Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

There is a lot of hype about Mother's Day. I grew up with it, and my husband did not. Honestly, he's not all that great about gift-giving on particularly set aside holidays (although he can be counted on for baked goods when asked in advance). So I tried to lower my expectations and had rather a shock.

I thought about the usual things or activities people do for Mother's Day: call, send a card or flowers, go out to eat, and the stereotypical making breakfast for mommy. Well, you know what? As a mother, I don't deserve all of that. And you know what else? My husband is simply amazing all the time. He makes me bacon and eggs for breakfast during fasting periods when I'm pregnant and need motivation to keep eating healthy, protein-rich foods and less sugar. He moves his schedule so he can be with me and the children. He cooks, does dishes and laundry, and works on the house and garden. He listens.

I, on the other hand, seem to be a compendium of faults from selfishness to short-temperedness (we'll just gloss over several here). No, he's not perfect either, but he almost always puts himself last. So on Mother's Day all I should expect is the little carnation handed out by a Sunday school student, just like all the other ladies in church.

With all that running through my head, I decided that Mother's Day shouldn't be about honoring me, but about honoring motherhood itself. I resolved to be with my children with more patience, to live up to my own expectations. I'm pretty sure I failed on that, like I do every day, but placing the emphasis on what I should be doing as a mother helped me have a wonderful Mother's Day.

I don't remember what exactly happened for breakfast, but I did let myself sleep in a bit (as evidenced by the state of the living room: the kids had no intention of sleeping in as late as I did). I got my own breakfast, attempting to take care of myself because I know I'm supposed to eat before Liturgy; even though I'm pregnant, I still feel guilty.

Teddy got stuck in a pew by himself for most of the Liturgy, as Lucia was, as usual, magnetized by her pew friend Presv. D., and Timmo and I had to keep going out and sitting until I was rested enough to return (which takes longer and longer these days).

I did get my pink carnation from a Sunday school student. Teddy positively glowed as he gave it to me in the hall (since I was too tired to go all the way upstairs).

There are plenty of bitter Mother's Day rants out there, but this isn't one of them. For Mother's Day, I got my family who loves me in spite of all my faults, and who are teaching me to love them and to be nearer to God.

(And I did remember to call my mother.)

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Eternally pregnant

That's what it feels like, anyhow. The past couple of days have been especially tough. Last night we were at Teddy's soccer "game," but I hadn't taken the weather into account: 87°F and we were all in long sleeves. Fr. Peter had to leave after 15 minutes for vespers (he's the coach), so I had to bolster Teddy's flagging enthusiasm, amuse a whiny Lucia, and "run" after a Timmo who wanted everyone else's soccer balks (but not ours). I was proud of Lucia for telling me she had to go potty and holding it until we got there (double stroller, uphill both ways somehow). Came back to popsicle stickiness, ran into/over Timmo when he fell out of the stroller (not that he was fazes), and went to church and had husband bring out the cross for us to kiss. Thank God for the double stroller and that this was the only schedule conflict.

On the way, stopped at a light, I tried three times to turn on the air conditioning (pregnant, long sleeves, and supportive underthings, at 87°F in a van that had been sitting in the sun). This somehow turned off the engine and the light turned green.

This morning I wasn't really able to attend the Liturgy. I tried keeping up with the kids in the pew, but Lucia and Timmo were fighting over a candle during the epistle, so I took him and the candle out, and when Lucia came back to the narthex, I had her stay out with us. Brought them in for Communion, and out again after. Timmo figured out the sliding doors, and I still had no energy, so I just held him in what's left of my lap. Went down to get the diaper bag and made it to the back pew when Fr. Peter was handing out antidoron. Timmo came out of the narthex with paper towels and matches. Held him while Teddy put everything away. Fr. Peter got everyone into cars.

Almost at home, some lady decides to turn left and was about a car's length away from me, heading for me and in my lane. She waved cheerily to apologize, and I made it home and had a hysterical fit in the driveway.

I am really looking forward to tomorrow night's youth game night at J's house. Also hoping to switch the thermostat to cool and have the 6'2" fellow wipe the ceiling fans and turn them on. (Why do the children say they are COLD at night!?)

Plenty to be thankful for, but I am a big wuss and trying to suck it up.