Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Family Knots

Night time reading to my children is one of my favorite parts of momhood.

The kids cuddle round and I exert myself to read with expression and clarity. It's kind of like performing a play. And I get all the parts. Rose likes to brush and style my hair while I read. There is usually a boy laying across my lap whose back I get to scratch while performing my play, truly taking multi-tasking to a new level. I wrap up a chapter and there's a moment of stillness as we try to re-enter reality. Last night was a little different.

Rose decided to take the comb to the bottom of my long hair and roll it up all the way to my scalp. She then tried to pull it out. It didn't work.

The family gathered round. Consultations were held. Ideas were tried. Bits of plastic comb went flying through the air as they tried to cut it out. I was told I had two options:1. Wear the remainder of the plastic comb in my hair for the rest of my life or 2. Cut my hair off at the scalp above my ear.

I replied that I would not choose either option (although if pressed, I was leaning towards 1) and that they needed to get the comb out no matter how long it took, and I would read to them while they did it. Rose gave it a try and I proceeded with Little Women.

And something prodded my heart while I was reading. A nudge to remember this. Just this. A family reading together while trying to get out the tangles. A family that cuddles and shares and laughs at the same spots even though there are extenuating circumstances. A family that keeps doing what it knows no matter what.

We finished the chapter and Rose triumphantly showed me the freed hair, most of it laying on the couch, some of it still attached to my scalp. I said, "Yay! Good job Rose!" We buzzed into PJ/teeth-brushing mode, and I smiled. These are good days. We encounter glitches, snarls, mistakes, and we consult, with each other and God, and then we stay true to the path we know. We continue to move forward into what comes next. We may not come through any given situation unscathed, but I believe we will come through.

I believe in family.
I believe the bond created between these 6 people is strong.
I believe the foundation for our family is unshakable; Christ the Cornerstone.
I believe that unconditional love is molded right here in our home.
I believe that every hug, every smile, every washed dish, matters.

So tonight, I will hand Rose the comb with a grin just for her. She will style my hair while I read. There will be a boy stretched across my lap and an older daughter drawing. There will be dogs sprawled on the carpet when they're supposed to be in their beds. I will navigate the octaves trying to make the characters real.

Because we're family, and this is what we do.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Waiting in White

Christmas and New Years and a white world.

We wake up to the sifting of frozen precipitation on our cottage.
Wide eyes and wider smiles greet the morning and jammies are exchanged for snow pants with amazing rapidity.

There was sledding, cross country skiing, down-hill skiing, snow ball fights, and snow angels.

I watched the comings and goings of the kids and Dave and various friends.
I watched from the inside. Somehow, I didn't have the strength to battle elements.
I needed the beauty of a white world from the comfort of a warm cottage.

After a week of watching I finally ventured out into a 19 degree morning. I walked a circuit that normally takes me 20 minutes. It took much longer as I had to fight for my steps through the deep snow. My exposed face ached with cold. I was tired when I came in but not exhausted. My week of rest held me in good stead and gave me an understanding of the coming year.

Soak in the beautiful.
Don't rush out just because everyone else is.
Venture forth in the right time, rested and ready for the challenge.
Engage the path and learn from the experience.

Mostly, I learned again what the cottage teaches me in every season.

Slow down.
Watch carefully.
Feel deeply.
Give thanks.
Love beautifully.

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
      They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
               I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
        it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

~Lamentations 3:22-26


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