Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Rhythms




Lately, I have found that my life is very full, so full that I can't possibly find time to do everything that needs doing, and yet when people ask me what's going on in my life, I find that I don't have much to say. I have been thinking about this and have wondered, "how can I have nothing to say? My life is so full!" Then, I realized that my life is very full but it looks very much the same every day and progress is slow and change very gradual. There are not many tasks that I can point to that are truly and finally done as most of them are tasks I will simply have to do again the next day or the day after that (e.g., laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, cooking, changing diapers, putting kids down for naps, feeding kids, burping my baby). These things all take time, and none of them are inspiring to talk about, but in the midst of them I am learning to recognize the rhythms of my children, their needs, their highs, their lows. I am learning when to discipline and when to laugh (and sometimes choosing to laugh is one of the hardest choices in my day...I tend to be more of a worrier than a laugher, and laughter is so necessary to both my sanity and my children's sense of hope and confidence).

I am learning to enjoy this slow and gradual process. I am learning to laugh when I would rather shout or maybe even cry. I am learning to give choices when I would rather just push something through and say "because I said so" (although sometimes it comes to that anyways). One of the greatest achievements in my recent life is beginning to discover my daughter's cues of tiredness before she reaches the point of sheer exhaustion. This was difficult to do with my son, and that was when he was the only person I was paying attention to. Now, I am paying attention to him and to her, and having enough presence of mind to read her signals has taken most of the attention that I have to give. But it is so exciting when I put her down and she drifts off without fighting it, when she can fade into drowsiness and sleep because I didn't wait until she was too tired. I feel like I have served her well and like I am getting to know her better as I begin to sense her rhythms.

My son is finally starting to be okay with me saying "I need to go feed your sister and put her down for a nap", and I cannot tell you what a relief it is when he does not pitch a fit every time I need to put her down. He has been having to learn new rhythms. Everything he thought he knew has been shaken up and put back down in a different space. This has been very trying for him at points, but he is beginning to be able to move with the new tempo. He is beginning to find himself again in a new way, and is learning to enjoy his sister. One of the great joys in my life right now is how he can make his sister laugh. She is only 4 and 1/2 months old, and while her father and I can make her smile, only her brother can really make her laugh. When he is silly for her, she will laugh from her gut and will shriek with glee. What a gift! What a pleasure. What a wonderful thing for him to discover that one of the spaces he now fits into is that of her friend.

As I move through my days, one looking much like the other, I am discovering what a privilege it is for me to get to watch and take part as my children begin to discover themselves and one another, as they learn how to move within their own rhythms and that of the other.

It's a full life, and one I love. So, that is what's going on in my life for those of you who have asked and found me silent or slow to respond. I wanted to share and let you know, but the rhythm of my life is slow and it took a while for me to figure out what to say about it.

14 comments:

mary said...

Thanks for this great post, Kellsey! It's wonderful to read about the rhythms of your life--especially as I feel so far away. I love the pictures of Aidan and Honor, too. I can't wait to see you guys this summer!

Paul Stokes said...

I would echo Mary, Kellsey. God so blesses those children through you.

Carol said...

What a wonderful post, Kellsey! You expressed so beautifully and eloquently the experience of being a mother at home, especially a mother with very young children. What you wrote is so true but I don't think I ever figured out how to explain it to those who might ask. And I loved hearing what Aidan and Honor and you are doing these days.

Emilie said...

This was encouraging to me today! I just found myself feeling "boring" this morning - like I had nothing interesting to talk about these days! Thanks for the reminder that this is the way it is supposed to be - the rhythm...the season...

Katy said...

Thank you Kellsey. I love seeing these pictures and love knowing how you're doing. How wonderful, exciting and trepidatious it will be to watch your children grow. They become more and more interesting...and fun!

sweetpea said...

thanks kells. enjoyed reading your thoughts.

annie said...

i have been a long time lurker to k&k and have thoroughly enjoyed the thoughtful posts, conversations, and peeking in on what some dear friends have been up to (macon and kellsey, and mary are friends from winston). but this post finally motivated me out of the shadows. after a week of cancelled playdates and too much time at home I truly resonated and appreciated this perspective of the season I am in. Kellsey - thank you, dear friend, for such timely words.

Kellsey said...

wow! thanks everybody. I am so encouraged by all of your responses. I am glad to have been encouraging for my friends out there who are also mothers of young children, who may feel stuck and slow and boring as we walk through this slow season. Thank you for your comments.

I am especially touched that "annie" finally came forth out of the lurker shadows. It took me a bit to figure out who you were, "Annie", but after checking out your blog I laughed. I'm glad that you finally commented, and I'm glad to have encouraged you, sweet friend!

Lindsay said...

Beautiful, Kells!

And congrats on the good sleep for little Honor! You and I have talked about how important we think good sleep is. IT'S WORTH SOME INCONVENIENCE, huh? Hugs to everyone...

Anonymous said...

As peek into your life through an open window, I see a weaver of cloth. One who sits at the loom chosing different threads with varying textures - some nubby, others silky reflecting light. The weaver slides the needle through the threads tying off each end to the next, knowing the pattern they produce on the other side represents a vision only their eye can see. the knots and loose threads sometime look shaggy and random from the back, but the weaver know the significance of her changes. Some subtle, some obvious. But no one knows the results until it is finished, framed and presented. You, my daughter, are a weaver of life. Drudgery and repeation sometimes seem to feel mundaine at times, yet while the moments bleed into days and the days to months and yes the months to years, you are tying the memories of joyful laughter, stressful discipline, frequent words of encouragment and affirmation together to produce lifes of love and security
Days and particulary nights can be long, but years rush by rapidlyl. The time spent on the important and the mundane has the invisible rewards of building a foundation that produces confidence, security and joy. You are giving your children wings with which they can soar.
We love looking at the rose, or the wild flower produced after long winters, yet we never see the roots that have dug deeply in to the soil to produce such blossoms. You are experiences the deepening of roots and the growth of the blossom.
I love you and admire your patience, commitment and strength to do what life demands without complaint or whine.

susu

Kellsey said...

Thanks, Mom. That was beautiful and encouraging.

Rachel said...

hi kellsey, glad to have discovered this post- long time no talk! thx for this post- it appears we're in the same stage these days. thx for the perspective reminder. much needed! this is why i'm now blogging... blogging seems to help me think about the mundane in deeper ways, so important amidst the daily grind and rhythms of parenting. i love picturing you loving your kids so well! Blessings to you!

Paul Stokes said...

I love those pictures! I keep coming back to them. More! More!

nixonnancy said...

I love this piece. It is so true. I am glad you guys are doing well.

I also wanted to tell you Sandra Thomas passed away Thursday June 14. She would have been 31 on June 30. After fighting cancer for 3 1/2 years, she is no longer in pain. A week before she passed she said that God was telling her to put down the boxing gloves. Now she is celebrating with her dad and our Heavinly Father. Please keep her mom and brother in your prayers. The memorial is Monday June 18th at noon. If you have any questions you can reach me at nixonnancy@logixonline.com