December 26, 2010

The turtle in the ukulele

Sometimes while I'm driving I pretend the tree-line up ahead is mountains, and I let my mind go there. I can blur my vision just so, and it becomes

true.

And my insides warm, and I imagine.

I'm really good at pretending.

Today in the nursery at church I played on the floor and ate plastic food and put together the same puzzle again and again and again

and again

and I had joy about it, I en-joyed it.

I caught Ivy side-eyeing me and I think she was trying to figure out who this was. Mommy? Because you're not really like that at home.

I mean, I try. I'm like that sometimes but it's not enough. Especially when no one is watching. But, um, my kids are so watching. Is this just another case of mom-guilt? Whatever. I'm calling myself out on it.

Why don't I just let that be how I always am? Then I won't have to fake it. Then it would really be me.

The kids pick a muffin from the coffee table at church, after every service. They get crumbs in their coat sleeves and car seats and everywhere in between. I don't mind, and that's the real me.

Ivy dropped a little toy turtle in Gray's ukulele. We shook it out. No big whoop. That's me.

I played Battleship with the boys with no interruptions, no distractions, and it was good. (That's usually not me.)

I've been praying that the things that make me selfish or lazy-mom will grow dim in my heart, be less of a desire, and that the things that are more lifeportant will be what I'll be more drawn to.

A new prayer is that I am fun Sunday School mom even when "no one" is looking.

Gosh that really sounds so incredibly cheesy. (Not me.) But I have to stop being unwilling to spill out of my comfort zone. Maybe I'll pretend it looks like mountains over there. And drive right into it.

stars

36 comments:

  1. I think the only thing we can do is aim to be our best and remember we're forgiven when we fall short.

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  2. You are a great Mom, and a great Sunday school Mom.
    You just have to look at how amazing your kids are to see what a great job you are doing, they are kids that know that they are loved.

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  3. "Lifeportant" love that word and this post. Merry Christmas, Steph.

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  4. "Lifeportant" love that word and this post. Merry Christmas, Steph.

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  5. I have written and deleted several comments so far. You know I am here with my pompoms and I know that you will get just what that means.

    p.s. this week I am sending you that email I owe you with the recipes.

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  6. I think Kalee said it best, I was thinking the same thing today until I took a block to the face.

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  8. I wanna be fun Sunday School Mom too! Your post expresses so well everything the Spirit has been nagging at me about! I think I need to pay attention!

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  9. Oh you write from my heart!!! How easy is it to be lovely when we are out in public - I call it my "gym voice"... and I so wish I was half as lovely at home on a school morning!!! I think it is easier to be nice when we are out because... the dishes aren't waiting and dinner isn't looming... somehow at home I get distracted by all the boring stuff!!! Hope you guys had a brilliant Christmas... love that twirling daughter of yours!!!

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  10. Me too! I want to go there (and stay there), too!

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  11. I love this post. This is something I struggle with nearly every day... I can be great when I am myself, but letting go to be myself is not always easy.

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  12. I struggle with this too. I love your honesty. Your kids are blessed to have you as their mama. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! <3

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  13. I think that "lifeportant" has just become my new favorite word. I think that you are doing an excellent job Steph. We all need to strive to be the "authentic" person that we all have inside us. Everyday life just gets in the way far too often. All we can do is the best we can and I think your family would say you are doing just fine. Great post!

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  14. Thanks for writing this. I have that same prayer. My little guy is such a delight. And as his mama, I take moments to soak him up, but not enough. He never gets tired of hanging out with me or his daddy, and he's never thinking "oh, I wish I could just sneak in some computer time or go do something else" when he's snuggled next to me at naptime. But I confess that those are often my thoughts. And I confess that I don't play nearly enough, and I put on movies far too much so I can just sit there and not have to play or read or do. But I am proud of myself for being patient and savoring each moment as if it might not happen again the other day when it took him two.long.wiggly.hours to fall asleep in our bed for the night before I could slip out and watch the Nativity Story with my hubby. Still, that type of attitude could happen in my heart way more often.

