I thought I'd take a moment and explain the new title of my blog.
It may be temporary, who knows. But for this stage in my life, it is very fitting. Here is why.
I'm sure I'm not the only parent who feels that they are just trying to stay afloat- trying to keep on top of all the chores, personal hardships, financial struggles, and emotional ups and downs that come from the constant demands of tiny humans.
Sometimes I feel like warrior-woman. Like I can take on the world and still have time for the luxuries of mommy hood such as taking a bath or reading a chapter in an enthralling book. I don't let the little things get to me, I brush off the drama from others, and without hesitation I'll casually add 11-12 more things on my "to-do" list for that day. I feel, quite simply, like a rock star of a mom.
More often, though, it is not this way. It takes every ounce of energy and faith in my body to hold myself together... to not raise my voice to the kids... to make an actual meal that doesn't include cold cereal or string cheese and crackers. I blame myself for everything I don't get accomplished. Any sideways comment or passive-aggressive notion I take personally and I CAN'T let it go. My emotions eat me up from the inside. I fall asleep on the couch while the kids scream and play around me because I am just. that. tired.
On those days it feels like I'm trying to hold onto something bigger than myself... a more divine purpose. This must all be happening for a reason, I think to myself. And then I tell myself- You can do this. You can survive this. And guess what? I do. I survive it all. I may be beaten down to a pulp by the end of the day, but I'm alive and breathing. I'm there- I'm not gone. My kids still have me for the next day.
I'm not talking about my life. I'm talking about my heart. My heart survives. For some bizarre reason that I will never fully understand, I can have the WORST day ever and by the next morning- all it takes is looking into my sweet children's tiny-featured faces to feel whole again. Especially those seriously captivating, soulful, crystal blue eyes...like skies of blue that go on forever.
Eyes that open wide in wonderment when they discover something new.
Eyes that see my mistakes and forgive instantly. There is no room for anything but love in those eyes.
Eyes that never seem to run out of tears. So many giant, rolling tears.
Eyes that watch my every move so closely, making me approach situations more cautiously- afraid I'll teach them the wrong lesson.
Sleeping eyes that pierce my soul even when they are shut, for I can only imagine what they must be dreaming as their eyelashes flutter softly.
Their eyes remind me that they are my little warrior-helpers; we are on the same team.
It might sound really cliche to say, "When I look into my children's eyes, I know that all is well and I will be okay."
But that's exactly what happens.
I remember when Talmage was a baby and I would gaze into his eyes for hours... those eyes got me through a lot of hard days as a new mom. They saw right through me and didn't care what I was failing at, but instead squinted at me joyfully with every toothless smile.
Then when Charlotte was a newborn, the post-partum depression was thick and I trudged my heart through it day after day. She never saw my pain or understood my tears- she only knew she loved me and those bright eyes of hers kept my head above the surface.
I find myself over and over again completely lost in my children's eyes. How can they be so pure? I wonder. It is because they are still untarnished by the world? Or because eyes are truly the windows to heaven and only little ones can access that view? How is it that they always pull me back to what's important? If I'm ever at conflict at myself over a decision, spending time looking into those eyes always clarifies what it is I need to do. How can this be?
I believe it is one of the ways in which Heavenly Father grants me peace. I'm an easily irritable person; I get flustered and discouraged on a daily basis. My children have kept me grounded...I can't express how grateful I am for this.
When I interact with the kids I try to save the little moments and lock them away in a mental safe... but often those moments slip away and it's not enough. And so I take pictures.
I take a lot of pictures. To remember their smiles, their light, their expressions, their eyes, everything.
The sky darkens and seems bleak, but I know that above the clouds there are blue skies awaiting. There are always blessings after the storm... and something I'm realizing... sometimes the blessing IS the storm. No matter what the world throws at me, I can always take a moment to look into my children's eyes and tell them that they are loved- and remember that they love me back. I love that they can't hold grudges yet... in their eyes, I am their warrior-mom hero :)
And together, we survive.