Friday, August 21, 2009

Again and Again and...

Get up and shower. Eat breakfast, feed baby, take vitamins, do hair. Kiss husband, send girls to school, dress boys, beds made. Change laundry, do dishes, supervise sibling rivalries. Pay bills, find shoes, change diapers, run errands. Feed baby, answer phone, attend meeting. Make lunch, supervise homework (early out all week), change laundry, fold laundry, sweep, check email. Answer phone, threaten groundings, wipe off table. Feed baby, change diapers, rock baby, think of dinner. Apply groundings, listen to readings, make dinner, endure whining. Kiss husband, feed family, supervise clean-up and other chores. Feed baby, change diapers; pajamas and scriptures and teeth and prayers. Lots of kisses, good-night, go online. Edit, upload, write, edit, pray computer keeps working. Feed baby, kiss husband, go to bed.
Sleep.
Feed baby.
Sleep.
Feed baby.
Sleep for a little...

Repeat.
More or less.

Nearly three years ago, I started this blog with only three children, not many hobbies, very little ambition, and a few piano students. My husband had a good job, we had no desire to move, and we were content, just slightly busy, and had no idea what stress truly felt like.

Now, here I am. We have moved twice, had two more children, and Brandon is not only in school, but working full time as well. I have had to cut down my piano students from 17 to 6, I have two other large jobs (one paid, one not), two callings, lots of ambition to socialize, and a need for voracious reading. I have grand desires for gardens, novels, and flawless chore charts. I fiddle with my music and prose; but really pray for sleep. I do not resent napless days, but I do dream of flawless moments. I muddle and mull...I keep it together. My expectations are simple, and yet I still have no time. I search for it daily --looking under piles of cereal, wet sheets, hurried day-dreams, and ouchies. I stare at my older face, and surprise myself by not recoiling when I find 6 long gray hairs on the top of my head.

I wonder when I grew old. I think of when I was 14 years old; so young, so clueless --wishing my youth away, wondering when I would accomplish all I wanted to accomplish. Worrying over clothes and boys and mascara; not realizing that in 16 years, I would still worry about clothes, my boys, and mascara. When did time add bills, cars, books, blog design, money, intimacy, the salvation of children? Staring at young eyes with older skin, I feel the same. I have not changed --desires for accomplishment, organization, validation, love, hope, laughter, joy --I am the same. I am Fourteen-Forever. Only experience has changed my views; my accomplishments are less, my organization is refined, my validation is deeper, my lovehopelaughterjoy is found in smaller places. Moments are captured and held longer, and there is no frustration at compassion. I weep more. I think longer. I capture momentum, and push it longer than exhaustion.

My days are long; my nights are short. I carry on, for stopping creates more. More of more. When I wake, I see the trees, the sun, the shortness of night. I wonder, I ponder --I stroke the dreams lingering from the impossible until the whimpering waking reflex takes over; I begin again.

And again...

And again...

16 comments:

bythelbs said...

I really enjoyed this, Cheryl.

flip flop mama said...

Beautiful.

Michelle said...

you're not old. you're just doing A LOT and are exceptionally wise and beautiful.

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

I haven't reacted so deeply to a piece of writing in a long, long time. This post is just wonderfully written. Cheryl, it took my breath away. Thank you.

The Jones Family said...

I am a total stranger who really enjoys your blog and relates to many of your musings. This one was truly lovely and touching. Thanks for sharing with others, after all, aren't we all sisters of the heart?

The Conductor said...

Wow, Cheryl. First of all, how does a mother of five--one being a NEWBORN, for Heaven's sake!!--find the time, energy, and (in my case) long-lost brain cells to conjure up such prolific, provoking prose as this?!

You always inspire me, even in your days of despair and most certainly on days like today. You put my own precise feelings into words much more beautiful than I recognized them for.

Thank you!

Amber said...

Soooo true! I live your former condition--busy but not overwhelming. Add another child, change your work situation...it only takes a little to make a big difference. But you're doing it marvelously!

Cristy said...

Sigh... again and again and again... know it all too well!

Cheryl said...

You guys are too kind. I honestly wrote this in the throws of reflection, and the best part was realizing my brain cells are returning! The mushiness is slowly lifting... :)

Cardalls said...

I wonder when I grew old too....great piece of writing!

Alison Wonderland said...

Cheryl, when I grow up can I be like you? (Or failing that, can I just write as well as you do?)

Grandma said...

Hang in there. Pay days are coming and they will be worth all the sleepless nights, refereeing, stress, chaos, etc. etc. Just savor the moment when you can and though it may seem like forever away, there will come too soon just the two of you who began it all, and it will be a wonderfully joyous time if you make the marital relationship the priority of your life. Love you.

m&m said...

Really. Lovely.

m&m said...

Really. Lovely.

JustRandi said...

I love this. I was just telling someone the other day that if I close my eyes I usually feel like I'm about 18.
I know what you mean....

Gio, Judi and Boys said...

Wow! This was amazing...I only have 2, not 5 and they are 8 yrs apart, but I understand...As on starts college tommorrow I wonder where the years have gone. You are a true example and inspiration. It was so great to see you at church and I so look forward to reading what you write.
And #5 is beautiful, just like the other 4. I saw 1 and 2 after school one day and they were so cute. Can't believe how much they have grown. Enjoy these moments with them, because they will be gone in the blinking of an eye!