You’re the best song

In the wee hours of Mother’s Day, it happened again. My four year old had another accident. This time he slept through it, but his entire body and pjs were soaked and I needed to wake him so we could clean him up and change his sheets and pjs.

Which created a dilemma.

He’s not your average four year old. He’s strong willed. He’s difficult. He’s the most hard headed person on the planet. He’s a champion tantrumer, a professional screamer, a hard hitter. Things that are simple with other kids just aren’t with him. We saw a play therapist once, trying to get him all the help we can. She said she couldn’t help us because parenting-wise we were doing it right. Strangely, that broke my momma heart. Of course we all want to hear we are doing it right. But when doing it right means our child’s life is still so much harder than it should be, I think we’d rather hear, “You’re doing it all wrong. Here’s the right way. It will improve so fast if you do this.” We now see a counselor as a family to help us be proactive and deliberate with behavior modification and learning to work through emotions. It helps. But it’s a painfully slow help.

And now, two weeks after the emotional turmoil of a miter saw accident and my husband nearly amputating his thumb, two weeks after emergency surgery to reconstruct and reattach it, two weeks after finding out he hasn’t worked at his employer long enough to receive disability, two weeks after the church and family and my tribe of mama friends lavished love and support and groceries and prayers on my family, now this.

He’s having accidents every night after no night accidents for months and every single time they trigger a tantrum. Every time they wake his little sister in the next room. Every time his sleep deprived daddy and I do everything we can to be there for him and calm him down during the hour of screaming. We try to talk to him. We try to sit silently with him. We try to sing to him. We try to draw tic-tac-toe on the windows with dry erase markers with him. We pray and we cry and we struggle. We struggle with the questions and the fears and the anger and the mind-numbing exhaustion. And eventually, the screams turn into sobs and we know he’s no longer stuck in the turmoil of his anger and sadness. And we get to hold him and rock him and love on him. And we tell him it’s okay to be upset. But he can’t hit us. And we want to help him find a better way than the screaming. And we love him to the moon and back and that will never change.

And that night, in the wee hours of Mother’s Day after the screams melted into sobs and as tears ran down both our cheeks, I held my boy and I played him this song.

And my prayer was this,

“I am not enough for this beautiful boy who struggles. The song says ‘ready or not, you need me, so here I am.’ And it’s true. I’m not ready. I’m not ready to wonder if it’s time for the child psychiatrist and the Zoloft. I’m not ready or equipped to help a boy I don’t understand. I’m not ready for the sleepless nights and the worry that threatens to eat up every piece of me and the fear that God gave this kid to the wrong mom who isn’t strong enough to be a fortress of peace for her child.

But I know who is.

When I am weak, Jesus tells me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Corinthians 12:9)

When I am afraid, Jesus says, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’ (Mark 5:36)

When I am weary, Jesus gives me strength. (Isaiah 40:29)

When my child’s screams are too loud and I want to give into my anger, He Himself is my peace. (Ephesians 2:14)

When I want to give in to my worry and my fears about the future, I hear Him remind me, ‘don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.’ (Matthew 6:34)

So I pray that Jesus will fill my holes. That the rests in between the notes of the song my son and I are writing will be heavy with the presence of Jesus. That He will be what I cannot. That the God who created every piece of his body and brain, who knit him together so perfectly in the mystery and dark quiet of my womb, that He will give me wisdom beyond human comprehension to know how to help my son. That when I am too tired and too numb and too confused to know what to pray, that the Spirit would pray for me in my tears and groans. That as I surrender control to God, He will be the fortress I can run into when I’m not enough – so the holes in my roof and walls will be covered by the rock that is higher than I. That the wind and rain will never reach my child because his mama hides in Jesus.”

Noah bear, I pray when you are older that you will hear Jesus in this achingly beautiful song we are writing together.

You are the one who made me a mommy. Neither of us had any idea what we were getting into with each other.

But I would not trade one note of the song that is you.

Meet Anthony

Anthony and I have been married for (almost) eight years. He’s got an incredible sense of humor and an infectious laugh. 

Anthony lets me sleep in on a regular basis and takes far more than his fair share of night wake ups with the kids. He loves to serve. The kids live for living room wrestling sessions with daddy. 

My husband didn’t know what a bagel was until he was 21. He’s an incredibly hard worker. He’s also pretty clumsy. Keep wine glasses and power tools away from this stud. 

Our sad and pitiful vehicles over the years (and a healthy dose of Google) have turned Anthony into a pretty decent home mechanic. 

After our first kiss, I temporarily lost my mind and said, “You make my heart go pitter patter.” And he didn’t run away from me in terror. 

He loves soccer. And cricket. And curling. And sports radio. At one point he called into our ESPN radio station so often they all knew him by the sound of his voice. And if you want someone to win a radio contest for you, he’s your man. He’s won us hundreds of dollars in restaurant gift cards. And once he sang “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” on the radio to win us Elton John tickets. That’s romance, ladies. 

I love this man. And for the record, he still makes my heart go pitter patter. 

How does your garden grow?

After eight years of talking about it, I finally planted a vegetable garden this year.

 

I’ve been amazed by the miracle of sprouts, by how quickly peas and beans grow, by the daily change in these plants as I water them and pull the occasional weed. I’m fascinated by the feathery tops of carrots and the crunchy, hairy leaves of cucumber plants. My potato plants are growing by inches daily. Our strawberry plants are bursting with green buds that will soon be ripe fruit. And tonight I picked a handful of green beans.

As someone who has always had a black thumb, I’d call this a success.

Bowlers, wickets, and lunch breaks

cricket-1033415_640 Four weeks ago, my husband had a run-in with a miter saw, resulting in a nearly amputated thumb, reconstructive surgery, a hospital stay, and a lot of time on his hands (pun intended) while he heals before returning to work.

So he’s started watching cricket.

Maybe it’s because I refuse to spend any time learning about this sport, but y’all. This sport makes no sense. It’s like baseball on drugs.

I went for a run (*cough*walk*cough*) last night and when I got back to the house he was watching cricket and excitedly telling me all about bowlers and wickets and aerodynamics. Bless his heart – all I could think was, “When will this be over?”

And then he told me. IN EIGHT HOURS.

I thought he stuttered. I was wrong.

Next thing I know he’s telling me he’s over two hours into this particular game (match? exhibition? who knows?) and they are about to break for lunch.

That’s right. Lunch. They have lunch breaks in the middle of the game because they are endlessly long.

As a mama of two little whirlwinds my lunch usually consists of the scraps left on their plates and sneak-eating Smarties while hiding in the pantry.

Don’t get me wrong. I love these babies. But a lunch break in the middle of a sports game? These guys are completely spoiled. Dear husband, I am ready for you to explain cricket to me now that I will be returning to the workforce as a professional cricket player.

Potty (mouth)

13241505_10102770870225981_1675256253_o

I’ve got a lot of potty related things going on these days. Today we officially began potty training Miss Priss. So far, nothing (other than an unwanted banana) has made it into the potty. She is ecstatic – new underwear and extra attention.

I am miserable.

There is something about potty training that makes me want to die. The constant laundry, the accidents, the cleaning, the frustration.

God help me.

On top of all of this, Mr. Strong Will Himself had an epic tantrum yesterday  in which he yelled the word “damn” 30 times. THIRTY TIMES. I was almost impressed but instead I had to be responsible and teach the kid. So he did 30 chores and picked out 30 toys to give away. I’m hoping going hard core on him will nip this cursing in the bud so we don’t get a call from his teacher every single day next year regarding his potty mouth.

Did I mention I’m currently taking wine and chocolate donations to get me through this tough time?