John has finally been given back to us now that his project is over and done and it feels soooooo good. Not having him around for two weeks straight was no easy task. We watched a lot of tv, took a lot of naps (all three of us), ate a lot of mac and cheese, and let a whole big pile of dishes accumulate. But I did laundry, so mom win on that one. Single moms and dads are my heroes, by the way. Anyway, there were a few things that really buoyed me up: The afore-mentioned mac and cheese, laughing with my babies, and saying family prayers each night, even though Dad wasn’t there. One night, right before bed, after a long day of my patience being tried, the three of us knelt down together and folded our arms (Charlie is the tiniest little prayer ever there was!!). James began to pray in the most precious reverent voice ever and began like he normally does:
“Dear Heavenly Fodder, thank you for Mommy and Daddy and Charlie and me…” and then he paused, cracked his eyes open a little (mine are always open during prayers these days to make sure nothing happens, plus I love watching my babies pray) and reached over to his baby brother, caressing his little baby head, and continued,
“And thank you for how sweet little Charlie is.” After which Charlie gave a little chuckle.
It was little, it was quick, but it was oh, so meaningful. It made me realize after a long day of being in the mommy trenches that my life is so very beautiful to me. I’m grateful that all it took was a little prayer from a little soul to remind me. And single moms and dads are my heroes.
A few months ago James took a liking to being terrified of monsters. He basically couldn’t do anything for himself because he was afraid of monsters interfering. One morning, while we were staying at my in-law’s before moving to California, James came in at the crack of dawn to wake me up to go upstairs with him. I explained to him that he could do that by himself and didn’t need me to walk him up the stairs. With his eyes open wide, his lower lip puckered, and his little voice quaking, he explained to me, “But Mom, there are monsters on the stairs.” Call it a stroke of genius, call it lazy parenting, but in that moment Stewart was born.
“Honey, haven’t you met Stewart the nice monster yet? He’s so nice and helps little boys be brave when they are scared of mean monsters. Stewart is waiting for you on the stairs, ready to help you be brave.”
There was silence as James took it all in. His little world just became safe and his little mind basically was blown. He scurried off to the stairs and I heard the following conversation ensue:
“Stewart? Stewart, are you there? Oh, hi, Stewart! I’m James! Will you go up stairs with me and help me be brave? Thanks!” And off he went, with me still warm in my bed.
Stewart is a regular member of the family now and has helped James be brave on countless occasions. It’s gotten me thinking what my “Stewarts” are. What helps me be brave as a mom? As a wife? The very thing that makes me a mother and wife, really. My family. I can do hard things with them by my side. I’m so grateful for my Stewarts.
The last few weeks I have been phone-less. The ol’ smart phone went and died on me (the nerve!) and we can’t afford a new one until my birthday. While it’s been inconvenient not being able to look things up in a blink or to have to remember to email people at my laptop, it’s actually been–dare I say–nice! Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been completely disconnected (actually, I should probably be taking more advantage of my time away from the convenience of technology), but getting back to the roots of using my own brain has been good for me. There’s something about simplifying life that makes you appreciate it more. Don’t get me wrong, smart phones can make so many things simpler. But living a life out of the early 2000’s has really put some things into perspective for me. Like, I don’t want to want super nice things, like iPhones or Dysons. Yes, I want them, but I wish I didn’t want them. I wish I was less worldly and greedy. I wish certain things were just “enough.” Because then the world goes and progresses even more and it’s just darn hard to keep up with all the upgrades. So for now, while I’m without a phone and without the world in my back pocket, I’m going to relish in the simplicity of only having reality available to me. There’s so much to learn from real people, real books, real world stuff. It kind of helps me be the upgrade, and not just a little device.
Gratitude posts summary:
1. my family // 2. words // 3. outside // 4. compartmentalizing // 5. drunk babies // 6. black charcoal // 7. naughties // 8. sneaky treats // 9. mercy // 10. grins // 11. movement // 12. pseudo moms // 13. in-laws // 14. miracles // 15. roots // 16. survival mode // 17. start overs // 18. naptime // 19. prayers // 20. Stewart // 21. disconnecting