My mind has been everywhere this week.
Baby’s coming. The boy started kindergarten. The girl is potty trained. I have to paint my kitchen (I know that seems slightly more trivial than the other stuff, but just hear me out.)
I can’t decide what to do with my kitchen. It’s yellow now and it needs a fresh coat of paint and love, and I can’t decide if I should update it and simply paint it yellow (albeit, a different yellow) like it’s always been. Or if I should welcome something new and try something else.
But…the kitchen has always been yellow. But now…we have options. Now things can be different. But do I want it to be? The kids have only ever known yellow in the kitchen. It was the first color I picked for our new house seven years ago. What if I paint it green or blue and it doesn’t feel the same??
And, really, does everything have to change right now?
It’s all looking different. All of a sudden.
It seems like all of a sudden all of the pieces shifted. Into place? Or out of sorts? I’m not sure.
Do you ever feel like that as a parent? Heck, as a person? Things suddenly change and you can’t tell if it’s wrong or if this is the way that it was always supposed to be.
I’m trying to grab all of these moments and hold them and not let them go. I’ve been staring at my children lately. Just staring and watching and trying to take this mental picture that I can keep and always have. I have to have it.
I have to remember how amazing they are. Right now.
Soon mommy and daddy welcome baby number three. They’re excited. I am, too. I remember this small season of mourning when I was preparing to welcome baby number two. I shed tears. Because it wouldn’t be just the three of us anymore. It wouldn’t be just my son and I every day. We would become a team of three. Those little nondescript moments of just the two of us would become a thing of the past. What if it all didn’t feel the same?
I was excited, but I knew that we were leaving something behind. I knew that things would get just a bit more complicated. A bit trickier. And, if I’m being honest, a bit louder.
Now I feel the same way, all over again. The boy is at school so it’s been just the girl and I. And we have had some fun. I brush her curls and smell her and just hold her close every chance I get. Because she’s about to become a big sister. Her life is going to change and she’s not even aware of it. She will have new responsibilities as she grows. I want her to remember that she was treasured. That she won’t ever be just a middle child to us. That I saw, I see, HER.
Even worse, soon she’ll go to school eventually. And I’ll be down to one again.
I’m back and forth with all of it. At first, I didn’t know what to expect about having more than one child around the house. Now, I’m used to it and all of the chaos that accompanies it and all of the messes and stains and handprints on windows. Now, it feels like that’s just the way that it has always been. There are supposed to be Cheerio’s all over my kitchen floor and toys in my bathtub. Right?
I feel in some way like we get these chances in life, and we only get them for a season and we have to make the most of them. Only we don’t always know that they are chances, they don’t feel like opportunities. They feel like chores or tasks or just a plain old Monday. We don’t even realize the gifts that we are given.
I had just my son for a time. My chance to savor him and love him. Then I had two to love and kiss on. Now it becomes three. I only get so many chances to get it right. To make it perfect. To make it count. Before it all changes again.
And while those changes aren’t things we should necessarily mourn, instead we should see them as something we prepare ourselves for and are being prepared for, it’s still a host of question marks looming in the air.
Is this life really mine? Am I on my way to baby number three? To a new decade of life? Really?
My life doesn’t always feel like my own. It feels like I’m wearing a pair of shoes that I really like, but they’re just a size too big. Not quite right. Or maybe it’s all alright and I’m just on my way to the person and mother that I’m supposed to be. Maybe our family is on its way to the place that’s for us. Maybe all of that other stuff just led me here, to this spot.
And, seriously, can you all offer some painting advice for my kitchen? Oak cabinets, neutral counter tops. Go.
I remind myself that we are training, preparing to let go. That all things are a part of a season, and with each season is give and taken, want and plenty. Every day, whether we realize it or not, we are building something, crafting something. More importantly, the Father is at work in us and is crafting in us a story. He writes it, not us. I just feel like Piglet on Winnie the Pooh sometimes, on a very blustery day. But, I’m not. I am His treasured child. His wanted child. His loved child. I’m not some myopic, shriveling thing to be tossed to and fro. I am His.
And He is writing my story.
Now if He could give me an inclination about this whole paint color thing…