Sunday, December 18, 2016

On Pictures and Parenting

Life has been busy!   As soon as soccer wrapped up, I found myself running around to wrestling and basketball, watching my boys tackle two new sports and the weeks got away from us.    

I’m not the first one to say that time flies and yet, how DID I find myself married to almost a forty year old?  I looked at my handsomest yesterday in natural, indirect sunlight and swooned over the fact that the amount of silver hair on his head is dominating.   

The other week, we were able to getaway for a few days to a paradise state and while playing 
in the crystal clear turquoise water like two newlyweds, it did not occur to either of us that we are 15 years older than that time in Mazatlan, Mexico and are currently parenting 5 kids-- toddler to teen and that we supposed to have figured some things out in this life by now. 

But the truth is,  when it comes to parenting  at least, we still, just like when we had our first, have no idea what in the world we are doing.  We find ourselves more patient with some things and less patient with others.  We understand that parenting is a serious matter, yet we are learning to choose our battles and laugh many things off.  We are less concerned with raising perfect children and more with people who are kind and wise.   And as we grieve over the fact that weeks fly,  time is at no mercy and this fact alone guides the words we utter to each other and the decisions we make.   Most of the time.   Sometimes, though our life is a bit like this picture.  

My sis captured our expression the moment my son threw a pinecone when he was supposed to pose for the picture and we are watching to see where it lands.   Will it hit her or her son in the head or will it miss?

Walking on eggshells hoping it all turns out OK...

It would be a lie to say that I treasure and swoon over every moment I have with my kids.   

We have all kinds of moments...  There are those when part of me earns for an escape, a place where I don't have to think of what to say next or how to handle a certain situation. 

I've never liked conflicts and by trying to avoid them all my life, have never learned a productive way to solve them.   

With a teen in a house and more on the way, I have a feeling I'll get a little better at them 😏. 

There are also those moments, when joy overspills and I cannot imagine greater happiness than this life of mine right that second.  

Our household is loud and the days where that noise is dominated by the kids are actually great days. The days where the patience for disobedience runs out and the household gets louder are days no one here is proud of...

And when quiet moments of reflection happen, we cling to grace and the never ceasing hope that tomorrow will be a better day.  

Parent teacher conferences happened a few weeks ago.  And with each of the three school children of ours, I smiled ear to ear and thought I would burst with pride as each teacher raved about them.   They are leaders, respectful, hard working, kind, etc, etc other qualities that this house of ours often doesn't witness.   When kids get home, they let their guard down and the pressure to perform, please and comply ceases and we see the real them.  Just as they see the real us...  

But just like the pictures from photoshoots that don't make it to Instagram and Pinterest because they they weren't perfect    didn't turn out as one of more subjects had their finger up their nose or a melt down, those things did happen and they are us, authentic, raw and imperfectly perfect.  

So when lament over the fact that these four walls see their share of antonyms and all the teaching and disciplining appears in vain, grace, forgiveness, and hope show up and your heart is full and you are content with your imperfectly perfect life.  

Our annual Fall pictures happened a month or so ago.   My sister graciously insisted that we need to take them that day or else they won't happen and so we went.   We couldn't decide where to go but when my husband suggested we go to the property we bought last year, I welcomed the idea and was so glad for it.  The lighting was perfect and the fall colors showed up here and there.   Most members of the fam were in a great mood and the whole photoshoot felt relaxed and natural. 


Plus, my sister, who is ever so awesome to continue to do this for us year after year...

Tomorrow marks the first official day of Christmas Break.  There is so much catching up to do around the house plus all the hosting that happens in December!    But because we keep Christmas pretty low key presents wise, there will also be time for cookie baking, extra long snuggles, feet massages,  book reading and Christmas lights sightings.  Oh and potty training.  Almost forgot potty training.  That is in our plans as well.  Ahem...  

So we will  have bad moments on great days--but that's OK as long as good moments, as gray hairs, dominate.