Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Friday, November 30, 2007

This too shall pass (or why parenting young children is like passing a kidney stone)

It has been one of those weeks. My eight month-old, Avriana has eyes like the moon and a sensitive stubborn spirit like her Mama, only more so, if it is possible. She staunchly refuses to let me help her sleep, day or night. She is a wriggly, gorgeous caricature of the painting you saw in high school art class called "The Scream."

Similar, my toddler, Gabriel bangs on the door during "nap" saying, "open the door, mommy. Mommy let you out." When I let him out, to see if he has any actual needs there are two possible scenarios:

1) He has pooped and it's gross and I have to change it, which usually results in flailing and wailing that wakes up his sister, who has, perhaps finally fallen asleep after two hours of guttural screeching while I sat in her crib gently but firmly soothing her (and trying to do yogic breathing.)

2) He smiles, says, "Good morning," even if it is two o'clock in the afternoon and starts incessantly asking for "Frog and Toad."

When I pick up my five-year-old Nika from school, she is angry because her brother is kicking her. Also I didn't pack TWO juice boxes. I try to take an interest in her life: "How was art?"
"Yaga. Bobby."

Baby talk.

The last thing I need from my one child who is supposed not be a baby, except of course the other two seem so successful at taking all my resources by acting like babies, why wouldn't she try? And the poor thing, it's hard to be one whose always being asked to be a "big birl." I miss my Nika.

Frankly, Mama is tired of being a big girl too.

I take Nika to Barne's & Noble, for a brief outing together, despite the fact that I feel and emotionally physically that my heart is utterly tired and I am not sure I can go on, literally.

On the way, I get in the shoulder lane a few driveways before B & N, and out of one of them, an idiot driver decides to start pulling out -- I honk -- a collision is barely avoided and I practice yogic breathing, as we pull into the bookstore parking lot. I'm ready for a steamer. I see flashing lights. Whadya know? Apparently it was my fault that the other car almost hit me because I got in the shoulder lane too early. I cried when the police officer took my info, both because it was impossible not to, and also I have heard it helps commute tickets into warnings. I got a summons anyway. And as I breathed, filling my belly with all the weeks labor pains, I wondered if this kid-ney stone will ever pass.

This one will, I imagine, glimpsing ahead through a peep hole in my mustard seed binoculars, and there will be new kid-ney stones ahead. I only I will have the grace to make alters out of them as they pass, to remember where God has met me in my hour of need and created beauty, healing and love from the labors which invite our utmost and highest, even when we're at our weakest and lowest.

May God bring out treasures from this fragile jar of clay, and those entrusted to her care. Amen.


Amy said...

You're so right, Jemila. I was so naive before children, imagining sublime moments with my children, all patience as they lay quietly staring at me with love-filled eyes.

Although, this is the case from time to time, there are also missed naps, tired children and tired mommy.

(Funny thing, I just got my first ticket in 13 years just two weeks ago).

Today I pray for you moments of respite and the ability to rest with your children, whether as they lay in bed, or comforted in your arms.

Jemila Kwon said...

Thanks Amy -- I always feel in understanding company with you :)