It's been one of those evenings. You know, the kind where you sit in the Kroger parking lot while your hubby runs into the store to buy bread and bananas because the cupboards at home are bare. (Because you barely have time to pluck your eyebrows, let alone time to cut coupons and go grocery shopping.) And you're nursing your 7 week old because he won't stop crying when he's in his carseat. Then you're changing all his clothes because he spit up all over, and his diaper, too, because it's been a while. Then he poops so you change it again. And he poops again, so you change it again. And repeat one more time.
Yes, four diaper changes in a 10 minute span, all on your lap in the front seat, while your two year old sits behind you "patiently" repeating "Help us, please!!!" because his shoe fell off and he can't get it back on. Yes, that's the kind of evening it has been.
And yet, here I am typing when I should be sleeping or hanging out with the man of my dreams, who just got my two year-old (Salvador) and my littlest one (Santiago) to sleep. So why am I on the computer?
Good question. I think because I know I'm not alone on this crazy, upside-down ride where society expects us to have it all together, and yet the reality is one of spit-up down my shirt and snot on my kid's sleeve. Oh, and I had broccoli for dinner so I'd better check my teeth.
I think at times, it's easy to feel isolated, and like what I am doing is inconsequential. Changing diapers doesn't feel earth shattering, nor does reading the same Diego book over and over again because it's my son's favorite. It's hard work, this thing of parenting. And it is indeed life-changing because love changes things. Love changes us and others.
I don't mean the ushy-gushy love of modern media, but the true, tough (when needed) yet gentle love that teaches young Salvador that it's not ok to punch his friend in the face when said friend tries to borrow his toy car. Nor is it ok to do summersaults during mass. The love we are called to is one that responds with patience when Santiago won't let me put him down while I'm trying to cook dinner, while at the same time Salvador is holding both my legs so tight that my yoga pants are starting to fall down.
Easy? No. Worthwhile and life-changing? Absolutely. Because we are, by the grace of God, forming little people. There are a lot of lessons to teach and so many yet to learn, so I count on this: "God's grace is sufficient for me, for power is perfected in weakness." 2Cor12:9
Will you come along for the ride?