This picture was taken yesterday. Oh, yes. Just yesterday I was nursing and getting no sleep and revolving our lives around naps. But today, my kids are both in preschool for several hours and I get to write. Alone. At a coffee shop. It’s amazing and yet it came out of nowhere. The other night the whole family looked through old photos and videos together. Spencer and I had to peel our jaws off the carpet because it all seems like it just happened. But it didn’t.
That 3 year old little boy that hiked The Window Trail at Big Bend in a Kelty Kids backpack upon his daddy’s back is about to turn 5 and hike it all on his own. Baby Sabra who screamed bloody murder over any hint of tummy time is about to trade her crib for a big girl bed and will camp overnight in a tent for her first time this coming weekend.
Looking back, I also have so much compassion for myself because, really, I had two babies at one time. Little eighteen-month-old Brooks was still needing to be a baby when I was rocking a newborn. For better or worse, this is our scenario. Wam-bam-done. Kind of like my marathon career. Two marathons in one year and I’ll never run another 26.2 miles again in my life. I should probably retroactively blog about the whole NYC trip (because it was balla!!!!), but for now I’m tapping the keys over my growing babies.
Looking back, my son’s best friend was healthy this time last year. But tomorrow he returns to Dell Children’s hospital for his 3rd round of chemo. We went to see him yesterday, thin and bald and still a little boy who shares a love of dinosaurs with my son. He wore out quickly, but we loved on him. My son is a feeler, like me. We internalize it all. Brooks crawled into our bed and slept with us last night, just like he did the last time we went to visit his little buddy at Dell. He wrestles with the pain he sees. His questions are big and heavy and I feel unprepared to be his parent. And yet, we do the best we can. I find myself making it up as I go most of the time. Sort of faking it until I make it (which will probably be never).
I ran my first marathon last Valentine’s Day. The following weekend a buddy of mine found out her husband was having an affair. It’s been a long year. He did it again and now they are getting divorced. I’m also friends with a woman causing similar pain – a flip-flop of selfishness. And all of this is happening while little by little I’m losing my skin pigment. No one really notices until I point it out, but every time I look in the mirror I see it and wonder where I will be white this time next year.
Looking back, I have this wonderful husband whom I love, yet fail to show him often enough. My life is a cycle of baths, making lunches, and drowning in laundry, but I know that in 13 years I will have one less kid to do laundry for. So I try to thank the laundry for a full house. And I try to look forward. We are out of the baby stage. These toddlers are becoming little kids. Brooks is wearing a 5T. There is not 6T, people. He goes from a toddler’s size 5 to XS kids! My face is in my hands. But I will continue to lift it. I will keep spreading sunbutter across bread before I squeeze out the jelly. I will make 3 meals a day, every single day, while tossing the wet laundry into the dryer. Because this is the last February I will have a 4 year old little boy. Maybe we need to pull out the pool this afternoon and let him splash and play – a 4T playing in the pool under the swealtering 85 degree heat of a February in Austin.
And while Sabra played Soccer Shots yesterday, maybe she takes up ballet tomorrow. We will see.
As I sing to the kids every morning: This is the day. That the Lord has made. We will rejoice. And be glad in it!