Tuesday, January 19, 2010

 the windows in the doors and the little people in my heart

The day had been long and the couch felt beyond comfy. I realized that I hadn't sat down for several hours - if not most of the day. Finally declaring my work "done" was a call I just had to make. It's never really done, I just have to pick a pausing point or rest would always be a foreign concept. I pulled my soft cream colored blanket, with turquoise and purple dots on it, up to my chin and took a deep breath. The dishes were done, most of the laundry clean, and the closet had been organized. That last task had been a huge one. New linoleum had been placed in the closet as well as new shelving. Everything had to come out of the small closet, sorted, and organized. Whew! A quick trip to Target had aided in the final organization as several bins and crates had been purchased and filled. My eyes wandered to the french doors which separate our living room from our front porch/play room. The twenty small windows embedded in those doors looked strange. Clear. Clean. I wasn't used to that look. I had let the finger prints/tongue prints/ crayon marks/many other who-knows-what smudges mar those windows for far, far too long. I had been so pleased when the task of wiping away all of the yuck from those windows had been completed. It took me quite awhile to wash the front and back of each window. Forty panes of glass can be time consuming. - Probably why I put it off for so long. But suddenly, in that moment I felt this uneasy feeling begin to make its way into my mind and body. It was as if I was getting a small peak into the future. I realize that I will always have messes to clean up - but those tiny hand prints? There will come a time when they will not be a factor in my cleaning at all. I smiled as I remembered my mom's email shortly after we left their house at Christmas time. It read, "I cant decide whether I want to clean the little hand prints off from my sliding glass doors or not yet... Precious memories." At the time I read that I thought she was pretty crazy. I get frustrated at those smudges. Just smudges. Making my home look unkempt and messy. But then that email began to make sense to me. Alot of sense. Those smudges do indeed hold precious memories. Memories of little pudgy hands that are learning what they can do each day. Little hands that reach up to take mine. And they won't always do that. Some day there will not be a stumble in their step, but a confidence. And they won't need me as much. How I got from gleaming french doors to not being needed is simply a talent of my overactive mind. - You're welcome. As I sat there staring at those beautiful doors I realized that as tired as I get these days, as frustrating as it can be for me to be pulled in so many directions, as overwhelming as it can be to have four dependent little ones, - the fear of not being needed some day trumps all of it. And I am not going to wrap this post up in any kind of pretties. This is it. Feel the irony. I am afraid of the day that these little people reach the very independence that I myself am striving and preparing them for. It's this strange insecure fear. Like a "what will I be when I am no longer doing everything that is so permeating my life right now?" kind of fear. Incongruent, no?

11 comments:

Heather of the EO said...

I completely get it. Such a strange dichotomy, to want something to go away that you absolutely do not want to go away.

We really will miss even the mess one day, and that makes me feel all weepy too.

Great post, lady.

Anne Elizabeth said...

Great post! I totally get it too and I have been thinking about this A LOT lately. I feel like I blinked and my oldest two were no longer babies. I am a clean freak, but there are still footprints on my middle child's wall from when he was in a crib. His feet must have been dirty and he touched them to the wall. I just can't bring myself to clean it off because his feet are no longer that small.

Amy@My Front Porch said...

Why must you always bring tears to my eyes? :)

I don't what it is but I've been thinking about the not being needed thing a lot latley -- I know it's far away, and yet...closer than I probably think.

Melody said...

Ahhh, the paradox of motherhood :)

I had to chuckle when I saw the photo of your french doors. I have similar ones in my home. They are forever covered in little finger prints. It used to drive me nuts and I tried really hard to keep them clean. In my new endeavor to let stuff go, I now only clean them when company come over : )

Rachel @ Unexpected Blessings said...

Chad & I have been talking alot about this lately. With Hope being 5 our baby days are slipping away. Tonight she sat so still on my lap for a whole 10 minutes! Trying to slow down and apprciate the craziness of life at this time.

Love you.

Stacey said...

I so totally feel the same way! I can't imagine what I will do or who I will be without my children around to need something or do something with!!!

Ashley said...

So glad to know I'm not the only one! My mom always tells me I'll still be needed...just in different ways. I hope that's true :)

Lindsay said...

I don't want to have life without my kids ... but God will have other great things when they're grown ... at least that's what I'm holding onto :)

une autre mère said...

Wow. Very well said. I am so not ready for my babies to grow up either. So, bring on those fingerprints!

I am so glad you stopped by my blog because I'm falling in love with yours! I can completely relate with your posts. I'm so glad I've found a new bloggy friend!

Rach@In His Hands said...

Perfectly said, friend.

Jessi said...

I feel the exact same way. Who/what will I be when I no longer have these amazing little people to raise? My life is almost totally about them so it's hard (and scary) to think about.