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Finding Moments

It’s been a long, crazy weekend here.  Grateful for sun after three days of rain and the coolest spring I can recall since moving here, we kicked off the weekend with strawberry picking at one of my favorite farms.  Saturday morning was a raucous game of soccer, or as close as can be had with a bunch of three-year-olds.  And still drunk on blue sky and warm breezes, we came to realize that nothing would make the weekend more perfect than a night spent under open skies.

Really, there was no “we” in that realization.  I have this idealist vision of camping, memories of my mom cooking a huge breakfast on a griddle while my dad helped me and my brother find worms and nightcrawlers for fishing.  When I was a kid we spent a lot of time in campgrounds and took first our truck camper, and later Winnebago, all over the country.  I’ve either blocked out the bad parts, or it was AWESOME.  I dream of a pop-up camper; so far the furthest I’ve gotten is convincing my husband that sitting around a campfire and sleeping in a tent a few times a year won’t kill him.

Anyway we packed up Big Blue, got the dogs and kid in the car (J, at sixteen, was just way too cool for camping),  and headed outside the city.  Of course by the time we got there, set up camp, scavenged enough wood to start a fire, made dinner and made our way back and forth to the communal bathroom several times, T was so exhausted he was crying to go to bed even before making “fo fo’s” (marshmallows).  As the fire started to burn out and the temperatures dipped, we noticed we didn’t have the tarp for the top of our tent.  We huddled together on the air mattress that managed to spring a leak since the last time we used it, staring up at the stars through our unimpeded view.  And finally, finally, the squirrels, deer, bears, mountain lions, and other guests stopped their partying long enough for me to fall asleep…only to wake and repeat the chaos of toddler-caring, fire-making, food-preparing and the rest of it.

Batshit crazyBy the time we packed up I was more than ready to go.  T had been whining non-stop for nearly two hours, I found myself repeating and REPEATING simple directions such as “stop throwing rocks!” and “stay away from the fire, it’s hot!” and I wanted nothing more than to be home and the sweet solace of T’s naptime.  And I’m sad to say that, while I strive to use kind words and toddler-level reasoning with him every day, by the time we got in the car my frustration and short temper were starting to spread like toxic mold.

We did make it home, an uneventful trip except for the ginormous spider I found crawling on my shirt (seriously, I almost died).  A too-quick nap and T was awake and still acting up, incapable of listening out of shear exhaustion.  But as I tried to get some of the laundry started and dishes washed and camping carnage put away, I kept passing him lying, quite peacefully, on the couch, watching a movie.  And I recalled that it can wait, all of it.  I have not doubt that pile of greasy pans will still be in the sink after he goes to bed, or even tomorrow morning.  But for this moment, of T being three-and-a-few-months and just the two of us lying together, watching Toy Story, still smelling like campfire and sunshine, I have no such guarantee.  So I took it, and he put his hand on my head and smiled, and life was good.

Camping.6.2014

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It’s my life and I’ll sleep if I want to!

I fell asleep at 8:30 last night.  On the couch, in front of the TV, with T still fussing himself back to sleep after being woken by a short barking fit from the dogs.  And at 11:30, when DH finally managed to get me awake enough to stand (I know it’s shocking, but I can be quite a bear), I stomped up the stairs, brushed my teeth, put on pjs, and fell back asleep until 7:30 when I heard T reading to himself in his crib.  It.  Was.  AWESOME.

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I know so many moms, parents, people, who berate themselves for being tired.  They have a long list of ailments, maladies, poor nutritional choices, exercise inefficiencies, impotent vitamins, anything and everything that they think they are not doing properly, hence their sheer exhaustion.  Since becoming a mom I’ve spoken with so many others who are apologetic about their yawns and bloodshot eyes.  Their body has let them down, and they are truly sorry. 

WHAT?!?!!!  Sure there are days when I wish I had more energy to do just one more thing, play with T a few more minutes, go a few blocks further with the dogs, finish that last chapter.  That’s my mind saying “You only get one chance, take it!” not “your body is unworthy of this brain!”  It’s like a badge of honor to be tired, and the ultimate reward to be able to sleep well after a busy day.

So I did, for a really long time.  And this morning, when I woke and my headache was gone and my eyes were clear and I spoke with sweet words and hummed through the day with the patience of a saint, my brain – and the world – thanked me.

Do you feel like you get “enough” sleep?  Does it change your outlook on your day when you do?

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Parenting

 

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Exhaustion

Exhaustion

It’s been a really hectic, crazy year.  Most days I can survive, sometimes even thrive on the chaos.  Today is not one of those days.  If only we could choose when it’s inconvenient to be exhausted.  Kind of like a floating holiday, but likely way less fun and requiring only enough energy to drag yourself off the couch long enough for a snack, or if the house starts on fire.

T, that little darling, is starting to come into his own as a toddler and takes every opportunity to remind us.  Today he voiced his opinion, loudly and using a series of ear-piercing screeches and knife-sharp kicks to the ribs, exactly how he felt about leaving the park.  I managed to wrestle him upstairs for a nap (seriously, I think his arms turn to rubber when he’s in fight mode) and now that I’ve bought myself at least a hour of sweet silence, the only thing I can do is lie on the floor sweating and panting.  I could work in a few stretches and call it pilates, but more likely I’ll lie here listening to the clock tick down my seconds of solitude and dream of a sick day.

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Even the dog is tired!

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Parenting

 

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