Introspective Insights

Introspective - adj: Examining sensory and perceptual experiences. Insight - n: The capacity to discern the true nature of a situation.

Am I Singing?

I can’t help but ask myself this question. I get so sucked into the everyday…the drudgery, the repetition, the predictability of it all. Have I left room for the song…for the song of my soul? Those of you who are parents of young children know that time spent with your spouse or even alone to meditate is nearly impossible to realize. But as your children grow you find that little space for reflection. Maybe it is in the shower…in the car…the few minutes before you fall asleep.

For me today, it was in the car. I was listening to one of my favorite bands of all time, U2 – “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.” I highly recommend anything that U2 has ever done, but especially this CD. Critics of this CD would likely mention the use of Christian themes and images throughout to sell a cheap, emotional experience (or worse, alienate the listener). But I think those critics missed the point. U2 is not borrowing Christian themes and images for fun or because they may promote some pseudo spiritual experience. They truly believe this stuff. There is no way a song like “Yahweh” was written without a knowledge of several portions of scripture and then a personal revelation of what that means to the writer. I am blown away by the depth of each track on this album and how I’m personally changed by the message of this song and several others on the CD. (Sidenote – who doesn’t love the Edge’s brilliant, unique guitar riffs?)

Back to my point – to tell you about one of my favorite parts of the song – “take this soul, stranded in some skin and bones, take this soul and make it sing.” I played the song again wondering, pondering, reflecting on this question – is my soul singing? I think that for a better part of the past year my soul was crying and laughing and agonizing and intensely analyzing everything and pondering every part of the emotional spectrum. But singing? Definitely not.

But today I realized that this indescribable gift of joy is welling up in me. Joy at my big girl Kayla dancing around our living room…joy at Zachary vibrating because he is standing without help…joy at the knowing, mischievous twinkle in Jerry’s eyes. This joy, a gift that only God can give…joy of knowing that his purposes continue to work and flow through me and that he continues to give me hope in all circumstances. Nothing else matters.

I Don’t Do Resolutions…

…but I decided to resolve with my good friend / brother-in-law Kal (check out his Moblog and Kal in Space) to starting writing in the blog more often (detailed goals – a closely guarded secret). So for those of you who are still lurking around (thanks!) look forward to seeing new posts here soon.

Resisting Sleep

So here I am, resisting sleep. It seems like my days are spent focusing on the kids so much and their needs that when they go to sleep, I get my second wind…wide eyed and awake until the wee hours wondering what the heck I’m doing and why the heck I’m doing it. I almost become euphoric thinking about it all.

It usually starts when I’m getting Zachary ready for bed and nursing and rocking him to sleep. I start to think, I could find that missing (fill in item here) that I haven’t seen in months. I’m convinced it is located (fill in location here). I know I can find it – never mind I’ve been looking for that same item in the same three locations for 3 months. I could write in my journal, update both kid’s baby books, organize pictures, read the five books collecting dust in my night stand, read through the latest Ikea catalog, Pampered Chef catalog, all while randomly flipping through the latest Parents and Parenting magazine. (Seriously, why the heck don’t those two magazines just merge? They copy each other’s articles every month and you can barely tell them apart on the newsstand…different font doesn’t count.) As soon as Zachary is in bed and I’ve snuggled with Kayla for a few minutes, I step into this Mommy’s paradise…NIGHTTIME!!!

I fully intend to do the things mentioned above, but I turn on my laptop to innocently check email and suddenly I’m shopping for makeup…I’m learning more about a perfume I just tried on at the store, I’m checking the tracking number on my latest Amazon purchase.

An email with it’s melodic ding pops up…doesn’t matter if it is worth reading or not – I go and read…I remember someone I didn’t email back earlier. I send the email…I read my favorite blogs…I lament over the extreme out of dateness of my own blog…

I look at the time…12:04am…dishes still waiting, experiment ring in the toilet, clothes quietly crinkling to unmanageable lumps in their baskets, crumbs on the table…

The baby monitor quietly coos…a tiny static crackle here and there.. If only morning would not come…or stealthily delay its appearance. Alas, all fun things must come to an end…the shower is calling this tired body.

