Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year

Why doesn't someone tell me I'm not a kid anymore? I keep playing with my kids and keep getting hurt. I guess I forget (or don't believe) that I'm getting fragile. Booooo. Last year I jumped off the balcony into the snow with my boys, and I ended up with a sprained ankle. This year I boarded down the tiniest little hill with my guys and I ended up with a muscle strain in my back. My kids are like Bumbles - they bounce. Me? not so much. But I keep acting like I'm a Bumble. In Rudolph's story, the Bumble guy was old, after all. Well, "older". Maybe not quite as old as I am. Ooooh, I'm getting old. Older. Not old. Nope. Never old. (It's all in your head, right?). So I keep bounding around with my kids, and paying the price. But having a great time when I do end up bouncing instead of flopping.

I love the New Year's thrill. It's exciting. It's a door opening to a million billion possibilities and all I have to do is decide what I want and go for it. Like shopping at a huge store with a gift card, I look around at all the choices of what I really want, then I pick the one or two things I'm going to get. Or do. Or become. The blank slate and fresh beginning of a New Year means I can pick anything. Do anything. Become anything. It's all there. What will I choose? What will I resolve this year?
It's inspiring, really - all the possibilities. It makes me want to reach higher, be better, try harder. What will I do this year?
I don't know yet, but I'm having fun browsing through the choices. Learn a new language? Write a book? Start a non-profit? Build something? Teach my kids something cool? Travel somewhere?
Whatever it is, I know I can be a better me. And that means trying to be the person God wants me to be.
What will I become this year? I wonder...

I was folding laundry in the playroom when my girls interrupted me with the invitation to their tea party. I guess I figured being in the same room was good enough, so I explained to them I couldn't join them. I had all the clothes from this vacation to fold. I put the girls off, telling them I was busy and that if they really wanted me, they'd have to wait until I was done, blah blah blah.
They did wait. They waited and waited and kept making the table prettier and setting out new "foods" and chatting happily, glancing at me and my six piles of clothes. I would never finish in time to play (it was getting close to lunch), but they were fine waiting. I had thought they'd get bored waiting. But I soon realized they weren't about to move on to a new game or toy. They were content to wait for me and my laundry as long as they knew I'd eventually join them. Their patience, trust, love, and childlike belief finally broke through my task-oriented mind and zapped straight down to my heart, opening it up like it should have been to begin with. I stopped mid-fold, put down the clothes, stepped over a pile of socks, and took my seat between my girls. Right where I belonged.

And I had the most delicious make-believe meal ever. My girls "cooked" me some bacon and peas and cookies. We set a battery-powered Christmas candle on the little play table for our candlelight dinner. I folded myself into the child-size chair and "ate" my plastic peas with a miniature fork. I sipped the air from a tiny tea cup and made appropriate comments on "what a lovely table, dahhhling" and "simply wonderful."
They'd waited for me for about 30 minutes before I caved. Our tea party lasted about 10 minutes. That's all they wanted. Ten minutes. Since when did folding clothes become more important than ten minutes with my girls? Silly me. When the tea party was over, they moved on to playing on the playroom slide and I went back to folding clothes and watching them. They had their mommy-fix, and I had an eye-opener. They're growing so fast.
My boys, too, are bolting up. In the last two months they've jumped an inch and a half in height. I can't hold on to them hard enough to keep them little. I can't keep them back...but I can move along with them. So I'm learning their language - what's cool, what's not. What's important, what's not. I'm also realizing that they still need me. They may want their independence, but they want their security, too. Last night one of my sons saw me reading to the girls. He asked (in a sincere way) why I didn't baby him, too. I stopped for a moment. I looked up at him and suddenly saw my baby boy again. He's grown so much - they both have - but they're still my babies. Always.

And so I read to my boys. I read to them although they can read just as well (and faster on their own) as I can. Ability to read, though, wasn't the point. The point was feeling cared for. Feeling babied, loved, adored.
We've been going going going so much this vacation - being at the Hancock cabin with cousins galore and too many outings - and they haven't had "down time" with me like they needed. So last night we spent the evening home, just us, no distractions, and we read together. We did puzzles together. We were quiet together. We had time together.
Time together...I can't hold them back, but I can go along with them. I can put down my laundry, I can give ten minutes - I can give ten million minutes - I can mother my babies, and together we'll make this Journey through life a compilation of beautiful moments.
There. That's my resolution. One of them, anyway. To give my children more of me every day, and to move along with them and meet their needs and teach them. And give them love.
My other resolutions? I'm sure one of them will be to morph into the perfect wife. Goodness knows Jeff deserves it. I'll try. And I'll fail, but he's patient and loves me anyway. If I can't quite make it to perfect, at least I can make it to better.
I'll work out other resolutions as soon as I've narrowed them down to what I really want. It'll take some mulling over things to figure out what it is I really want. I'm so very blessed. It's been a good year. I'm so thankful for fresh starts, for the atonement of our Savior that lets me start anew, and for the enabling power that helps me become who I'm meant to be. It'll take eternity to get there, of course. Perfection is a long, long, l-o-n-g way off...but at least I'm heading in the right direction.
Happy New Year.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Steph. We all run into those, please play with me mommy moments and I'm so glad you stopped and drank that perfect cup of tea. You're going to have a great year, I can feel it. Filled with perfect mother moments and wife moments and friend moments and another hundred other perfect things (we will omit all the maybe less than perfect moments). Happy New Years!