Happy 2017!! Our 2017 has gotten of to a wonderfully full start. We are so happy to finally have our beautiful baby girl in our arms. Eliza Mary was born in the dead of night in late January and is doing so well. John, Rosie and Clare are fascinated by her and are enjoying learning all the things babies can and can’t do. For the record, if her eyes are open she is quite capable of looking at all 3 kids in 3 different parts of the room at the same time. She is quite talented 😉
I must say though, 4 kiddos ages 5 and under is, to quote nearly every person I’ve come in contact with, “quite a handful.” A beautiful handful and I wouldn’t change it. It just takes us longer to get out the door, which is fine. Yesterday’s big accomplishment was making it to the grocery store and home just in time for lunch and timed well enough we didn’t need to stop to feed Eliza while we were out.
While we were out I was gifted (upon reflection, it didn’t seem like a gift in the moment) a change in perspective. We have to cross train tracks to get to the grocery store on base. The tracks are awkwardly placed in relation to the intersections (though I suppose the tracks were there first so it’s not really their fault). This particular line runs only freight trains, which are either long or even longer. Sometimes, as a bonus, the train literally stops while in the intersection. Anxiety always builds as you approach the tracks, “Are we going to get stuck? For how long? Please let us through!!”
So, first time going to the store with the 4 kids by myself, you know my anxiety levels were higher than usual. Which means we got stuck by a train on our way onto base. Of course.
It was alright, it didn’t last forever and was actually kind of interesting (I hadn’t thought about how construction equipment gets from one site to another. Now I know – train). The store went fine and I don’t think we forgot anything – miraculous! We left base at the beginning of the lunch exodus so I expected there to be a back up at the gate as everyone was leaving. While we were waiting in a long line of cars before the tracks the kids started asking if another train was coming in excited voices. They wanted to get stuck by another train.
In my head I was saying “Oh man, please, not another one. Eliza is going to wake up soon. I was really hoping to get lunch on the table before she needed to eat so that the girls could get to their quiet time/nap time on time. Plus there were groceries to put away. No train, please no train!”
Of course, there was a train. It was so long I even took a picture because I had enough time to stare at it and come up with this blog post. My kids were thrilled that there was another train. Their eyes full of wonderment, they kept asking where it was going, what could be inside the boxcars, would there be engines at the back as well or would it be a caboose? Their “awe” was a stark contrast to my own “oh man.” How differently our two perspectives were while looking at this same train. Where I saw inconvenience, they saw infinite possibilities. What I anticipated with pain and angst they anticipated with excitement and pure joy.
It reminded me of G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy when he said:
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
Here were my children exemplifying this marvelous trait. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we adults would exult in our monotony? I am trying to, and I’ve found something that has been helping which I will be blogging about soon.
I hope that today, whatever task you find monotonous, you are able to accomplish it with a spirit of “awe” instead of “oh man.” With that, I’m off to start a load of laundry.