Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Me and them, them and me.


Lately I've been thinking a lot. How before, maybe in past years or after I had the older girls, I had some guilty feelings. Like I can't be just a mom, I need to get going on something else. Back to school, or start a little business, or do more photography or piano lessons or real estate. It's always there, nagging, that feeling of needing to be something else, too, besides a mom.

Well I have to say that with my new baby Matada, I really don't feel that way. I know how fast this time goes, when they're babies. It zooms past me, it doesn't look back, it leaves a wake of dust that settles slowly on my shoulders. So I'm eating up every bit of it. I've dug down and found my treasured pool of crystal clear talent. It's in there. And it mothers well.

Something is brewing inside of me. A change. A desire to be better at this, this particularly hard and largely unrewarding job of motherhood. To give it a big hug and say, "it's good to see you motherhood, I've been trying to ignore you. Trying to pretend I won't lie with you, but I think I will". I've been making a menu, cooking new things. I've been staying more organized. I've been thinking about things like *gasp* starting to teach them to play the piano. I've been forcing myself to relax, to leave my chores behind and sit next to them and listen with my eyes glued to theirs. I've been kissing the baby's face off (but that's a given).

Every minute of this particular summer has had a little magic in it.

The girls play outside in their underwear. They turn on the hose and fill up buckets, and little pools, and camp chairs and cups and plates. They make mud. There's mud everywhere, on the patio, the carpet, even on the walls of my house. I shampooed the carpets on Friday and not two minutes later, Lillie came running in with mud caked all over her fingers and she'd slid her hand down the wall of the hallway on her way back to find me. On that same subject, she did pee three times on the carpet yesterday (she likes to take her diaper off) and she pooed on the girl's play chair. Apparently we're raising a puppy...

Grace and Ruby come in from playing outside and need to warm up, so they get in bed together with their drawing paper and pens and draw funny pictures. And they laugh hysterically. And Lillie bugs them half to death.

It's magical, I tell you!

Rarely do we have friends over, rarely do we venture out. Just me and my beautiful daughters, being young, hiding from the world in our tiny little home.

I keep telling myself, "You're so so lucky. Take it in. Feel it.". I know it may not always be this good, who knows what the future will bring. But for now, I know.

And just for now, I will be that mother. The one who doesn't shave her legs, can't remember how old she is, stands in the driveway looking hideous with a look on her face. That strung-out look. I'm a mother who wears flip flops to every occasion and always shows up with essential items missing from her diaper bag. Like her wallet.

Sigh.

But look at these girls. They deserve everything I can give them. Most of all, my time.

11 comments:

Lindsey said...

Thank you for that. You make it sound ok to just be a good mom--I don't know why we always feel like that's not enough.

Carin said...

Sarah--YOU have FOUND IT!!! Welcome to motherhood! Nothing is more true than the statements you have made. Motherhood is it!! That is why the angels cannot be restrained from being our companions! Your post brought tears to my eyes!! The time flies!!! Our oldest just left for his mission. When he left, I knew that when he returned, my days of being his 'every day' mother were over. He would be an adult when he got home, and though I would always be his mother, it would never be the same as it was when he lived here.

I mourned that day, though I was ecstatic that he was where he should be. When he was little, I just hoped he would grow. Somewhere along the way, right about my fourth baby too, I found what you have found----Motherhood is where it is at!! It is too important to disrupt with other things and it is over too quickly to just not enjoy every waking moment! Congratulations Sarah & Welcome!

Joyful Noise said...

Congratulations! Hip, hip, hurrah for "getting it!" Your post made me cry and wish that I had been able to express so beautifully how I felt as a young mother. I wish that I had those memories written down. It would have made the harder days easier to have remembered the joy that you have expressed. Lily's last photo is classic - what a girl! I predict she will be the one that you will find it easiest to share with when she is older. That is how it is usually, the one that we struggle with is the one that we are closest to...

Laurel said...

I cannot tell you what it does for me to read your blog. As the girl who longs for your life, I appreciate that YOU GET IT...you totally get it. I am not naive enough to think motherhood is easy but it IS what we were created to do and it pains me a little when some women don't appreciate the miracle of it all.

I so hope someday (someday soon, the good Lord willing...grin) that I will get the privilege of being in your club. And I hope and pray when I get there, I mother like you.

Truly.

Missy said...

I love this post. I love you Sarah Smylie. Those girls are beautiful! Puppy and all:)

Jenni of the Great Salt Lake said...

Yep. And ditto. And trying not to forget.

Baby Coffee said...

Those photos of Lillie kind of break my heart.

Jennifer said...

I'm wishing I could quit the other stuff and just be a Mom. I wish I was better at it too! I'm not working right now and yet feel like I'm not doing enough...not keeping things clean enough, organized, spending enough time with Abby, etc, etc, etc.

Your the type of Mom everyone wants to be like.

Diana said...

Beautifully said Sarah! Your post brought tears to my eyes as well. I also find myself much in the same way you described...desiring to be better at the work that I pour my heart and soul into, me and the four little ones (and another to arrive in September) hiding in our our townhouse, also raising a 'puppy' :) We don't have mud, but we have strawberry stains on the carpeted stairs. I was thinking the other day that a carpet shampooer might be a good investment.

I'm dreading the return of school, when the oldest starts 5th grade and the next one starts Kindergarten -- hopefully not when I'm in the hospital -- and hoping/wishing they could be there for the sacred moments that come in the days right home from the hospital.

Lisa said...

I am late commenting on this because frankly until today I couldn't. That last line of yours has haunted me. I felt that I had to get out and help with our income but lost sight of everything that was really important. I felt so much guilt for working and not putting my kiddos first. Your post came at a time that with a few other factors has changed my life. Hope you know I think you are amazing and love you!

Cher said...

btw, i loved this post.