Kaylic

I’m sure those of you with small children eventually come to know their own native language. Ever since Kayla was old enough to utter sounds she has been making some interesting ones. When she was about 5 months old she started out by growling or heavy breathing as we liked to call it. For awhile she earned the name, “Darth Baby” because of the funny sounds she was making.

Most babies coo or razz, Kayla would growl in delight. It was the funniest sound we had ever heard. When she was about 18 months old and starting to say words she would sometimes break into a babble that we dubbed “Kaylic.” You could tell she was saying something very serious and she would look at us as if to say, “Why don’t you understand these profound things that I’m saying?”

Now that Kayla is older (3 years old) and consistently speaks in complete sentences, I thought it would be fun to update you on some of the new words she is saying:

Han-gahber – hamburger. (I think this is a childhood classic and just about every kid I’ve known has said this. Love it!)

Va-pora-tor – vaporizer.

Ma-zahgine – magazine.

Ma-gah-log – cross between a magazine and a catalog. I was pretty proud of her for coming up with this one.

She also likes to make up words with one of her pals at daycare. One of the words that seems to stick is this:

Schwapped – to set down or throw down forcefully. This seems to be the meaning of the word, but she uses it in many different contexts. Such as, “I schwapped down on the couch to watch a movie.”

Hope you’ve enjoyed your short lesson in Kaylic.

The Update

So I’m finally getting around to giving y’all the update – sorry for the lateness in responding! I am still getting this frequent blogging thing together.

I’ve been back at work for a month now and things are very slowly coming together (hence my absence).

The first day I dropped off Zachary at daycare I was in my car crying…trying to calm down enough to drive. When I finally slowed down, I turned on the radio and the first line of a familiar song played, “It’s not the end of the world, it’s just another day, standing on grace.” I stopped for a moment and listened again and laughed. Oh great, God, you always know what I need. Truly this separation, this change, is not the end of the world, but just another day in a sea of changes.

Since then there have been ups and downs. Downs – finding out that Zachary cried a lot and didn’t take the bottle for several days at daycare. Ups – finally after three weeks having him happy and cooing and playing at daycare. Downs – not getting much sleep due to the new schedule and both kids waking up on and off. Ups – finding the sweet spot in the schedule and having them both finally sleeping better.

I appreciate all of you for your nice comments in previous posts and asking how things were going. From now on I’ll try to write more.

Less Than A Week

Only a few more days until I go back to work. I’m trying to process it all – to be practical about the things that need to be done. Paperwork to fill out, things to buy, prayers to be said. But deep down it just hurts. There is no other way to say it. I look at my sweet boy blissfully sleeping and I realize that it is no easier this time than it was with the first…giving up his care to someone else for part of the day. It reminds me of the fact that he is already starting to grow up so to speak, to be separate from me. I guess the day he found his thumb and started sucking it was the beginning of that process.

I’m reminded of when Kayla was his age. I was feeding her one day and then rocking her to sleep when it hit me like a ton of bricks. We are constantly preparing our children to be independent enough to one day leave us. What a heart wrenching thought! I’m overwhelmed with those thoughts today. Oh I know, our children will always need us, our love, and prayers, even as adults. (In fact, I’m surprised and yet strangely comforted by how much Kayla, at almost three still wants snuggles and hugs. She may look like a big girl, but she is still a baby inside.) But the truth is that one day they will be on their own.

So for the next few days I’ll hold my baby boy tight and delight in his smiling face, the smell of his little head, hold onto his tight little fists, and rest in the peaceful quiet of him nursing. Hoping as he grows that he chooses me to hug and kiss him and comfort him no matter how old he is.

Poetry Jam

Megan over at Sorta Crunchy is celebrating the last day of National Poetry Month and I though I would join in the fun. Be sure to check out her favorite poem by clicking here.

