It occurs to me that I left the last blog with the statement that I have sacrificed. It sounds so much more noble and heroic than it is. Long story short, I've had several miscarriages. While I desperately wanted those babies, they weren't ours to have. While I make daily or weekly or lifestyle sacrifices, the most painful experience I've had was losing babies. I don't get my hair cut often because it's expensive. I don't buy many clothes for myself because I find other ways to spend the money. Those are sacrifices that I make for my family. Does God call me to make them? I don't know. I do know that when I keep a little bit more in the family coffers, it means we can have another pizza night or I can buy quality shoes for the kids. To me, that's a no-brainer.
So this week has been about love. It's strange. The expectation of flowers and hearts and rainbows did follow me around. Instead of seeing the commercial expression of love or feeling this burgeoning sense of emotion for my family, this week was about... you guessed it, sacrifice.
This week I saved the family three months worth of buying commercial detergent and made it at home. (I'll post about that later.) Our younger son asked for a pinata. So, yesterday I bought the supplies and today we began the process of making one. (I'll post about that, too.) My husband wanted a "home-date" (we have a date at home while the kids are occupied), so I picked up Indian food and we had a lovely time eating and visiting. It all sounds very mundane, but what this week was about for me was getting offline and spending time with my family.
The unnamed goal became putting them first and showing them through my actions that I loved them. Huh. Until I wrote that, I didn't realize fully what I'd been doing. I love my family. They don't require the commercial expressions of love, but the act of it. Thanks for the lesson, God.
This week also proved challenging. We had a new roof installed. The plumber came back out to flush the line for the kitchen faucet. I felt as if all week I had strangers in my house and couldn't catch a rhythm.
This week also brought a milestone. Our second son finished preschool. What a new mom emotion! He performed songs with his class on stage and the sight made my eyes leak. Seriously, someone should stand at the entrance and hand out tissues! I watched him and thought he had an entire year of school that had nothing to do with me. I was so proud. He's doing so well. He loved it. His teachers loved him. He made a really good friend. (And bonus: I really like his friends' mom!)
But there I was, watching my boy. He's growing up. My little girl was sitting next to me, mimicking the movements of the kids onstage. I sat there and realized that I am the memory keeper. The night before, my daughter asked me to read her board books. This is a first. She's never been willing to sit still before. She sat in my lap and we read and read. After she was down for the night, I pulled the boys' favorite board books out and we read them. These were the books they knew by heart. These were the books I caught them "reading" out loud. They didn't remember any of them. How could they not remember? It was only a few years ago. I remember it like yesterday, maybe better than yesterday.
So while this week was about my expressions of love, it was also a week that took my breath away. I don't quite have words for it, yet. I need a mom who's been down this road to show me the way or give me the words, I think. I am the mom. I am the memory keeper. I am the one who has seen it and been there. And in two weeks, my first grader will be out of school and another year will have gone by. For all my "being there," my sons are now in a realm where I can't follow. They are in school. They are developing lives separate from mine. While I used to begrudge the school the time it took away from me having my child with me, now I like it. I like that my kids are slowly learning independence. Anyway, I digress. That's a whole other post. Another day.
Tomorrow... the week of joy begins.