Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pictures of snow

Just three days after Christmas it snowed. The last time there was snow that I remember, Blanche was only a few months old. I remember taking her outside and putting some snow in my hand to let her look at it. I remember thinking how aware she was and that she liked the snow. Now, only a year later it seems incredible the amount of change that has happened in her. I was doing something in her room while she was playing and looked out the window and saw these huge white flakes falling all over. I exclaimed, "Blanche its snowing!" Just like I too was a small child. But this year she wasn't just aware, she looked at me, smiled and walked across the room. I picked her up, and we looked out the window together. She had a huge smile on her face, and I could tell that she thought it was magical. Even if she didn't really know what it was.

I think I need to constantly remind myself of these moments. Maybe thats the reason for this blog. I  look at pictures of Blanche and feel so blessed. Blanche is so much of the beauty and magic in my life. For me, its just remembering. I take pictures of her all the time on instagram, and I think its easy to fool people (especially those who haven't been a mother) that my day is full of happy little moments. A lot of my day is cleaning up messes. A lot of my day is having a child at my feet.

I do things differently than most. I know that. But I take pride in that. Or at least I try to. For example, Blanche loves water. One day she noticed me doing the dishes and how it seemed to be so much fun. And in that moment I remembered reading a memoir about a mom who was writing about her mother-in-law letting her son do things that she would never let him do. The example she gave was that grandma would put her grandson on the edge of the sink and let him splash his feet in the water. For some reason, it made me want to do that with Blanche. So we have started this routine now. Where Blanche "helps me do the dishes." Every single time. She sits on the edge with her little feet in the water. She helps me "rinse" and "dry". I told Andrew one day that I deserve a peace prize for washing dishes this way.

The thing is, I want to be that kind of mom. The one that lets her child make a mess. But then other times I just want to get the dishes done. I guess its a balance between the magical and the practical. There's also the line of trying to be the best mom I can be, and getting so close to absolutely loosing my mind. Sometimes I feel like there are not very many people that really, truly understand how I feel. Lately I have felt (I think it might actually be true) that I haven't had a full hour of time to myself. Maybe most moms don't. I don't really know. All I know is that Blanche has gotten six teeth in the last three months. Plus all of this junk happened. And to add to the exhaustion, it has been the holiday season. So maybe there is a reason that I haven't had a moment to breathe. Sometimes its just really tiring. Blanche isn't an amazing sleeper. Well, she can be, but she is very aware of my presence. I've been writing this post at 11pm and have already had to go upstairs once. Uhh. Maybe I'm just complaining about the hardships of motherhood. But I think its more than that. I have heard older women say how they lost themselves in being a mother. So much of who I am is a mother, but I'm also other things as well. But I feel like I don't have time to be those other things most of the time.

Andrew and I were talking yesterday about how I should focus in on just one or two things. Like my hobbies that I don't really have time for. This blog, and the photos on it for instance. But the thing is, most of the time I feel like I'm all over the place because I am all over the place. I'm just searching and longing for a moment to be creative. To do something besides mommy stuff. Maybe I just need to accept this stage of life. Thats the thing I have the most trouble explaining to people. I feel like a part of me is this expressive and creative person. And so much of the time the "practical" things take first place. And then the part of me that I love the most gets pushed to the back. And then I feel like its slowly dying.

So maybe thats why I need to look at pictures of Blanche in the snow. I need to see the magic. The creativity. I need to take up her passion and joy that she so freely gives when I feel like I've lost so much of mine. Maybe I'm still trying to process everything that has went on in the last month too… so many maybes.


  1. You sound very normal to me! I think most of us feel this way when we have babies in the house. Our daily ritual was playing under the sheets when I made the beds every day - some days all we did was play & they never got made.:o)But oh how some days it would frustrate me so much that my son wanted to play & I just wanted to get things done...such a normal part of motherhood.

    I eventually put away a lot of my hobbies as my son got older. It was painful to do but for me, I couldn't do it all. I had too many responsibilities besides parenting. Now my son is grown & I'm slowly going back to some of those things I loved then. It is so hard when there are so many good things you want to do!!! I have friends who were more creative than me & did their hobbies with their children but I couldn't juggle them all - I didn't want to miss a moment of my son's journey to manhood.

    A favorite memory of mine is a good picture for me of this struggle. At the end of every church service when my son was small, he'd reach his hands up for his dad to hold him through the last song & prayer. Slowly, (quickly) he grew until suddenly one day I noticed his feet were hanging half way below my husband's knees he was so big! It embarrassed me & I told my husband he was too big to be held like that anymore. My sweet man gave me the most loving look & said, 'But honey, this may be the last time he asks me to hold him.' Eventually, the last time came & went. You don't realize it's the last until years later so usually you don't cherish that last time. But my husband did because he cherished EACH time.

    The memory gives me an ache but it's not the end of our son reaching for his dad. Now they work at the same company & almost EVERY day before my son leaves work, he goes into his dad's office to see him. Not for any reason usually, just to see his dad, still reaching for him, not really out of need, just love.

    That's what you're working on now. You're showing sweet Blanche that no matter how much time passes, no matter how big she gets you will be there for the fun things & the hard things. You're showing her that when she reaches for you you will do your best to be there but there is One who will ALWAYS be there for her. It happens slowly, quickly & the struggles are normal & the joys are many so try not to worry too much about the choices. Just cherish the moments.

  2. You are a beautiful mommy and one day in the not to distant future I think you once again will be able to satisfy your creative juices!! Blanche will be able to sit at the table with you and color and finger paint while you scrap book. The time will go faster than you think. And I see her being creative just like her mommy. Even if you can just squeeze in a few minutes a day of creative time to keep your mind active. I think it would help. Maybe when Andrew gets home and has had a an hour to rest then he can take her especially when it warms up and then you can get some crafting done. You are such am awesome mom !!