Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Poem of the Month: "On Nest Building"

When we lived in Massachusetts and I was taking courses towards my Ph.D., we were also struggling with infertility and with a series of failed infertility treatments. (I'll spare you the details!) Nobody knew about it but my parents, 2 of my siblings, and one very close friend. It was a very private matter for me and a very emotional matter.  I had an excellent visiting teacher at the time--Christy--who came one month when the message was on motherhood. But instead of giving the message, she brought this poem and told me that she thought what I was doing at the time--going to school--was preparing me for the mothering that would come in my future. I've loved this poem ever since. 

And I've been thinking about this poem a lot the past 6 months as my school demands have grown very large in proportion to what I feel I should be doing with my mothering as well. I've thought about it to remind myself that what I take on in addition to "Mom" can and should improve the nest that I am building here at home. I have been thinking about what I will do after the next couple of months when getting my Ph.D. will be a past tense project and how I can incorporate into my nest-building what I have learned and who I have become as a result of it. I do know now, with the blessing of hindsight, that Christy was absolutely right. The process of "reaching," of becoming "filled . . . from God's and man's very best" doesn't have to happen through a Ph.D. but however it does happen is crucial to my self-building and my nest-building.

"On Nest Building"

by Carol Lyn Pearson

Mud is not bad for nest building.
Mud and sticks
And a fallen feather or two will do
And require no reaching.
I could rest there, with my tiny ones,
Sound for the season, at least.
If I may fly awhile—
If I may cut through a sunset going out
And a rainbow coming back,
Color upon color sealed in my eyes—
If I may have the unboundaried skies
For my study,
Clouds, cities, rivers for my rooms—
If I may search the centuries
For melody and meaning—
If I may try for the sun—

I shall come back
Bearing such beauties
Gleaned from God’s and man’s very best.
I shall come filled.

And then—
Oh, the nest that I can build!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Back to being The One

My mom left Thursday evening after a week and a half here helping--again--while I made major, painful revisions--again--to my dissertation. She was and is a lifesaver.  

So I am trying to switch gears and get back into the groove of being The One. You know, The One who has to plan the meals, shop to ensure that we have ingredients for said meals, make sure children eat those meals (even if they can't stand that particular dish), clean up the meals when husband is late getting home or at a church meeting, The One who has to stop all fights and deal out all punishments for bad choices, The One who has to be ready to suggest intriguing play options in order to attempt to bypass these fights and bad choices, The One who plays the Ladybug Game multiple times a day, The One who has to clean up messes, The One who has to stop whatever she's doing at the time to run into the bathroom when she hears "WIPE!!!"  You know, The One. 

I have to say that it has been nice to have a break from being The One, especially when I can turn the duties over to someone I trust so much and who also loves my kids. Every stay-at-home mother needs a chance every so often to be something other than The One for the majority of her day or week. 

So I am trying to get back into the groove and trying to rediscover all of the wonderful things about being The One. For example, The One gets many hugs, kisses, and snuggles. And as The One, because I am always there for the mundane and the frustrating, I am also always there for the funny and the sweet. 

1.  A good morning jog.    2.  A good night's sleep.   3.  An afternoon temple trip.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Simultaneous crash

I went to bed at 8:45 last night, right after I sang Mister his Lullaby. I wasn't planning on it, but suddenly and simultaneously, my body and mind crashed. I wasn't even able to eat half of the shake J brought home or even go down the stairs to say good-night to him. This doesn't happen all too often--usually one or the other crashes and I walk around zombie-like, unable to remember why I came downstairs, why I got the butter out, who I just called on the phone, or what the end of the story is that I am telling. Or, I lay in bed, unable to move, but with my mind thinking of something I wanted to write or say or do, if only my body weren't comatose. 

I think the occasional simultaneous crash might have to do with being Mom Tired. My friend Sarah describes Mom Tired in her newspaper column as follows: "Being mom tired isn’t so much a circumstance as a state of being.  Take any mom, calculate the number of years since her first pregnancy, and you have the number of years she’s been mom tired.  Calculate the number of times she’s had to watch Barney or Mary-Kate and Ashley and you have the degree to which she’s mom tired."

So I have been Mom Tired for over 6 years, since I DO count those 10 months of pregnancy (and yes, I wrote 10 months because 40 weeks is NOT 9 months). And my theory is that when the degree to which I am Mom Tired reaches a certain point, all function fails. 

Thankfully, I woke up this morning slightly re-charged. But already since we got home from church 2 hours ago, I have intervened in a fight over the sole mini-candy bar in a care package from a friend, a fight over the sole piece of gum from the school carnival yesterday, a fight over who was first to play a computer game, and I am now signing off after agreeing to play Candyland and read The Library Mouse (again--already read it twice yesterday) and do something else "that's fun because it's the weekend," as Mister reminded me. So, my degrees of Mom Tired are already climbing. Be prepared for another crash soon.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Heard during February

I jotted down a few of the best comments I heard from Mister and Sweetie during February to preserve for posterity. Might as well enjoy them on the blog too:

Sweetie: (after singing the 2nd Article of Faith song she learned in Primary) "What's sin?"
Mister: "Sin is like a big pile of sand coming after you." (Not too far off, I don't think!)

Sweetie:  "Mom, is the baby playing with your guts?"

Mister:  "I know why Luke [his little cousin] doesn't cry much."
Me: "Why?"
Mister: "He likes his name. So we need to choose a good name for our baby."  (Mister's current suggestions are George for a boy and Ashley for a girl.)

Sweetie:  "Mom, I will love you to infinity and beyond, 50, 30, and back to January."

Me, at bedtime: "Mister, what was your favorite thing today."
Mister, putting his arms around me: "Right now." 

1.  The tender and funny things my kids say.         2.  Sunday night games and brownies.          3.  Sleeping with the windows open.