a month.  (Again, learning to be a mom has totally changed my ideas of what I'm capable of committing to in nearly every area of my life.)

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