I just had the “Band-Aid pulled off” here in my little Army apartment in Germany. We have a newborn baby and my mother left (after nearly two months of helping out) on Monday, my Dad on Wednesday and then my husband on Thursday for a two-week stint in Afghanistan. And I have four children.. alone.. and meal delivery has ceased. Horror of horrors. Defrost meat, what is that? Furthermore, I am not a natural at this household management deal. I don’t have systems. I don’t have checklists. I need both, but I think I have failed to create them for fear of disappointing myself.
The approach that is saving me thus far is to take things one day at a time. Not revolutionary, but it is working.
Today, I savored a “moment” with each of my four children. I define a “moment” as a really intense, poignant feeling of elation at the little human’s mere existence brought on by an experience we share. For example, I painted a seven-year-old-girl’s nails four different colors, I laid between shirtless brothers in a trundle bed who asked me to read book after book before the two-year-old would nap. And of course, the pink-velour-clad-4-week-old-daughter was easy. Her moment was laying on my chest, belly downward, careening her strong neck upward to see me and making earnest cooing sounds with a wrinkled old man forehead. These moments are the stuff of soul-infusion for me.
My husband is in this phase right now where he is devouring non-fiction books and documentaries about mountain climbers. You know, Mt. Everest, K2, whatever. I have been rather underwhelmed by it all, chiding him that these are just over-privileged dudes (and ladies) creating intense experiences at great cost for their own sake. Yet, today, as I savored my moments, I realized that I share a great deal with these climbers. Really, the climb is arduous and takes weeks, yet we do it all for the summit. And they only get to summit once, I get multiple glimpses of magnificence in a day.
PS – someone please resend this to me in a week when I am totally spent!