Wednesday, February 1

Finding Our Groove

There's such a fine, fine line between a groove and a rut, isn't there? I think we're doing okay, although there are a few weird moments in each day that cause me to question our decision not to pursue development of a child-safe tranquilizer gun. Small doses at supper would make the meal infinitely less stressful. Larger doses around, oh, say one or two in the afternoon would create a lovely naptime reprieve. And if we could add an infant/puppy dose, oh, the things we could accomplish after supper!

Alas, that's not how God intended life to go. And it's good. Even when your children try to make their siblings laugh with milk in their mouths (and succeed...) Even when, among the four children, someone is awake 24 hours a day (two someones, since that necessitates a partially responsible adult to monitor the activity and/or gas level of alert child...) Even when the toddler is sporting a goose-egg atop a goose-egg and if you lay him down, his profile is beginning to resemble the Grand Tetons.

Yes, even with all of that, and the countless other, "OK, who thought that was a good idea?" moments, it's still not a rut. It's a groove. It's the choppy flow of life's rapids and the winding curves that bring new adventure around each corner. It's what makes you turn to your spouse with a big, maniac grin and shout over the din, "Hold on! This one's gonna be fun!"

And thankfully, those are just moments in the day. They don't comprise the entire day (well, not every day, anyway). Interspersed among the chaotic, hair-pulling, milk sopping, diaper blowing moments are the other ones, the pay off. That's where you discover that your eldest child has a phenomenal grasp of the absurd, and a great sense of humor that you really, truly enjoy. It's in those spaces between the grooves (ruts?) that you see your second child cuddling and singing to one of his siblings, rocking her to sleep, gently kissing her brow, and you realize his dragon-slaying nature is also very deeply rooted in the home. If you look at your toddler between the "no's" and the fits, you see a happy, silly little guy who loves to dance nekkid in the living room, thinks the greatest thrill in life is to make his brothers smile, and gives tremendous spontaneous hugs for no apparent reason other than that he loves you more than anything. And at the end of the day, when everyone is tucked in, read to, kissed and hugged, and you curl up with the baby, you realize the potential yet to be released in this little life, too.

I can't say if we're accomplishing much, or not. It doesn't matter. We're enjoying the trip, riding the rapids, laughing at the spray, and teaching our little ones to navigate the waters themselves. Sometimes they throw an oar overboard and we look at each other in total astonishment, wondering what we're doing wrong. Then we realize, we aren't doing anything wrong. They're little. They do that. That is why we're here. With spare oars, big hugs, and the ability to show them how to use the oar and why it shouldn't be tossed overboard. When the river widens, we enjoy a break on the beach, pick flowers, tell stories, enjoy the view.

And just think, when it's all said and done, in the end, we get to kick back in the fully customized houseboat and watch them wonder why their little one just tossed an oar at his brother's head! We'll know, and we'll know it'll be okay, too, because we recognize a good groove when we see it.

Oh, yes, kiss those babies!


CarolynM said...

THAT's what motherhood is all about! :-)

Thom said...

Wow. That was just a great post. Very uplifting and inspiring. Thanks for sharing it!! You guys are awesome. :0)

cactus_wren said...

Yep, let's pray we make it to the custom houseboat phase. I love the last lines about watching the grandchildren throw oars at each other and nodding to yourselves.

Just when you think you found that groove, the Lord throws another challenge in your path and you trip. lol.

Here's to let the Lord catch you when you fall. ( I"m lifting my coffee cup).

Kimbrah said...

Wow Dy, you are such a gifted writer. I was so touched by this post. It reminded me so much of my two boys and their little quirks and cutisms. Thanks for helping me to sit back and take a look at the big picture. It was very refreshing.

Melora said...

I love this post! There is a Lot of good stuff mixed in with the chaos, but I am one who needs an occasional reminder about Not missing those beautiful moments 'cause I'm worrying about the not-to-great stuff! Katie and Travis have been really sweet to each other today, and I'm trying to focus on that, rather than how Travis is dodging his schoolwork at the slightest opportunity.

Laney said...

I have found that is so much easier to go along with the oar throwing. I am less likely to get beaned in the head when I am running with the oar throwers instead of against the flow.:-)

Thanks, I needed that!

L said...

Oh, Dy, spot on! Great post!

I've got my life jacket and helmet on for the Class 5 rapids up ahead...

Emily said...

Hmmm...A groove, eh? That is what we are calling it? Well then we are absolutely in one here too!

We have our moments, OH.YES.WE.DO. There is a security camera at Big Lots to prove it. Twice.

But we are learning to look passed the moments and see the fun, the cute, the cuddles and grins. And you know what? If you keep score (We are Garners, we always keep score!) the good stuff always comes out ahead!

Great post! Thanks!


Andie said...

Gracious, I was lucky to be able to write a CHECK 2 weeks postpartum.

Beautiful. And as I said on the last WTM board, I *love* coming here to be reminded to kiss my babies and *enjoy* them. I tend to get so consumed by the rut(groove!) that I don't see the bigger picture; you help me remember to take that step back and laugh (or cry, as the case may be) and appreciate the experience, not plow through.

Happy Thursday!

Marcella said...

It's nice to know that"they do that". This can be hard to remember oftentimes! (Why did they think the MIDDLE of the bed was an okay place to put a sopping wet,muddy shirt") They're little,they do that huh? I'm going to try to remember that phrase and it should help when my voice is starting to rise several notes higher than it should. Marcella

Lynette said...

You are the greatest! I so enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing your lovely view of life.

And, BTW, what is it about sitting down to a meal that makes children turn into clowns? Dinner and devotions turns them all into nut cases. Oh well, their laughers should be in good shape. They get good work-outs!