There are also some people who seem to have it all together. Okay, I know life can't be all smiles all the time, but I truly think that there are moments (extended moments, more like periods) in people's lives when things are running fairly smoothly. Ever look at their lives and think "wow, I could never do that."
Which brings me to the idea that my life truly is tailored to me. I'm sure some people look at the lack of sleep I have had in the past 5 years and wonder how I'm still standing on two feet. (I have had less than 10 full night sleeps, and can't remember the last time I wasn't getting up at least every 3 hours. It was at least 2 1/2 years ago.) I'm sure some people see my family on a good day when Benjamin is all smiles and Caleb is being compassionate and Colin is leading a game and think my boys are perfectly behaved. The truth is somewhere in the middle of all the mess.
But I'm learning to love my mess. It's hard, it's true. But a profound statement hit me this past week in a book I read. If we are always trying to hide the mess, then we are being hypocrites, exactly the characteristic Jesus so condemned in the Pharisees. I read the statement and it hit me right between the eyes: I am so hypocritical. I love to present the face that I've got it all together. But honestly, what purpose does that serve? If I was sick and went to the doctor, what good would it do to pretend I was well? You can't get better if you don't admit there's something wrong.
So my life is messy. I wouldn't say my life is a mess, that has so many negative connotations about it. But my life is gloriously messy. I hope that one day the mess will gradually sort itself out, but that can only happen if I actually acknowledge it is there in the first place. Sweeping it all under the bed won't help get it all in order.
I think, maybe I'll start to see the first light once my youngest is about 3. I look at Caleb and see that although there are still many challenges to a three year old, at least you can work with a three year old. At least they sleep at night and you can reason with them during the day. You can leave them for two minutes to go to the bathroom, or put a movie on to take a shower, or go out for an hour with them melting down.
When my youngest is three, everyone will be school age. If they are at school, I will be there, volunteering in their classes, and (hopefully) running school music and/or drama programs.
When my youngest is three, I will be more free to pursue some of my own passions. I will be able to be someone apart from my identity as mother. Although I truly believe that being a mom is the most honourable calling in the world, I also acknowledge my own need to be the other parts of me also.
When my youngest is three, a babysitter will be able to handle the kids, which means more regular time alone with my honey.
When my youngest is three, all the kids will be the perfect age for sports, camping, biking and hiking - my areas of specialty!
But right now, my kids are 1, 3, and 5, so I have a few more years in the trenches. So if I'm going to get muddy in this mess, might as well dive in, right?