Here are some of my own poems written over the last few years. I’m not great with naming these things, but have tried to name them something.

Coffee Shop Confessions

As I sit in my corner vantage point in Waterstreet
I see caricatures of reality
A snowflake etched in glass
A love letter in a handkerchief
A copper sun on the ceiling
A poet in the corner

It quiets as they all leave
Serenity pours out of the speakers
What seen before me is reality?

Everyday Chaos

Incessant chatter, word upon word
My participation wanes
Until I become a catatonic observer

Dusk

Clearing black sky
Clouds floating away
The Cheshire cat moon smiling
Twinkling light in the distance
The crisp night ahead of us

To Write

Books, books, and more books!
How I long to read them all
Lose myself in the pages
Experience what I don’t in life
Be happy that I don’t have that life!
Read about great truths for eternal knowledge
Read silliness and laugh
Look at pictures and wonder
My desire to drink it all in, all the time!
To become part of the book, whether truth or fiction

But to write a book –
So much harder to do
But necessary to understand and reflect on life
Difficult to express the mundane in the pages
To be unleashed, to write at will!
Whether it be serious, scholarly or just plain trite.
What good is it?
What purpose is served?

My random thoughts fill this space
This page that may hold the complexities of my mind
Or the experience of existence.
Where am I going?
I started out asking this question
And know nothing more here.

Purple pen gliding over the pages
As I listen to the chatter in the cafe
Do they know how loud they are?
Mixing into a stream of confusion
Some voices standing out in random patterns
“The trees are pretty,” says the father to the daughter
“I stopped by and saw it,” the loud man on the couch

Kitchen topics with my love
We are here together
We share our thoughts –
Our perspective –
Our experience

My thoughts blend with the din –
Rising and falling –
Until silent

My pen is stopping
I’ve read this randomness and strangely
I am happy

I Had Forgotten

I had forgotten the excitement of seeing the first robin of spring…

I had forgotten the sweet, heavy scent of rain coming in the distance…

I had forgotten the waxy tug on my fingers of the first green leaves pushing through the ground…

I had forgotten the wonder of seeing a duck just a few feet away…

I had forgotten the cool, damp feeling of grass between my toes…

I had forgotten the spine tingling excitement of hiding during hide-n-seek…

I had forgotten, my sweet girl, until I met you.

When I Look at Your Face…

…little son, I see big, deep, blue eyes staring back at me in pure innocence and unconditional love. I see your button nose and your toothless, double-dimpled grin and I overflow. You are the sweet boy I never knew I could love.

…sweet girl, I see a the glimmer of my BeBa in your big girl eyes and I’m overcome. Blonde hair and sweet cheeks like your Mama, so stubborn like your Mama. Trying so hard to be the big sister, but longing to still be her Mama and Dada’s baby. You are my pure joy.

…my perfect husband, I see icy blue eyes overflowing with patience and a supernatural calm. We are growing old together – can you feel it? Look how far we have come. My life is infinitely and forever changed – bigger, better, and yet grounded in ways that I’ve never comprehended. I see your smile, the twinkle in your eye and I know that there is so much yet to know.

“To love another person is to see the face of God.” – Les Miserables

The Sweet Sound of Chaos

Yes, you read the title correctly. I’ve never been so happy to hear screaming and laughing and the pounding of running feet! After five days of being sick, Kayla is better. She is smiling and laughing and she asked me to chase her around the living room. Normally that whole chasing thing is pretty short lived for me, but I heartily chased her around for as long as we could handle it! Breathlessly she declared, “I feel much better!” Indeed!

I never thought I would be looking forward to the week coming up that her and I would spend together with the baby. The sick Kayla was much harder to handle then the well Kayla. I’m sure well Kayla and I will have a great time.

Note: I didn’t publish this post right away and am happy to report that our week together was great. We had our ups and downs, but overall it was a good. Thanks to everyone that was praying for us. In a way, I’m sort of lonely today without Kayla’s sweet face around. Just me and the little boy today.