    So being that "fun Sunday school mom" is also my prayer as we go into a new year. Thank you for letting us journey with you. It's nice to not be doing this mama thing alone, you know?

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  15. So true, and I know exactly what you're talking about! Thank you for the great post and reminder.

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  16. I do that with the imaginary mountains, too! (I find it works better with low-lying clouds.)

    I think I wish I spent more time sharing with my kids my own personal fantasy world. That I would escape with them, not necessarily away from them.

    The Lord help us all in this!

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  17. No distractions through a game of battleship! Impressed! We can never get through battleship, usually because of Audrey ( :

    Fun Sunday school mom! Jealous ( :

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  18. I don't think you need to worry about it too much. If you're not fun Sunday School mom everywhere, that's okay. God fills in those kinds of gaps when we just do the best we can while loving as much as we can.

    Sure, play with your kids more, but don't beat yourself up if it doesn't come that naturally all the time. It's okay - there are other things that do come naturally that are just as important - like not minding crumbs.

    You're a blessing to your children, even if you aren't fun Sunday School mom all the time.

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  19. I have visited your blog before, but just "rediscovered" you by following a comment you left on another blog. Glad to have found your blog (again!) :)
    I can totally relate to this post! I feel like I say too much "in a minute", "I will later", "just give mommy a few minutes". I want to be better at engaging with my children, playing with them, loving on them, putting them first...before my to-do list.

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  20. Beautiful. I think you'll be happier yourself, too!

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  21. I think you need to come to CO and then the mountains will actually be mountains.

    And I share this weird guilt about not being ecstatic over yet another new Candyland game. I love the little hands that pull me to the table, but I dwell on everything else I have to do and would (gulp) rather do.

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  22. Great post! Thanks for sharing. I really need to be a fun Sunday School mom more often too!

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  23. Love this prayer... It's one I've often thought to myself as well.

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  24. I remember a time when I was at the park with my then two-year-old. I was feeling incredibly guilty for not being the mom that gets down and plays in the sand. A girlfriend of mine I was expressing this to looked at me and said "You are and still can be a great mom without playing in the sand".
    I have plenty of distractions and the idea of asking the Lord to dim those is awesome.
    I have to remind myself though that as long as I am doing my best, I do not have to be the mom that plays in the sand. I take care of my kids and play with them in other ways.

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  25. I know exactly what you mean...at church I do the same thing. I'm the fun nursery volunteer. The one that reads, sings and plays peek-a-boo. But like you said...people are watching. Then at home I'm the mom that says "No" all day long and doesn't think have time to read, sing or play because all the house chores are looming in the background becking my time with my kids. I've really been working on this...making time to play and work and have a good balance of both.

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  26. I love they way that I can totally relate to your posts, and I am also totally inspired by your posts.

    Thank you so much for that. :)

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  27. FYI, very few of us are actually the "Sunday School Mom" during regular hours. Just now, I yelled at my son to just FIND A DANG BOWL ALREADY. Be creative! Use Tupperware! Because I was reading your post. Heh. Irony is a bitch.

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  28. I get it.

    Merry (VERY belated) Christmas! :o)

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  29. Pray the same for me, would ya? I'll be doing the same. Often times it feels like I'm learning these things 'too late' for my kids' sake. They're already teenagers! But then I remember my Father is all ABOUT redemption...even my wasted moments, that turned to years.

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  30. You know why it's different--because you are doing a job, not living your ordinary life. Because it's novel and you only have to do it an hour or two each week.

    We can't all be Sunday School Teacher mom 24/7 but you are right that we can probably all find it within ourselves to squeeze a bit of her out each day. And just a little bit matters.

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  31. I've been praying the same prayer Steph. This spoke so true to my heart.

    For some reason December has been a month where I have played more and stressed less. I've let the less important things go in our home and everyone has been happier for it. I've been playing, REALLY playing with the girls. Looking them straight in the eye, giving them my all when I am not working and I can't even tell how how much of a big difference it has made within our family.

    Thank you for the gentle nudge and reminder.

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  32. This is the best blog post. Ever.

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  33. You say things exactly right, Steph.

    I'm praying the same thing. I so desperately long to focus on what matters most.

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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