|Watching his first snowfall on this side of the world.|
Highlight, underline, and star.
Boy I can relate to that.
It's not that parenting isn't hard for me or that I floated into these new rhythms of life with unending grace. I haven't. My floors are crumbier than before and my windows are all smeared with little hand prints and (rather disgustingly), lick marks. I hate getting out of bed in the morning just as much as I did before Arie came home and maybe even more so because I can no longer stumble incoherently from my warm bed to a warm shower. Now there's a diaper with 12 hours worth of pee that needs to be changed standing between my bed and shower.
But behind that pee soaked diaper is a huge "but." Pun intended.
But, oh how my long wait has intensified my enjoyment of this child!
If he makes too much noise I don't think about the peace I had before him. I think about the empty silence.
If he wakes up in the night I don't remember the sleep I used to get. I remember the nights I lay awake, longing for him.
If he throws his food on the floor at dinner, I don't remember the way we used to enjoy quiet, romantic meals. I remember how we ached to pull that third seat up to the table.
When it takes me twice as long to run an errand I don't remember the luxury of moving fast without him. I remember all the hurried trips to fedex and the frantic appointments we squeezed in as we panicked over deadlines and adoption paperwork.
Life is better now. Life is better with him.
We don't have all our rhythms down. We don't have time for everything or a handle on the laundry (or the cooking or the cleaning or the grocery shopping). John and I don't have us totally figured out yet in this new life. We certainly don't that hard-sought treasure called balance in our grasp.
But we have him. And we have the future.
If you've done infertility or adoption or both I know you've heard it like I have: Enjoy this time because you'll miss it someday!
I agree with the first part: enjoy your life at every stage because life is not something that should be wished away.
But as for the second, this is something I am guarding against. I don't want to idealize life before kids. I want to be thankful for it. I want to honor it for what it gave us. But I don't want to long for it because it wasn't perfect. It wasn't ideal. It was good. But it was often bitter.
This is the gift of longing when it's done: gratitude. Because we know what it was like to be without.
In parenthood- only three tiny weeks in- I am already depending on this gift for strength.
When I want quiet, I pray, "Make me thankful for the child who makes the noise!"
When I want sleep I pray, "Make me thankful for the child who wakes me up!"
When I want a clean I pray, "Make the thankful for the child who makes the mess!"
When I want quick and efficient I pray, "Make me thankful for the child who slows me down!"
He's home, my son. He's finally home. The noise and the tired and the mess and the slow- they all come with him. And so for them, along with him, God- make me thankful.