My kids are so weird sometimes (all the time). Right now, boy #3 is definitely the weirdest. He spouts off his four year old ideas and wiggles his eyebrows at you if you appear to not buy into his wisdom. He has a permanent smirk of mischief on his face and his eyes stay in this half-opened not-quite-glare but not-quite-smile expression. And man those eyebrows…I think at least 60% of his personality is trapped in his eyebrows. He moves them up and down at random times during a conversation. Or sometimes I think when he looks at me and moves them while not speaking he is trying to strictly communicate via eyebrow. I have become fluent in Eyebrow.
But again…he is full of little strange anecdotes. For example this evening as I lay next to him to say good night he say “Ahhh! Your legs are sharp. You need to shave them off. You need to shave all that hair off. (grabbing my leg and trying to lift it) Oh! Your leg is so hard. Because your bones are so hard. (He changes tactics and lays on me) Your legs are my pillow. I need your legs to be my pillow.” (Dude, what’s your deal???)
He flopped around on me for a few minutes adding more commentary about my hairy (I promise I shaved the other day), and apparently heavy, legs. As I lay there appreciating the silliness, but at the same time wanting him to go to bed so I could be done with kids for the night (in theory), I was amused that this is my life. I was never the little girl who daydreamed about getting married and having kids. Kids just ended up happening as a natural process of life and now I have 4 boys.
I wrote this poem right before I got pregnant with that spunky little four year old. As I reread it this evening I realized that although my life has continued to evolve over these last five years, it still feels very relevant to me. Juggling the duties of daily life with these higher dreams or callings can feel impossible most days. It’s really easy to slip into, and stay in, the rut of “just getting by”. However, looking back over the last five years I do see that I’ve come a long way. Certainly not where I’d like to be, but my character has developed. (Sometimes looking at what HAS happened, versus what hasn’t can be a huge attitude adjuster, just FYI 😉) But now onto the poem…
My dreams were less than this, once upon a time.
I dreamt of fewer chains, fewer things to bind.
I dreamt of elbow room; of a wide open space.
I dreamt of needing little more than a suitcase.
But then I found a lover;
A man like no other.
My dreams became clutter
As I struggled to recover.
My dreams were once colored with ideals
I’d plucked from a vibrant color wheel.
They faded; left in the sun too long,
My direction changed, but I still drug them along.
Because I found a lover.
Soon I became a mother.
Then my baby became a brother.
I definitely won’t recover!
So my dreams evolved, to include my brood.
Simple dreams, to fit my simple mood.
I still wanted my wide open space
But with wooden windows framed in handmade lace.
Now there’s work to do, money to be made
How will children eat if we don’t get paid?
So in between projects I constantly leap,
But how can I dream if I cannot even sleep?
My muted dreams of a simple life
Are all but lost as I’m a mother and wife.
While I crave less, they all need more.
I give my best from a depleting store.
When I found a lover.
Soon I became a mother.
Then my baby became a brother.
Now it’s “can we have another?”
One day, while alone, I came across a story
Of a simple life, filled with simple glory.
I tore my eyes away from the beauty,
And guiltily glanced backward at my duty.
The dreams I’d forgotten came rushing to me
The colors still faded, they were almost gloomy
I tried, but couldn’t remember their vibrance
Terrified I realized we have one life, one chance
I searched my head and then my heart,
They both felt about to be ripped apart.
So I found myself haunted suddenly
By my dreams that now can never be
Because when I found a lover,
My life became about another
I locked my dreams behind a shutter
So I could play the part of “mother”
What do I do with these dreams of mine?
Rebury them for another time?
Another time to sit and stare
Into a space that goes nowhere?
Do I continue to trudge the mundane
And pretend that my heart doesn’t feel any pain?
But I find I cannot accept that fate,
Time to grab some new dreams before it’s too late.
I need a new focus, a refreshing of spirit
Then came a whisper but I could barely hear it.
Aching and tired I looked all around me
Then I finally heard, “Come all who are weary”
Our God is also a lover
He gives a love like no other
And of dreams He is a restorer
He comes for freedom not to smother
Indeed, Lord, I am so weary it’s true
And I know the weariness comes not from you.
But I have these desires planted in my heart
To accomplish them I don’t know how to start.
I am not my own, that truth is clear
But lately I’ve not been yours either I fear
Please give me new dreams, I give you a clean slate
Make them more vibrant and beautiful than I could create
This is not a quenching of my passion and desire,
But rather a refocus toward something higher
So I will look up at the stars in fascination
Ever curious about my life’s destination
So I can sit by my lover,
My elbows bumping another
I will always be a mother
I don’t need to recover
My dreams were less than this, when I first started out
There was less to love, less to care about
But now I can find peace in the midst of the mess
My new dreams are plenty; I don’t have to dream about less”
Some days it feels like kids get in the way of my calling. And other days it feels like the kids have become part of my calling. Life is super messy and there are various bodily fluids on me at pretty much all times. However, I’m slowly learning more and more lessons in grace, patience, and discipline through being a mom. I still long for the quiet, I still long for the simple. But I can be thankful for this opportunity to be a mom to these four great boys because I am learning so much.
Happy Mother’s Day!!!