Tuesday, November 26, 2013

All Those Things to Say

When I grab some time and write some words and then step away and go back to the kids, my head feels just a little bit cleaner. Tidied up, in a British voice kind of way. It's on these trips of sneaking up on my computer that I want to wax eloquent.

Today, I pecked my way, baby squirming on my lap, one tenth of the way through a post about Christmas which opened with this preface about why I don't write about my tucked-up-inside-my-heart Christian faith. I was fumbling before I even started. I mean...baby on lap, so...

Posts I've eeked out recently were about my bleeding heart and babies and babies and how crappy a wife I've been since the babies.

But let's get real.

What the goodness gracious am I doing here trying on this serious face? Hello! I'm Ashley and I've got big important things to say. Never mind that I just stepped in the office after I scraped poop out of my son's underwear right into the toilet (because apparently a child who has been potty trained for nearly the whole of 2013 can revert months after his baby brothers have arrived), figuring oh, I'll tend to this later along with every other crack, crevice, surface, nook, and cranny in this house. And after this post about Christmas. Post-it on brain: clean rest of poop mess before husband comes home and decides I'm unfit to stay at home and Thomas is unfit to grow up.

I would love to feel smart(er) like I used to when I was working. Students raised their hands to pick at my brain.  With colleagues, I'd throw in my quota of weighty opinions or witty lines. I read this in a book last week.  I smiled curious and proud at students and their teeming brilliance (and of course, any stupidity they dared to share as well).  I wore dresses that zipped up the back and I stacked papers and I followed a schedule and lived in a world bound by answers.

And now I'm staring deep into the screen, trying to remember if that's the right way to spell brain.

All my answers are in my actions. Nothing to pencil, edit, scrawl, and type wisdom into when I'm too busy with the physical.

Nurse. Read to myself. Read to kids. Prompt Thomas for manners. Make silly faces at babies. Switch Alistair to floor. Turn kettle on. Press coffee into the cup. Hand Thomas scissors. Stuff diapers. Scroll facebook. Take photos.  Sing songs. Nurse. Text husband. Prep lunch. Put laundry in. Turn music up. Move Emerick to chair. Make weird baby-ish noises at babies and wonder if anyone has done brain scans of SAHM brains to track deterioration. Seal envelope. Nurse. Comfort baby. "Let's put our food down and our hands together." Make a production out of Green Eggs and Ham. Dance with kids. Read a book about a whale. Sing silly songs as a whale. And a rabbit. And a skunk. And a whale again. Wipe counters. Drink coffee. Listen to podcast. Wash dishes. Make plans in head. Write notes. Tidy. Swear to myself I'm quitting facebook for Advent. Read blog posts. Watch youtube video. Wonder how I got on youtube. Nurse. Reply to email. Wipe butts. Smile as he says "aliver us from ebil".  Nurse. Make the bed. Read to the boys. "Space!" "Too much!" "Space!" "Volume!" "Aw, that's very thoughtful of you to do for him." "Too rough. Too rough!" "Space!"

It's good sometimes to have nothing to add to so much noise online.

Because oh the Noise, Noise, Noise, Noise! (Grinch fans, anyone?)

10 reasons I failed in my marriage
How to make Advent sacred and sane
27 ways to involve your toddler in charitable works
5 reasons you should get off facebook
7 reasons facebook will enhance your life
The three words you should stop saying to your toddler
What you should start doing for your marriage every day
18 uses for used toilet paper rolls 
20 photos that will blow your mind
Drop everything and read this post right now about productivity
Getting off-line and 5 reasons it made me a better person than everybody else

All I've got to say today is that my voice at home is quieted just a bit. Little faces interrupt my thoughts over and over again. With cries. And coos. And that lively conversation about Why did that bird die and land on our back porch? Well, maybe an eagle punched it in the air, mommy, acuz it got in his way.

Kids are great.  Their little constant needs are like water rushing over my rock of a heart, wearing down all those craggy edges which want to be heard and validated.  It's a tough job reigning in the ordinary. But it's the first time I've, by way of being pulled away a million times to feed these children of mine, seen what it means to really shut up and listen.

Humility, be mine. Humor, take me the rest of the way. 

And I think I had some other way to really knock this post into shape. You know, end with a bang. But there's a baby crying in the other room. Time to fly!


  1. Yes, yes, YES. Amen, sister. It's all about the little babes. Thanks for the reminder that I'm not the only one feeling this way!

    1. Danielle, it can really feel that way so quick, that sense of being alone. I'm trying to reach out more to women in similar situations pounding down the hours at home. It's a very messy job being a mom and we all needs lots of encouragement!

  2. This was an awesome post. Thank you. This line especially touched me: Their little constant needs are like water rushing over my rock of a heart, wearing down all those craggy edges which want to be heard and validated.

    1. Oh, it's so great to hear that. I just struggle with wanting things to be about me, ya know?!

  3. You've been away from teaching long enough for it to look glamorous again ;) miss you

    1. You're right. Who says I can't just work around the house with a nice dress on? :) Miss you too!