Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dare I Name It? Is This Contentment?

Nay, even joy?

It might be the recent week-long vacation (okay, very probably) that has lead to a slower November, but in a group discussion on stress yesterday, I realized that my stressors didn't feel so overwhelming.  The grind and hustle didn't feel so burdensome, and if I had to list out what really stressed me and caused worry, it was things to come in the future.

What is the best schooling option for Jeremiah? 
If it's not local, would a long-term move be worth it? How would affect the family as a whole?
Is our family complete?  If so, am I okay with that?  If not, am I okay with the unknown? 
Do I want to /will I go back to work?  What would that look like? When would I do that?
How do I enjoy this season without looking behind or too far ahead?

Lots of questions I'd venture to guess roll around in minds of many women.  (Men everywhere, and by that I mean the two or three male relatives that read this blog: You're most welcome for the female mind's inner workings.)

Very important things with long reaching implications.  But, today, I'm content with it.  Me, with my regular Regis Philbin freak-outs.  Am okay with it.

My youngest daughter does this thing where she caresses my cheek when she's trying to be extra adorable.  It helps if this is done immediately after, to be colloquial, pooping in her underwear.  I threaten to "call the Doctor to give her yucky medicine," but I think be both know that's a game we're playing and she's winning.  Today she wore a pink tutu over her leggings and a Frozen t-shirt paired with sparkly Mary Janes and accessorized that with an Elsa side braid.  I get to hug and kiss her approximately 87 times a day and I just can't even with all the joy she brings me.

My older daughter is going through a lot of huffing and puffing about obedience and respect to Mom and Dad.  Send her to her room or turn off the television without her express written consent and she's dying a thousand deaths.  But then, she's the one who greeted me the morning we returned from our trip with such heartfelt emotion.  She was glad her parents were home.  She thanks God for all the love we have today and feels things so intensely.  Somehow, she belongs to me for a short while.

And my Jeremiah.  Oh my word.  He is such a rascal.  Will he set off the alarm at 7 a.m. because well, it's morning and time to go?  Yes.  Sneak into the all my hiding places for candy or sugary drinks or a toy?  Yes.  Do I have to keep after him about remembering to flush/put on underwear/bring along his IPad/not shut the door eleventy-billion times when someone leaves the room for a moment? YES.  But we played ball this morning.  He made so much eye contact.  He enjoys lots of hugs and kisses in the morning and after school.  He asked the girls to watch him make the Toca Boca doctor game on the IPad toot so they could all giggle.  He told his Dad, "NO! It's not time for supper," when I called everyone to eat.  He is a seven-year-old boy. Full stop.  Looking back, a lot of parenting him has been trail by fire.  We've come to a place where it is not.  (Hallelujah and amen.)

I notice that I've not said anything about the leader of this family (oh, I said it!  I'm so hopelessly backwards or refreshingly honest.  You pick.)   But basically, we can disagree about political or theological viewpoints, sure, but we can also be together, non-stop, no breaks, for a week and find this a good thing.  We can have a once-in-a-lifetime week abroad and then hit Sam's Club the next Saturday for a very enjoyable date night.   He will also turn off a football game (not a Georgia one, but still) and offer to watch one of my movies.  Basically: keeper.

What I'm saying is that joy and contentment are not the absence of struggle or pain or worry. 
It's noticing what comes from and through it. 

Today, I'm just able to notice.

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