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Friday, October 9, 2015

six months, then seven

Life is getting away from me. My childrens' childhoods are a blur. Jack turned six months old without warning. The day he turned six months old, it was raining and cloudy in my house so I thought I would take his monthly photo the next day. Then we got busy and it just never happened. I shot the above photos about a week after he turned six months. I have yet to shoot his seven month old photo - oh, the hardships of being the second born!

I've been pondering so much about motherhood over the last few days. Trying to form a picture in my mind of what I hope my children see when they think of me in the coming years. Do I want to be a ruthless discipliner that holds fast to the rulebook? Do I want to be remembered as a nagger? No. I can't quite place my finger on what kind of mother that I want to be, but I know the kind of mother that I don't want to be. I don't want to be the harsh, stoic, unfeeling, hardened woman that is above cuddling them when they're sad or immediately forgiving them when they've done wrong. I don't want to be remembered with the blue light of a phone screen on my face or the red of my hands after spanking them. While I *do* look at my phone and I *do* spank them occasionally (well, not Jack so far) I look back and regret the times when I've chosen to be that kind of mother to them. Motherhood is a lovely amalgamation of regret and guilt. Fortunately, like Christ, little children forgive quickly and easily. I hope Lily remembers our bedtime routine reading her scripture picture book and rocking while "tickling" her arms (it's not really tickling as much as it is just me lightly running my fingers down her various appendages) and kneeling around her bed for family prayer. I hope each of my children remember the good things over the bad. I hope they can forgive me for any lasting harm I've done to them and hold tightly to the memories of love we've felt. There is no bond like mother and child.

No one warned me before I had children that to have them is to be full of every emotion - good and bad. I am constantly googling things that they've putting in their mouths, rashes, how to clean body parts, get them to eat their vegetables. As I do so, I really question God about how he could have put something so precious into my care. I am unqualified and ignorant. I continually ask for His forgiveness because I feel so backwards. Nothing has molded me from the inside out quite as effectively as being a mother. It's caused me to make slower judgments, give people a chance, and stand in others' shoes. It's also brought out a bit of a mother bear in me - I've stopped letting critical people walk all over me. Speaking of critical people - stop. Damn it, just stop. I am the most laid back human being on the planet until you look down on me, tell me what I "should do", and nag me. I immediately get defensive and withdrawn. Then I hate myself for acting that way, making me more on edge. I can't be around people like that.

On another note, I have friends. Sort of. It's been slow going out here in the sticks of Chicago, but I am slowly making progress. I am hating this place less and less, but winter is nigh upon us so that may change in the coming weeks. The only thing Chicago lacks is a friend like Dana who is just around the corner with a shoulder to cry on and a good open mind to discuss ideas. Our friendship wasn't made in a day, so I'm still holding out. I'm actually driving eight hours to Kansas City on Monday to visit her. Lou Malnati's butter crust is currently holding the title of best friend until a non-edible (to most) best friend steps in to take its place.


  1. Such beautiful photos of your darling boy! You're a wonderful mother! <3

  2. We're going to have a blaaaaaast . You should be excited!

  3. That chub is magic to my eyes. I wish I lived in Chicago- for the pizza and the friendship. I'm totally at a crissroads of trying to become the mom I want my kids to remember and the mom who is just a girl who wants her alone time. It's hard. I can't wait to see you on your drive!