Full Plate

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ever feel like your plate is getting a little crowded?  Then, right at that moment someone offers you seconds?  Then, right as you turn them down, someone else hands you dessert?  And just as you're about to drop everything, your toddler throws her sippy-cup at your head???

What? Doesn't your home look like this?

Yeah, sounds about right for this week.

This transitional season of chaos has my family feeling anything but normal.  My husband is job-hunting, I'm diving head first into grad school, and our two toddler daughters are screaming at us all day long to go play outside in the summer heat and 1000% humidity (that's not a typo - seriously - the humidity is maybe more like a million percent here).  Whew.

My daughters are three-and-a-half (you understand why that HALF  must be attached) and two-years-old.  When one of them isn't tackling the other down with a "hug" (hugs look very similar to violent wrestling moves around here) then their each climbing up some new apparatus they've constructed from pillows and dolls and most likely some rather wobbly form of furniture.  Most of these activities end in one of them hitting her head and both of them crying and my husband and I wondering how our life together ever got THIS LOUD!?

Toddlers are tense.  Toddlers are insane and irrational.  Toddlers don't care that you aren't fulfilling your life calling or too busy trying not to already-get-behind-on-homework the first week of class.  Toddlers think the world has come to a brutal and completely unalterable demise if it takes more than ten seconds for Netflix to connect.  Toddlers can not be predicted.

Basically, my daughters are the bosses I always hated embodied in the cutest and most desirable forms of humankind that I couldn't possibly love more.  They are walking paradoxes.

If I listed all the emotions that my toddlers put me through on paper, it would become glaringly obvious that this "relationship" is one of complete and total dysfunction.  It doesn't make sense to love them as much as I do.  It is completely unreasonable to continue to give of myself to that degree over and over and over again and without expectation of some guarantee in return.  It couldn't possibly be healthy for me to situate myself to be challenged so often in such a confined space for such a long time.

And yet, here I am.

Perhaps you might think (if you are grossly cynical) that I'm just saying all this because the reality is that I have no way out.  I had these children.  Indeed, I contributed willingly and significantly to the creation of them!

But, you'd be wrong.

I choose my children every day.
(Sometimes I also choose to yell at Netflix.)

I didn't walk into parenthood completely blindfolded - we all know there are challenges that come with acceptance in a position of this magnitude.  But, no matter what child you get, there are going to be surprises.  The amazing thing is, most of these surprises come in the form of revealing who you really are and finding out what you're made of.

Sometimes I drop the full plate.  Sometimes I make a huge mess and have to cry about it as I clean it all up.  Sometimes I have to ask for help and let other people hold my drink for me.  Sometimes I have to say "That's enough.  I'm full."

But, sometimes.  I close my eyes and feel the weight of the plate in my hands, the imbalance, the risk of it all, and I'm reminded that this is the STUFF that makes up a truly rich life.  It doesn't make sense to want such a loud and imperfect life.  It's a mess.

And I'll choose it all again tomorrow.


Have you entered the Share & Care Contest yet??  Did you know you can enter up to THREE times a day??  Here is a peek at a couple more items I'm throwing into the fabulous PARDYMAMA CARE PACKAGE!

Thistle Farms Citrus Vanilla Lotion!  Not only is it good for your skin - it is helping change lives!  At Thistle Farms, products are handmade by survivors of prostitution, trafficking, addiction and life on the streets.  Find out more at their website and see ALL the wonderful products they make!

Jesus Calling a devotional that has daily nuggets of insight into "Enjoying Peace in His Presence".  If you're "not the devotional type" - then this is the book for you.  Many times, this book has started my day off right or encouraged me unexpectedly.  Some days, I will pick it up and read the page for the day and find that it hits so close to home I'm curious if someone hasn't been spying on me!  It's a delightfully encouraging read, and I think it will brighten your day too!

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