I have three stories. They may appear to you as separate, barely related stories…but I assure you, they are very much connected with one another even if I choose not to reveal the details of exactly how.
We had an outing today with our homeschool group. I packed lunches last night in such a way that is near and dear to my boys’ hearts without them realizing why it is important to them. I made homemade lunchables for the five of us. (Niki still comes along with us when she doesn’t have school work to finish.) I packed items according to everyone’s tastes without any extra effort on my part. The only common food in each lunch was hummus since it has become a staple in our home over the past year or so. (If you serve it enough times because you like it, it may just grow on the rest of the family over time – as it did for my family.)
The lunchables look more impressive than they really are but it’s all about presentation sometimes. Several years ago, when my boys were still having birthparent visits on a weekly basis, their birthmom would ALWAYS bring them a lunchable. They have since forgotten about this but every single time we go to the store and I pass the section that has lunchables, they BEG to get one. I don’t buy them. They are expensive, the boys can’t eat the cheese in them, and they’re all around junk food. But recently, it got me thinking…it brings back a feeling of joy to them even if they are unable to make the connection, so I’ve started to make homemade lunchables for on the way home from church or when I have to run a lot of errands and want to avoid eating out.
And maybe…just maybe, I’m hoping it will help the boys attach to me. There’s nothing like giving your entire heart and life to someone only to be rejected and denied affection time and time again. When you have to teach someone to give a hug and they do it only as part of a routine…they missed something(s) in their first months of life.
I did not feel good at all last week. When Les came home from a trip last weekend, he immediately told me to go to bed and he was taking over. This is somewhat of a first for him. He always tries but he doesn’t always know the ebb and flow of daily life around here. It’s not his fault since he has to travel a lot for his job. (Niki normally helps me out with my chores when I don’t feel good but I left her to study for her finals this week instead and she did her normal chores.)
I told him that the sink was piled with dishes and pretty much no one had clean clothes left to wear and that’s why the boys were still in their pajamas from the night before. He spent this week completely catching up on dishes, washing laundry, folded the mountain of mostly blankets on the folding table, and made all the meals. I cannot even begin to tell you how much it meant to me. For the very first time ever as a mom, I was allowed to just lay down in bed and not feel good! If there ever was to be bliss while you were sick – this would be it.
Les has never once given me a hard time in all of our marriage for not getting enough stuff done around the house. He has come home on occasion to what looked like a tornado touched down only on the inside of our house and spared the rest of the neighborhood but he has never complained or even made a comment about it. Instead, he’d give me a kiss and then assess the situation. Usually a kid (or more) was sick, I was sick, or something crazy went on that day that required all of my attention. He would let me know that he was happy I was able to snuggle and take of the kids or that he was happy I was able to at least lay down on the couch while I watched the kids bring every toy in the house to the main floor. He has always been supportive and understanding.
As much as he’s understanding, he tends to get overwhelmed with the amount of work I do get done on all the other days. He tries to pitch in and help whenever he’s home but he’s a list kinda guy though and actually asks me to have a honey do list ready for him when he gets home instead of letting him try to figure out what my priority needs are. (He says it’s because he’s a pilot and needs checklists.) This week, in an unprecedented act of Mr. Mom, he told me to let him just take care of things. Each day, he would tell me, “I can’t even get a fraction of the stuff you get done in a day. I’m just trying to keep up with dishes, laundry, and feeding everyone. I haven’t even touched homeschooling, overseeing the kids’ chores, or anything else you get done.” He left me with warm fuzzies that he recognizes how much effort I put into every day for our family.
I asked him this evening what he did this afternoon. He told me, “Honestly? Napping and trying to recover from this week.” That is probably the absolute sweetest compliment he could ever say to me. I love him! Not just because he recognizes how much work I do, but because he went outside of his comfort zone this week to make sure I rested.
And last but certainly not least, there are so many moments in my life where I know God has given me situations to help me grow. I certainly did not appreciate all of them for what they were especially in the most traumatic trenches of the moment.
It’s amazing the influence people have over you as they come and go in your life. Even if it’s just a few words from someone. They can deeply impact you for the rest of your life and no one but yourself may ever know it. There was a moment today where someone said something to me that deeply wounded me. (Unintentionally on their part.) But, it so painful because I realized it was true. They revealed a side of myself that I didn’t like or want to be.
Because of several things that have happened recently, I’ve thought about going hermit on my blog for awhile. There are always points where I feel overly exposed with my life – open to criticism or comment without the other person really understanding daily life around here. Sometimes I say more than I should but ultimately most every struggle that happens around here is only spoken about between myself and my husband. Then this evening, I was told something about someone who reads my blog and realized maybe I do help someone out there with my stories even when I feel overly vulnerable. That was one of my two goals when I started sharing my stories. I don’t feel less vulnerable now but at least I feel like maybe there’s a reason why I find writing so therapeutic – to help someone else.
And to round out my whole day, I talked to a friend of mine, who I’ve never met in person but feel like I’ve known for ages, and she helped me feel normal again when my life feels so abnormal most of the time. She grounded me and helped me to see I’m not losing my mind afterall but helped me refocus on what is important in my life. I hope one day we’ll get to meet in person instead of just talk via email and phone.
I hope my words help others more than they hurt. Please forgive me if I have ever said something to offend or upset you.