Monday, October 12

Crooked Lines Made Straight

Today was one of those not quite so fun days of mommyhood. One of those days that can, if you look just at particular instances rather than the entire whole, seem as an epic fail. You know you've had days like that. I actually accomplished quite a bit today, but it paled next to the things I failed to accomplish.

And all because I am now at the service of a little man who throws his weight around like you wouldn't believe. Yes, my son is adorable, but sometimes, he can be quite challenging too. And then he looks at me with those little eyes, the ones that say, "Yes, Mommy, you are the most important person in my universe," and I melt into a thousand little pieces of love.

Matthew is getting closer to teething. At least, that's what everyone and their mom keeps telling me the second they observe the waterfall that is my son's mouth. Even Jonathan does his best to avoid getting re-baptized with baby drool.

As a result, every time he is cranky (like most of today), I tend to blame it on the teething that HAS TO BE HAPPENING today because he is out-of-control like none other. Yes, today was one of those days where nothing I did could keep my boy entertained for longer than 30 seconds at best. He kept declaring, "Is that all you've got for me, Mom? I mean, seriously, entertain me!!!" One of those days where Mommy gets nothing done because she is at the beck and call of a baby that normally is able to keep himself busy... And he knows when I'm faking paying attention to him too. Oh, does he know!

And then there was the laundry fiasco... So, in hopes of achieving good wife award for the day, I decide to ply my hand at a load of laundry, even though Matthew is not really cooperating. I decide that I will multi-task somehow, entertaining my cranky child while gathering dirty clothes from the four corners of the house. Jonathan just competed in a 5k run, so his shirt with the little number sheet safety-pinned to the back was also waiting to be scoured. I removed said safety pins and left them on top of the dryer, diligently perceiving that there were in fact 4 safety pins sitting there in a row.

My laundry successfully washes, and I begin to insert wet clothes into the dryer. Having finished that task, and proudly patted myself on the back for achieving good wife award yet again, I happen to notice that there are in fact only 3 safety pins on the dryer now... and the fourth pin is delightfully bouncing around inside the dryer, along with my 5 month old's pjs and onesies... oh horror.

Well, there goes that dang award... After my clothes dried, I literally spent 45 minutes (I know because it was the sum total of one full CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode - the one set in Las Vegas, which is REALLY THE ONLY GOOD ONE) inspecting every last fold of every last t-shirt, onesie, unmentionable, and shorts my husband, baby, and myself own, searching for that elusive safety pin. Now, being that I am at least attempting to be a good mother, I couldn't give up on my search after the mandatory 5 minutes, knowing there was a good chance my baby might get stabbed while getting ready for bed... inconceivable!

Needless to say, I searched all that laundry in vain, and resigned myself to the reality of two weeks spent inspecting every article of our clothing again before putting it on. I graciously accepted defeat, and then stepped on that dang safety pin innocently hanging out on my laundry room floor... These kinds of things never happened to me before I became a mother.

Last but not least, on top of the cranky baby and laundry fiasco, there was the epic fail walk. As Matthew was ill-tempered and my laundry was all nicely folded and the safety pin crisis was averted, I decided the answer to world peace could be found in a nice walk outside. Now, a walk with a baby can never be as simple as tying on one's shoes and heading out the door. No, no, no! There are pacifiers to be grabbed and rattles to be stuffed into pockets, stollers to be unfolded from cars and water bottles to be balanced on my chin while I hold onto Matthew with one arm and try to shove my keys in the door all the while thinking, "I'm getting all the exercise I need right now, this walk SO isn't worth the effort!!!"

But I finally got baby, accoutrements, and myself out the door. With Matthew safely stowed in the stroller, we headed off into the sunset. I made it out of my neighborhood, and breathed at last in the deliciousness of a cool evening, turning my head towards the sun, when to my chagrin, a raindrop plopped squarely on my nose. Oh yes, a raindrop, followed by 15 more. All I could think of was, "Oh good Lord, my baby and my BlackBerry" (yes, people, I do have my priorities straight). I looked up, saw that setting sun overshadowed by black storm clouds, and literally turned and ran home, showered by droplets the entire way. The last thing I could have anticipated was getting rained on.

But I am pleased to report that I made it back home just in the nick of time. I got the stroller packed up, the baby things collected, Matthew in arms, and keys into the door right as the sun broke through the dark clouds and chased the rain away. And I said to myself, "Home, sweet Home," walked through my door, and called it a day.
And I realized only minutes ago, while telling my husband how I wished I was better at this whole trusting God thing, that so many times my spiritual life is just like that walk in the rain. I look into the future and see nothing but dark rain clouds threatening to pour at a second's notice. I worry and I fret and I run through my days, trying to salvage as much as I can, anxious the entire time that all my worries will deluge me.

And then, just when I think there's no hope left, the Lord's rays of light break through the darkness, and clear skies emerge just like that. Nothing I do can accomplish it. It is simply the Lord taking care of me and my situations, because He is God.

And so my cranky baby, laundry craziness, and failed attempts at a walk become more manageable in light of the fact that God is truly in control. He alone has the power to make crooked lines straight, to take my pitiful efforts and make them into something beautiful. He is the Sun that casts out my darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome His marvelous light.

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  1. Gaby,

    This was delightful. I'm sorry the day was so crummy, but it made for some great reading and deep insight. We can't understand why things happen that do, but we can always know that God is in control.

  2. My dear dear sister, how so un-alone you are in days like these...

    I'm walking the line now between trying to discern how much bumbling to let our little one do--she's clumsily trying to navigate her world (on four AND two limbs) and it's so easy to bump and bruise in the process of learning.

    Lots of Mommy guilt happens when there's a visible bruise...but there's also so much pride and celebration when she 'gets' it that I know she needs moments of failure for moments of success.

    It's all about looking for the ways that God is present to us in those moments--thanks for your reminders to look beyond myself when things seem insane.


  3. Dear Gaby,
    I am so happy that you are writing. I did not do this when my children were little. At least not a lot. And the time goes by and oh, how you wish you had a peek at way back when. Thanks for sharing this beautiful day.,,,the day of the crooked line when the pin was under foot, and just as you never suspected, the sun was on its way. KEH


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