One of my goals for this year is to step 'outside' my Addison & Audrina mental box and blog about things I get passionate about, in hopes of keeping my sanity intact. It's not healthy to dwell on what I can't control and even though I know that, its difficult to put into practice. So if you are here to read updates on the girls, you'll still get those - but you'll have to tolerate me blabbering on about life, love, and other things. So what am I passionate about lately? Our ever-growing faith. My marriage. REAL food. The kids (obviously!). Those are just a few things you'll see in the days ahead.
It's been incredibly difficult to keep my head in the game. My to-do list just for the girls and their care is extensive - throw in the typical large family chaos and its enough to make anyone's head spin. I do what I can and try hard not to obsess over anything that gets missed, because its bound to happen.
Tonight as I was tucking in Brooklyn and Lily, I paused a moment to reflect on how wild they all had been for the hours prior to bedtime. I sighed in exhaustion. Brooklyn looked sweetly up to me and said, "You're the best mommy in the whole world! I love you and Daddy, and Lily, Neener and Audrina ....and our WHOLE family soooo much." Melted my heart, especially when she followed it up with "So, when am I gonna be old enough to paint my own nails?" She flashed me her best grin and answered her own question. "I know! I know - when I'm almost a teenager. UGH! Growing up takes forever!" I kissed her forehead and told her not to rush it.
After I closed their door, I couldn't help but smile and thank God for the distraction that is the craziness of our life. If Addison & Audrina being sick was the only thing I had to focus on, I would go crazy. So the "I need a drink!", "Oops, we spilled the dogfood - Sorry!" and the "Lily just hit me!" are simply beautiful, wonderful ways God has given me to laugh and stay busy. I cherish the 'normalcy' of those moments.
Painting Brooklyn's nails is something she's asked me to do since before she could talk. She would swipe a bottle of my polish and toddle to my side yelling, "Make pretty!" as a 2 year old. At 3, she watched my every move when I did my own, then would hop down and demand her turn. At 4, she would often correct me on my 'wrong' color choices (Which was everytime, if it was anything but hot pink). When she turned 5, we spent hours detailing elaborate designs on them by hand. And now, at nearly 6 - she no longer wants to rely on me to paint them.
I wish I could freeze time and tell her I want to paint her toes til she's 30. But she's catching on fast and she knows that the day is coming when I have to give in. When toes become a thing you don't want your mom to have to do for you. Who needs our little beauty sessions more? I want to believe she needs that time with me, but when I really am honest with myself, the truth is blazingly clear: I NEED THAT time with her, too.
I am kept sane by their everyday antics.... busy running, chasing, dressing, chauffeuring, cleaning up.... driven to exhaustion and therefore, left with no time to worry or give up hope in tomorrow. God keeps me busy so I don't lose faith. I don't have the energy to doubt His plan for my life. For the kids. I simply go to sleep and remind myself that what is, is. People are always talking about how busy I am and how much they sympathize that everyone 'needs me' all day and night long. But I wouldn't want it any other way, sometimes I feel guilty for having this precious gift of giggles and forehead kisses at bedtime. There are many others out there, who when their ill child is tucked in for the night, are left alone with their thoughts and I can't imagine the difficulty of facing the solitude. I'm forever grateful for thoughtful stick-figure painting piled knee-high around my desk because I'm not allowed to throw them away. The crumbled goldfish crumbs in my bed remind me that I am loved and the crazy, insane, unhealthy pace of our life is a blessing I am eternally thankful to have. It must be God's way of providing my 'break' in an unlikely way - forcing me to keep giving when I feel like I can't even stay awake another minute.
People frequently tell me, "I don't know how you do it." Some believe it is just special needs super-mom strength or that I have some quality that they don't - but the truth is, you would do it for your child. You would find a way when there needed to be one. When your child needs you, you are hardwired to respond. And through tears, weakness, exhaustion.... anything. You'll do it.