So Ryan and I.
We have these three kids.
Sometimes, actually, most of the time, its wild. There are more spills and "oopsies" than there are towels to clean them up with.
At the grocery store we use one of those giant carts that is about the length of a small house. And yeah, occasionally I run into things (and people) with it.
But set aside the moments when my two year old is streaking naked through the house with Popsicles in each hand, or my four year old is tap dancing on top of the table. Block out that the little one is playing in the dog water; in this house, there is so. much. love.
Confidence is something I lack, especially when it comes to my mothering skills. I am in constant check of my surroundings. "Are my kids being too loud? Are we in the way? Do I look out of control?" Most of the time the answers are yes, however that's beside the point.
Obviously parenting 3 littles is hard. Being in the line of fire, 24/7 I know this! Sometimes I want to run out the door. And sometimes, (if Ryan's home;), I do (YAY Barnes & Noble!:) At this very moment I have a 2 year old in spiderman pajamas, perched atop my feet rolling trains up and down my legs. While out in the living room I hear some sort of chaos including Stella and cookware. And the nights. Oh. My. THE NIGHTS. Just recently, they've become longer and harder than ever. Stella is still waking to nurse (it's totally a habit thing and I get it) and Maeve is in a "scared of monsters" phase. This means many, many middle of the night monster checks and little sleep.
The past few weeks have begun to wear and tear on me. Between my bladder surgery and the steady stream of photo editing, I've shifted my kids to the back burner stepping away, allowing others to take my place momentarily while I get a grip on things. It's usually in messy, busy times that I let my thoughts drift to how others perceive me, such as today in the grocery store. "Am I a crappy parent? Can I not control and discipline my kids? Should three be IT?" It's shameful to admit that I give any credence to complete strangers in a grocery store, but I do.
After dinner, we took an impromptu trip to the beach. Being unplanned, we didn't have suits, towels, etc. Just us, a few toy cars and a frisbee. The waves must have been good because the water was bobbing with surfers. Ryan and I took a seat and our littles, each with a separate idea or goal in mind, fluttered and flitted around us. Henry, completely enthralled with his cars, Maeve building a castle and Stella sampling the sand. Every so often, they'd collide. Stella would smash a hand through Maeve's creation or Henry, so into his own world of cars, would literally topple over Stella's little body. There would be a brief standoff, as they'd assess the damage, and then their little jobs would begin again, as if nothing had ever happened. They are three separate siblings, but they operate as one, and this makes my heart explode with love.
When you're on the beach, every thought takes on more meaning. There's something about the endless view and dependable tide and the way the sun makes everything look like its been hazed in honey. It's in those moments that I have to sit and soak it up.
My life is crazy. It's all over the place. To fellow grocery shoppers I am most definitely a hot mess with my hands full. But within my diaper filled days, I do, indeed have peace, stability and an overflowing bucket of love. It may not be how others define peace, fun or a "good life," but for me, I can't imagine it any different; The way Maeve mommies Stella, carefully picking her up and out of the way of their blazing brother. The way Stella watches Maeve and Henry, wide eyed and awe struck, wanting nothing more than to grow up and join in the circus. How Henry runs into the living room each and every morning, so excited to see his sisters, "HI STELLABELLA! HI MAEMAE!!!" Maeve's tall, lanky frame still wanting to fold itself into my lap like a baby. My sweet, quiet moments nursing Stella, locking eyes and forcing my presence into her little memory. And my Henry boy, longing for me to sit and help build a new track for his trains.
For the longest time, I've let strangers with opinions on my "large" brood mold and warp my views on my own family. And its enough.
Yeah, its embarrassing when Henry's screaming like a banshee in the middle of Publix. And its not ideal when Stella has tummy troubles in the middle of dinner at a nice restaurant. But ya know what? Who cares.
This family that God has given us, they're my peace. They're my sanity in a world of insanity.
Today I am thankful to the Lord, for giving me what I need, when I need it. For every wave crashing rough and loud, shouting for attention, there is an equally peaceful lapse of time as the ocean effortlessly pulls it back in, giving me just enough silence and clarity to gather up my thoughts to take on the next huge wave.
To sum up this mish mash of thoughts,
I am blessed. And that's something I will never feel embarrassed about.