runny noses and
very hoarse voices surround
me, still standing tall.
house of illness.
runny noses and
runny noses and
very hoarse voices surround
me, still standing tall.
Over the past month, our family has experienced a lot of change. And from what I understand, the saying goes that change is hard. Regardless of what change is taking place, there is an adjustment period and, in case you’ve never experienced it, it can be hard.
But, as I was discussing with a friend yesterday, there is “good hard” and “bad hard”. And I am grateful that, for us, all of this change has been “good hard”.
I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant with this new little life (who we recently found out is another sweet BOY whom we have named Case Daniel) and my pregnancy is going faster than I’m really prepared to acknowledge. Baby shower dates are being finalized and I passed my glucose test and now I have a stack of bins of clothes to go through, but we are treading water in this house, making barely any forward progress. We have no plans currently in place to redesign Dax’s room to be a shared room, and we have yet to reorganize our own bedroom to allow for a newborn. But there is still time and we are enjoying where we are.
One thing we have done in preparation for a growing family is take a serious leap of faith; facing the reality of no paid maternity leave or short-term disability, Dan and I (with the help of a very dear friend) made the decision for me to quit my job to work full time as a freelancer. (That’s a lot of reason for my blog silence; finding time to work on my own blog has taken a backseat to the blogs of my clients. In related news, I LOVE MY NEW JOB!) Since making that transition, I’ve fully embraced the idea of “good hard” change. For instance, now that I work from home, the hardest thing I deal with is not working too much, and slotting out dedicated times throughout my day where I am 100% focused on being with Dax. Since Dax is such an independent little soul (who still takes 4-hour naps in the afternoon!) I could easily spend my entire day at my laptop plowing away at my work while he plays, pausing briefly to have short conversations (usually about trains) and to throw together a little lunch or a snack. But I prefer to give him my undivided attention for good portions of the day when he’s awake, so finding that balance is a bit of a challenge.
Compared with the “bad hard” Dan and I both dealt with while I was working full time outside the home, this is certainly preferable.
Dax, being the fierce introvert that he is, absolutely loves our new routine where he is home with me more. Every morning he tells me that he wants to “stay home with Mama and wear Spiderman jammies and play with trains!” And maybe it’s a coincidence, but I feel like the number of time outs he earns has dwindled a bit (not that he isn’t being very two and pushing a lot of boundaries lately).
Lots of change. But lots of “good hard” change, resulting in higher spirits around our house and increased sense of gratitude for this precious little life we get to live together.
We cannot see light. We can only see the things the light illuminates. When we walk along the beach at sunset, we don’t say to ourselves, “What a pretty light.” We say, “What beautiful colors in the sky. What amazing sparkles dancing on top of the waves. What a beautiful sunset.
Similarly, we cannot see love. We can only see the people in our lives illuminated by our love. When I see my son or my husband, I don’t say to myself, “How amazing is love?” But instead, “How incredible are these people I’m blessed to call my family? The way my husband laughs makes me smile. The way my son holds my hand brings me such joy. I love them so much.”
Love does not “exist” but rather brings things and people into existence.
And for that I am grateful.
I remember when Dax first learned how to sit up on his own — around 6 months old — I was so elated. “He will crawl soon!” I exclaimed proudly as I watched him poised upright and wobbling on my floor, a teetering heap of baby rolls. I fantasized about how fun it would be to observe him scurrying about the house, exploring new and foreign things — dust bunnies and misplaced laundry! — for the first time.
Dax learned to crawl about two months ago and I wish I could go back in time and slap me for not enjoying every second of stationary baby life. For every dust bunny and misplaced piece of laundry in my house, there are two electrical outlets and sharp edges of furniture. In recent weeks, Dax’s exploring has not so much yielded excitement as it has drama and pain in the way of his first bloody lip and, a couple days ago, his first black eye.
I tell you what — as a parent, nothing makes you feel worse than seeing your kid get hurt. Really and truly. Even things so minor as this really rip at the heartstrings. (Particularly if your kid getting hurt means pouring blood all over you in the middle of a crowded store. Let me just say that’s not the most fun you’ll have in a Naples Wal-Mart.)
After both the lip and the eye, I went through a really restrictive period with Dax in which I wouldn’t put him down unless he was in his crib or Pack n’ Play, our two prisons of safety. This made Dax mad, shrieking mad, because all he wants to do now is crawl from here to eternity. But I couldn’t bear to let him do that because that might mean he’d get hurt again.
The thing that sucks about this is that in order for him to learn and grow, he’s got to get hurt. I really hate that. I wish he could learn things and navigate life completely pain free. I wish I could protect him from ever hurting but to do that would be to hurt him in a different way.
I was really afraid to move to Naples because I knew it was going to hurt. I knew that leaving my friends and family behind was going to be torturous on my spirit. So, for the weeks leading up to the move I avoided talking about it or thinking about it, lest it bring about the sting of loneliness and reminiscence. I put myself in a mental Pack n’ Play, safely encased in a mesh box of avoidance.
This past Sunday, as I parked and wrangled Dax out of the car and started walking toward our new church, the feelings caught up with me. My heart started beating violently and my Pack n’ Play collapsed on itself, letting a wave of sadness and loneliness swallow me whole. I couldn’t hear the nursery workers greet me over the sound of my own heartbreak beating against my eardrums. They smiled at us ever so sweetly and chatted about how happy they were to see Dax and I grinned right back an empty grin and floated mindlessly into the sanctuary.
Sitting in a long, rigid pew, by myself, in a room built to hold over a thousand people whose names I don’t know, I felt so small. I felt so insignificant. I still could barely hear anything — just the woosh woosh woosh of blood in my ears — and a lump in my throat grew to choking proportions.
Without the safety of the Pack n’ Play, I was suddenly crawling across an expansive, slippery tile floor and had just lost my balance and face-planted. Just like Dax.
At the end of the service, the contemporary worship leader came up to Dan and me and asked if he and his wife could take us out to lunch.
“Oh, thanks, but Dax hasn’t napped all day so Lindsay really needs to get home–”
“YES! PLEASE! Take us!”
I interrupted Dan so quickly and desperately that he shot me a look of surprise.
“Please,” I begged, “I’ve been hit hard by a sack of lonelys today and going out to lunch with new friends is the perfect way to make them go away.”
And so, we went.
With chopsticks in my hand, asian noodles in my mouth, and a kind, loving, generous family surrounding me, I picked myself up off the floor, put some metaphorical ice on my throbbing face, and put my Pack n’ Play away. Today, I continue to roam around and learn and feel and hurt, but also heal.
This week is our last week at our church so I’ve done a lot of crying. I don’t really have any other words to say about this week (it really has kind of sucked) so this TILT will be kind of short. But also kind of personal.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE ME SMILE AT SOME POINT BUT WILL LIKELY ALSO MAKE ME CRY THIS WEEK:
And I have to stop because I’m crying in my cubicle. See you all Sunday. One last time.