Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are" Anais Nin

As the sun sets and a long, seemingly never ending day begins it's very own descent, I look so forward to winding down and closing off the world that lies beyond our front door. As soon as that sky takes on that familiar hue and I have corralled the boys inside, something that requires an out of reach dead bolt strategically placed high on the door frame, our nighttime routine ensues. Joe tries to make like Houdini and climb on a chair with precariously piled pillows to escape for one more go around the neighborhood. Much to his dismay, he is seldom successful. After a valiant fight he usually caves and stomps upstairs to join his every so obedient brother, who is well under way with his shower. So it goes, most every single night. Zoey by this time is fat and happy with a full tummy, waiting patiently for momma to swoop her up and carry her off to bed. Mark is very seldom home for dinner, showers and bedtime reading. He wishes he were. We wish he was. Bedtime however, has primarily always been my deal. The kids have more than adjusted to this being a solo gig of mine but are thrilled when the occasional night presents itself and Mark can put them to bed. Bedtime has always been my favorite time of day. No matter what the day has held we can all take a deep breath and lose ourselves in our bedtime routine. Retelling events of the day, sometimes making amends, attached with the hope that tomorrow will yield a more pleasing outcome. And then there are books. I know I have mentioned before of the older girls and their love of shutting down with their surpluses of books. It is by far, was one of my most cherished time with them. Well, the "second" generation of book lovers has been born. Even Joe, who's perpetual motion is not always conducive to focus and concentration. Not the case with books. He loves to be read to. It actually is the optimum way of helping him to shut down that ever spinning mind of his and shaking out the sensory over load of his day. Before the boys and I retreat to their room I first settle in the princess. Zoey has learned to anticipate her own night time ritual as well. The moment we start up the steps, her head is down and nuzzled into my shoulder. She knows where we are heading. She used to fling herself back, her way of saying, no, please, not bed, but not any more. I think she looks forward to going to bed after a long day. Even her tiny body has learned to take the cues of fatigue. We enter my room, her room too, actually, and make the rounds to close the shutters. Her tiny hand outstretched to help me close them. We then head to the corner to get comfy in a chair and she then peers ever so slightly over the side, looking for her books. Her very favorite, "Time For Bed." She so loves that book. Her hands flip the pages feverishly and as I do my little "parts," she anticipates those coming as well. "It's time for bed little foal, little foal, I'll whisper a secret but don't tell a soul" She knows with those words, that I will be pressing my lips ever so close to her ear, finishing the sentence, upon which she shrugs up her shoulders and lets out the faintest of giggles. The rest of the book is much the same. I sit with her curled up in my lap and we finish our last book. We cross the room to her crib, where we turn on her music. We exchange our kisses and I lay her down and she always, always gives me one last tender smile. I sign "I love you" to her and head out the door. Another day comes to a close. Tonight as I left her room, I left with this sense of peace. The knowledge that I do not in fact know what tomorrow will bring but for right now, this very moment, Zoey is good. More than good. My version of good may differ slightly or more likely vastly, from the majority of other mom's of almost 20 month olds. However, I can unequivocally say, I would not trade my "good" for any of their "goods." Not now, not ever. Pretty bold statement I know, but one I say with complete conviction. Deep down I know there will be other obstacles for Zoey to overcome. Not just the obvious ones either, like sitting, walking and talking. Those pale in comparison to others that possibly loom on the horizon. I know her obstacles hold far greater consequence than most but as I see it, we all, no matter what the circumstances, will bare burdens and obstacles of some sort, at some point in our lives. Zoey's have just come far earlier than most. Recently our priest said something that has really stuck with me and that was this: we all will have our time at the foot of the cross. Different situations, same heartaches. None of us are immune to it. Price we pay for being human. However unfair, however difficult that time is that we spend at that cross, it will often be up to us as to when we allow ourselves to move forward and press beyond. Make our peace with it. Tonight I was reminded also, as I left her room, of how very much the same Zoey is to my other children. Or rather how much the same, I am raising her. I always talk to her with the absolute unwavering belief that she understands my every word. I read to her with that same unwavering belief that she follows those books and follows those pictures and that she will follow in the foot steps of her 5 brothers and sisters and fall in love with books also. I think she already has. The door is closed, the shutters shut, 4 out of the 6 are safely and soundly tucked into their beds and I embrace my sense of peace. My acceptance of the here and now. With humble gratitude I end my very own day and I thank this tiny child of mine, for bestowing the gift of perspective on me each and every day.


Caitlin said...

This is my favorite post that you have EVER written!
I dont know why, I just love it.
I love you all, I cant wait to be home next weekend.

Alison said...

As always, so wonderfully sweet and inspiring- Thank you!

Victoria Strong said...

Heather, I knew you were a wonderful mother through the kindness of your messages and in reading your thoughtful blog posts. But after reading what both your older girls wrote, I now know you are a remarkable mother and an extraordinary person. How lucky they are to have you as an example. How lucky we all are to get a glimpse of how to live life honestly, fully, and filled with so much love.

Kele said...

Out of all the quotes you have posted this one is my absolute favorite... I will be using it in a post one day, I have no doubt. WOW! It is a great one!
As is this post. It is very sweet, very 'real'. Like Caitlin, I don't know exactly what it is about it but when I was done reading it I had tears in my eyes and a huge lump in my throat.
Loved it and love ya!

Monica said...

I found your blog through the link from Giles family of five, I can not remember how I got to that one though :) but I am so glad I did!!! Your family is beautiful!! And I will be following your blog. God bless~

Cheri said... need to consider writing a book! You have an incredible gift of wonder your daughters' posts have been equally amazing! :)

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are" ....I love this! For good or for the bad our perspective has more to do with us than anything else...hmnnn something to ponder today!

Sophie's Story by Elaine said...

Time for Bed is Sophie's all time favorite book also. We take it with us whenever we travel out of town.