It's July 31st. Our July didn't have any 'Make it Mondays' or 'Thankful Thursdays'. It was a free-for-all month. And on July 24th, I hit a summer wall. It's a thick, tall, unshakeable wall of brick, it feels like. It's the wall in me that says "I don't want to do this anymore, this full-on 24/7 mommy service." The wall that makes me crumble inside and fall to the floor in a fetal position for hours, letting "Wild Kratts" play over and over. Who cares if I have a bolting cheetah circling me or a hippo's head pounding against my buttocks? Peace and quiet. A break. Someone else to take care of the kids for a while so I can what? Just zone out and stare into space.
I carry around an embroidered bag from Guatemala with flowers on it. I take it with me to church, if I'm going anywhere by myself like to a coffee shop, when I travel, to meetings. A few months ago, it finally dawned on me what this bag should be aptly nicknamed: my "bag of hope". It's full of things I'd like to do or read if ever I have a moment of quiet to myself. You can find most of the following in it: a Bible and my Bible study; a book that's taking me 6 months to read despite it being really good; my journal; several articles to read for Vestry; current editions of "The Economist" and "Christianity Today" that usually just end up in the recycle bin; and several other books that if I had the time and energy, I'd want to delve into right away. I carry it around with me in hopes that I'll pull something out of it to enjoy. Sometimes my heart races in anticipation that there just might be a moment for me to sneak in something while Matt drives us to church on Sunday morning. But he usually ends up stretching his right hand across to the passenger side to rub my neck, and I find myself nodding off. He says it's been a while since he's seen me drool, so I'm due for that humbling scene.
This was supposed to be a 'scrapbook' blog post about our month of July. Maybe I'll get to that tomorrow. But suffice it to say, I have the next five weeks of summer breathing down my neck. And this is where it starts to go at a snail's pace as I await the start of MOPS, of pre-school, of Fall. As I watched the kids play today together after Matt's folks left town after a visit for Kensington's birthday, I really am thankful my two enjoy each other. With Cinderella on one side and that fast cheetah on the other, I'm grateful for those halflings. So please don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my days with them for anything. They are the most precious gifts who make me smile, who give me hugs when I need them the most, and who show me grace after grace. But I just wanted to say, because maybe their are other moms out there that feel this way, too, and well, I just wanted to write to declare it: that if you see me clutching my 'bag of hope' a bit tighter in the coming weeks, you'll know why. If we see each other, we can lock eyes with depth of understanding and compassion, and words or no words, say, "You're doing great. I'm with you and we'll keep at this together."