Friday, April 8, 2011

i can do this.

Much like my little emerging grape hyacinths, some days I have to tell myself I can do this.
I just tucked the last of my four babes into bed for the night. My own body aches for rest, but my mind isn't on the same page yet. Watching the little pink tongue of the littlest one cup itself with each suck swallow breathe, suck swallow breathe - pursed with such intent around the nipple of the bottle, he melts me as he nestles into sleep and heaves those heavy, cleansing sweet breaths of slumber.

A memory of being witness to so many sweet new babies learning to breastfeed for the first time hits me, and I feel a pang of missing working with those people - the new mamas, the ones who were especially fearful, or in overwhelming pain, with that panic-stricken look of terror that I recognized and was able to lead them back from there, into a place of purpose and gain a hold of I Can Do This. I was often scolded by some of my more experienced fellow nurses because I spent too much time with each patient... but I didn't know any other way. I adored those new fresh still dampened and breathless mamas, with their chubby, blinking in amazement and surprised babes in arms. I felt high and strong and purposeful when I journeyed with a laboring woman, her breathing and heavy with baby and fear and purpose and strength.

Somewhere in the rhythm and pattern of routines with little ones and up and down the stairs and breakfast made and lunches packed and out the door to the bus and diaper changes and tummies filled and laundry cycled through and left in the hallway and babes laid down for naps and rest my eyes for a moment and kids are home from school and more meals made and tummies filled and homework and floor swept (or not...) and it was becoming mindless, numb, going-through-the-motions and I feel so much less purposeful and strong - and I was cheating myself and my children out of soaking them up every day. This mama needed some solitude time. Just a bit. Just to recharge. Tanning. Twelve minutes of uninterrupted warm, quiet, bliss. And even though I never eat the mint, it always makes me feel special to know it was left there for me. And wasn't taken by a tiny pair of hands.

Trip to Costco in the rain at night. I find myself talking to strangers to feel less segregated from other grownups. Everyone does this, doesn't they? They do. Yes, they do.

To capitalize on the sun coming out, Jacob and I went for a run to the park.

Love that facial expression.
He noticed his hat was on backwards.

And now? Home tonight, alone with childrens peaceful sleeping breaths and dreaming eyelids, my first piping hot mug of coffee of the day to keep me company, I feel a wonderful sense of contentment. I can breathe deeply, fill my lungs, close my eyes, and soak in it.

Since Joel is away celebrating his friend Eric's turning the big three zero - 30 - a new blog friend Jenne wrote on this business of getting older. And her words just fit perfectly for me tonight.

I remember when birthdays were charming. Anticipated even. That changed when thirty hit. Last week someone asked me how old I was turning and without hesitating I said "thirty-three". (I'm 32.) Who ages themselves an entire year? This never would've happened in my twenties. Ever. And let me make it clear it's not like I want to go back there. I just really want to slooooooow things down a little. 

I find having kids complicates matters. Maybe it's that the days are so full. Maybe it's that on a regular basis right before my eyes my little girls are becoming not so little anymore. I've become so aware of time passing. These moments... they are so precious. And while I've never had so much fun in all my life, I've also never been so exhausted.  

But life is sweet. And chances are with each year that passes, it'll only get sweeter.  

Life is funny like that. And I'll take it.

I Can Do This. I am doing this. I Am Doing This. I am doing this.
That's the beautiful part. I am purposeful and strong, and I realize that even while being exhausted and aging and beautiful and endlessly needed. I am doing this.

In the words of Master Yoda, Do or do not. There is no try.


  1. you are invited to follow my blog

  2. This is so true....guess what I did lastnight!?
    Went tanning...then went to Walmart to get ideas for Jenner's FIRST birthday!! (*tears*) I talked to anyone who wanted to talk!
    Then I went to Superstore...and strolled my own leisure...and the lady packing her bags before me looked at me and said "I've been out of the house for FIVE hours now!!!" I laughed...she just KNEW I was another momma!
    Hmmm....guess there is my next blog!!

  3. Christina GilmoreApril 8, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Totally on the same page as you Laura. I, too, for the first time since I've stopped working over 2 years ago, I've been having thoughts about getting out there. Of course, that won't be happening anytime soon, but still. And last week I found myself talking my head off with some little old ladies in the waiting room of my Dr.'s office. Not something I normally have done in the past (being me, who is a bit shy around people I don't know). I was listening to myself talk so much I silently wondered if I was talking too much! But I don't get much adult conversation these days. Good for you that you got to get out and go tanning! And, just for the record, aging??? Pffff, you haven't aged a bit! Your still look as young and beautiful as when we met all those years ago. <3

  4. Wow. That is one sweet shout-out Laura. Thank you.

    I must say... I've been slowly getting caught up on your blog. You love ice cream cake AND hats... my kinda girl.

    P.S. I thought you were younger than me. Much younger actually. Lookin' good mama. Lookin' really good. :)

  5. yes, you can do this. you are doing this. and you're doing it all...splendidly.

    big love, mama.

  6. I really needed a nurse like you as I cried when they made my husband take off at 11pm and I felt so alone trying to care for a baby, learn to feed her and deal with the c section pain. I had impatience around me and man what good it would have done for my spirits to have your kind of care. I know you must have been a blessing to so many moms in that role just like you are a blessing to your kids in your current role at home.


make no mistake, I am smitten with your words. please say hello, or pour something out - you will make my heart happy.

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