A little over a month ago, we had a couple of weeks in late January and early February that were a bit of a tease. The weather was beautiful. It was in the 60's and 70's, and the girls and I were meeting friends at the park and having picnic lunches. I started to wonder if I would even need to wear maternity jeans this time around, with a baby coming in September. Maybe it would just stay perfect forever. I started asking Andrew about our herb garden. He said late February or early March. But then again, it really may only freeze another time or two. Maybe we would be okay planting the garden in early February.
The day we went to pick our herbs was fun. We searched through the beautiful green house and huge nursery that wasn't far from our house. Once our searching was done we stopped to feed the hungry toddler and pregnant woman. We had breakfast tacos at an authentic Mexican restaurant. We then ran a couple more places but were still home by lunch time. I think Andrew and I both felt like we were taking charge of the day. As always, it was a bit of work trying to keep the girls occupied while Andrew tried thinking through what was going in what pot and so on. I will say, Blanche was such a helper and so much better than last spring. Last year I just remember Blanche coming in and out of the house a lot covered in dirt, and also running down the stairs of our apartment and getting in big trouble. So many things will change each year with age and one day a house of our own. But this year, Blanche was so proud to help her daddy. She got her own red hand shovel and helped shovel dirt. I think she probably helped for at least two hours, until her hair was windblown and her whole body dirty and she had stripped down to her underwear, ready for a warm bath.
Well, within a couple of weeks the cold weather hit. It actually felt like winter didn't really come until we had planted our garden. In the last month and half, Andrew has moved the entire garden a couple of times right up against our house, and covered it for sometimes days with a tarp. Blanche would occasionally open the sliding glass door and peek under the tarp and encourage, "Don't die garden! You are daddy's friends." And they didn't. Our garden hung on. Andrew put a lot of working into saving it, and it makes me proud and also excited for when we have land one day.
All of this time that little garden has been a little glimmer of light to me. I never realize until later that I think and live in metaphors and analogies. But I do. Maybe it is the writer's spirit inside. I just see that little garden, cold and under a tarp, away from the sun and fresh air. Maybe the tomato plants are yelling and gripping at each other under there like I do with the girls. But the garden is back out in the fresh air. It has gotten fresh rain and sunshine. It is growing and seems to be doing fine.
As I am growing up a bit, I am realizing that my emotions are not only based on my circumstances, but that those circumstances change as well. Today was a hard parenting day for me. I am so tired and so nauseous at times. The worst part is I haven't throw up at all this pregnancy. I would rather that at times and be done with it. But I just have this gagging and sickness right at the top of my throat. I keep eating bagels as a meal substitute. It really is pathetic. I do know I am lucky compared to many women, with so much sickness during pregnancies. I thank God I am able to take care of my children and do housework. I am just ready for energy. I am ready for a healthy stir fry (ugh) or salad (maybe with lots of dressing?) to sound good. I want to be outside in the sun and walking and feeling strong. Right now we have all had colds on and off, I feel fat but not really pregnant, and nothing ever sounds good to eat. But I know that this happened with both of the girls. And it didn't last forever. I just need to remind myself of this. And keep praying for strength. If you ever think of me, just pray I can be patient with the girls. I have discovered that it is no secret to my family that I become severely over touched and worn out during pregnancies. I have a baby who is still nursing and a toddler who doesn't even want to go to the bathroom alone. I get over touched and easily snap at times. I sometimes feel like so much of the day I am walking around at about 90% and something small will get me to full capacity. I don't want to be a mom that yells or scares my children, but I know I do at times. I need to learn how to take a break emotionally even when I am still with my children.
Blanche told me over dinner tonight that she misses me when I go to rinse out cloth diapers. Yes, that three minutes it takes me to rinse a cloth diaper out in the toilet. That's my alone time. And Blanche misses me during that time. It is all very flattering really. To be loved that much. I just want to be able to accept that love. And when that little love of mine is driving me insane with her constant wants and needs... I need to be able to mentally take a step back. I knew that naturally spacing our children would result in some really hard times. I have never once thought being a mom was easy. I am sort of scared for this next one and all that might happen. This is when I remember that deep down, I feel called to be a mother, not on my own accord, but this is what I feel God wants me to do.
I have started putting on a song I found on Andrew's iPod during moments where I am feeling empty. It is called Grace by Phil Wickham. I don't listen to a lot of Christian music, or even Phil Wickham. But every time I hear this song I feel a peace.
"The sky is grey and the light is farI turn my sight to the crashing waves
I cry in the night just to be saved
I need eyes to be my guide
I need a voice that's louder than mine
I need hope I need You
Cause I can't do this alone
Grace I call Your name
Oh won't Your smile fall over me
I'm cracked and dry on hands and knees
Oh sweet grace rain down on me I need You grace
I pray for dawn a new day to live
I pray for mercy only Jesus gives
Though darkness falls and a million cry
I believe over all there's a greater light shining for us
Come down and save me