Just for Laughs

Saw this on Facebook the other day - ha ha.
Everyone needs a quick chuckle now and then, right?  

Keeping my eyes open...

Here's another article from the past. One that I'm thankful I came across again.
I needed the reminder.

It'll probably be the last I'll dig up for awhile.  Fresh stuff is coming soon!!!! :-)

I love being a mother. I don't always like it though.

(I'll pause until your shock wears off - ha ha)

Now, I have friends that might always "like" it. They say things like, "Don't get frustrated at nap time - cherish those moments..." and "just exhale when they do that, it's not that important" and "don't you just LOVE the story this chaotic experience is gonna make when they're older?!"  I usually smile, knowing they're right - but still resisting the urge to punch them.

I love my kids. In a way that has to be supernatural - because it surpasses every ounce of effort I could ever put into loving them.  So this "not liking motherhood sometimes" issue had me a little freaked out.

I knew my life would entirely change once we started procreating, but it's so much easier to accept that dramatic, giant truth when you don't realize what it means on the day to day scale. And once I started to see my new ... identity... begin to unfold, I didn't always like it.

I like traveling. It's difficult to travel with little ones. I like ...no LOVE... to read. It's close to impossible to sit down with a book and read more than 3 sentences without being needed during those "early years". (listen to me - I sound like I have teenagers - ha ha. ::sigh::) I like to sleep...well, enough said.

Something else I've learned about myself is I squint frequently (and not only because my contacts'/glasses' precription is really REALLY old).  I squint when I'm frustrated, confused, angry, tired.....etc. It's like my body naturally tells my eyes to only focus on the object in front of me. I lose all peripheral vision and all my attention is on the thing I'm looking at.

It's not helpful. (and not good for my eyes either)

It's obvious that we need to see a problem from different angles to solve it. When I can see beyond the tip of my nose my blood pressure usually decreases and I start to see the story behind whatever is frustrating me.  And today, on the M5 bus with the girls, making our way home from the gym, I realized I was squinting.

The girls were really crazy antsy. There were just enough people around us for it to be entirely inappropriate. They were accidentally kicking onlookers. They were falling all over the place and elbowing elderly people. (Okay, maybe just one somewhat-grumpy elderly lady.) Every time I'd say through gritted teeth, "Girls. sit. down." or "stop. pushing. each. other." it would just get worse. And as I was squinting I only saw the chaos they were causing.

What made this commute different than most other rambunctious ones is I caught myself squinting.  I made a choice and WILLED my eyes to open wider. Not only did it relieve the headache that was starting, but it expanded what I was focusing on. I began to notice the bright sunshine beaming through the bus. I saw that most of the people (with the exception of previously mentioned elderly lady) were smiling at my kids and whispering about how cute they were. I saw that although their interactions were playground worthy and NOT bus appropriate, they were laughing and loving each other. My heart began to warm up again.

I soaked in the moment.

The tension left my face and I started to smile. I leaned over and whispered to them (whispering always gets their attention), "I love you girls. And I love being your mommy."  To my surprise, Elasia smiled at me with that one smile of hers (the one that I'm SURE is going to cause traffic accidents when she's older) and snuggled up close to me and whispered back, "I love being your daughter, Mommy."

(Now, Qara....well - true to form she took this tender moment as an opportunity to pull her sister's pants down and dump the contents of the entire diaper bag onto the seat she was sitting in. ::sigh:: but she's a charmer herself...in her own special "Qara" sort of way.)

Thankfully before the magic wore off and before I started squinting at the mess Qara had made, our stop was approaching. I quickly shoved everything back into the backpack/diaper bag and scooped them both up and got off the bus.  I let them walk home together in the sunshine rather than carrying Qara. I kept my eyes wide open and admired how cute they were as they skipped together on the sidewalk.

I saw so much:
Qara's little dimply arms (that I seriously have to decide not to bite). Elasia's green bean looking legs that she can somehow move so gracefully. I watched Qara running with abadoned, and as she got closer to the crosswalk, I saw Elasia stop her, hold her hand and wait for me to catch up so we could cross the street together.

I love motherhood. But I know I won't always like it. I think that's okay.

But maybe, if I can remember to stop squinting so much and take in more of the picture, I might become one of those precious friends that people like me want to punch.

just maybe.... ;-)