Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Happy Mommy New Year!

Alice (Preschool) Makenna (1st grade) Claire (3rd grade)

Back to school always feels like the real new year.  The kids move up with new teachers and a new rhythm to our days begings.  The fall transition has been a time of anxiety for me as a mom.  Over the years we have had a lot of bad experiences with Claire and school.  I try the organize everything because I have so little control once she is off to school.  I am distracting myself, hatching plans for what I'm going to invest my newly acquired free time into.  We are making big decisions about Nate's upcoming deployments.  Fall is when I make resolutions for parenting: we are going to get the homework done as soon as the kids get off the bus, I'm going to bring the teachers coffee more often, Claire will always have her glasses, I will only were yoga pants 50% of the week...  I clean out the closets, dressers and car in preparation for a new school year.  I have made a plan for the crazy paper pile that will inevitable come home in those four new backpacks all lined up at the front door.

I had a crazy couple of weeks recently.  My beautiful daughters were suddenly so destructive, like the crazy purple minions.  They are not normally gentile but this was way beyond rough.  They had taken scissors and cut sheets, cut hair, painted with mud on just about every surface in the back yard and themselves, broken DVDs, written with markers on my SUV's interior, spilled nail polish on new school cloths, smeared poop on the bathroom walls... you get the picture. Where was there mother you say?  I was cleaning up messes and worrying about the new school year, a looming deployment and my nine year old daughter with Down Syndrome suddenly having poop accidents. 

I think the kids were conspiring to teach me a lesson.  The more I tried to organize and control the crazier and messier things got.   I thought, if I can just get the house clean and the kids ready for school I won't be so anxious (lies we tell ourselves).  Hunkered down in a corner somewhere I thought, what do I need in this moment, a clean house or to not be alone?  I deeply needed to not be alone because more important then the kitchen floor being muddy, my heart was weary.    I texted my sweet friends Amy and asked her to please meet up with me. We dropped everything and went to the park.   I was still a mess but I left feeling loved and not alone.   

My new years resolution in January 2015 was to "have friends over for dinner and game nights more often."  I think it is still perfect as I am entering mommy new year.  When I am with my friends I worry less.  My prospective changes and suddenly I am surrounded by this dream team of amazing people who want to bring out the best in me and my family.  I see their challenges and my own as opportunities for growth.  We bring all our needs to the table, filling in the gaps to make eachothers dreams reality.  I read a cheesy quote on Pinterest yesterday and loved it, "If your dreams don't scare you they aren't big enough."  Ah, my dreams scare me all the time.  But my dreams are amazing, inspiring, life giving and I absolutely cannot do them alone.  I want to use my energy investing in my community, neighbors and friends this year instead of worrying over things I cannot control.  It's okay if my kids are muddy, maybe that will even encourage a friend who needs to know she is not the only one with muddy kids.  I want to focus on hospitality, community, generosity.

Thank you to all the friends who checked in today to see how it went for Claire.  I appreciate your support more then I can say.  To know she has a community for people who love her praying for her and her new year blesses my heart.