The folksy, soulful timbre of Brandi Carlile fills this home most days. I soak in the blend of energy and calm as power toward my day parenting five kiddos who call me Mama. While my wanderlust waxes jealous looking at all your adventures in my social squares, we are finding our new rhythm housebound as we adjust to being a forever family of seven.
I’m used to being a yes mom. A go-find-the-day’s-fun mom. The four year old asks out of habit and hopeful expectation what we’re going to do today. The olders blink as I spin arms wide to indicate an answer of this. This is what we’re doing today. Home. Being. Being together. Learning to belong together.
It seems like holy healing should blossom more extraordinary, more exquisite, more noticeable than the whole lot of nothing happening in our day to day this summer.
It seems like it should feel a little more kumbaya and a little less kitchen sink full of kid dishes.
In actuality it is sibling squabbles and slammed doors.
It is a million snacks and a million more redos (for the kids; for myself) as we teach our two new boys the permanency of belonging.
It is pitchers of iced tea with lemon slices from the neighbor’s tree and icy bowls of banana swirl, and silly face selfie sessions to make those late afternoon hours finally move along until daddy gets home.
It is toddler tantrums followed by recovery cuddles and humbly asking for help and acutely feeling my limits.
The ubiquity of the phrase “You Are Enough” is inescapable. I have never felt less than enough. My newest son climbs onto my lap and clings for dear life. I wonder where this child’s mom is and am swallowed again by the enormity of it.
Me. That’s me. I am the mom. His mom. Thank you, God.
Grace. Grace is enough. I am not. But grace is. I don’t have to perfect this. I can loosen my worry, loosen my fear, loosen my perfect expectations.
I sing U2’s lyrics Grace over the boys as they nap – at least sing the same three lines I can remember. I sing and it’s meditation. I sing and it’s medicine.
Every day more furniture and toys are banished to the garage as I hush our home, scale back the things in my face in response to the overwhelming needs. Every day I think this is the day we can make it to the beach. Every day we victory lap simply making it to dinnertime.
Parenting. Healing. Belonging. These are the long game. One sliced peach. One tantrum. One popsicle. One correction. One cuddle at a time.
I am overwhelmed by the children. Overwhelmed by the need. Overwhelmed by the grace that allows it all to be okay.