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The Smile

Exhaustion wraps itself around me like a blanket. For a mere few hours over the past two days I welcomed a newborn and toddler into my home and heart. There are things a mom never forgets: how to warm a bottle, change a diaper, wipe a runny nose, and swaddle a baby. There are things we forget quickly: the exhaustion, frustration of not being able to discern a cry, how hard it is to even find time to go the bathroom, and the intense gratification of a smile.

avery smile

Photo Credit Raeley.com

The moment the baby first smiled at me – I became a puddle – and it made the early morning babysitting worth every second of lost sleep. I pondered my reaction to The Smile all afternoon. The Smile possessed a magical quality that filled me with warmth. I felt connected.

No matter what I did, I carried The Smile with me.  When I bought groceries at the store, I took the memory of The Smile with me. When I did daily mundane tasks (ahem…laundry and dishes), I carried the memory of The Smile with me. When I volunteered at church, I took the memory of The Smile with me. I smiled at the clerk, my family, and the children every chance I could.You know what? They smiled back. The Smile connected us.

When the doorbell rang EARLY this morning, all I could think about was The Smile. The baby was asleep. Yes, I was tempted to wake a sleeping child just to see a smile. But as I said, there are some things you don’t ever forget. One of those is to never wake a sleeping baby… even to see The Smile.

Sometimes we try too hard to connect with people. Sometimes all it takes is a heartfelt smile. Sometimes building bridges is as simple as a smile.

I’m still pondering The Smile. You see, the toddler’s smile was an empty one. An empty smile? Yes, and I’ll tell you all about The Empty Smile tomorrow. But for now, I have the toddler to follow and the baby to cuddle. All while holding The Smile close to my heart.

Mommy Time Out

**Note: as you can tell, this post is one I wrote the first week of November. I almost threw it out, but decided to go ahead and post it! Happy Reading!**

Right now I am in “Mommy Time Out” due to misbehavior. Normally I just call it having a bad day, but today I brought it all on myself. This week I haven’t felt so hot. I had an Eve and the apple moment, but I’ll tell you all about that later. What’s that? You want to hear it now? I guess I’ll tell you… So here’s what happened – at our church fall festival I was starving. Everywhere I turned there was food, and I couldn’t eat any of it. One car in the trunk or treat had apples. It was the LAST car on the farthest side. I just kept thinking about that apple. But not as much as I was thinking about the hot dogs. So I ate one… OK – two. And I was still hungry. I asked my daughter to walk over to the lady with the apples and get me one. On the way there she saw the bobbing for apples booth. Now, my skin crawls at those booths. Out of all of Halloween’s scariness, that is just plain skin crawling scary. My daughter just couldn’t resist. It probably looked appealing because for so many years she has heard NO! associated with that activity. Yes… she did it. She dunked for that apple. So very proudly she walked up to me and handed me the apple. Her entire head was SOAKED. I debated on eating it, but my hunger won out. My husband took it inside and washed it for me. I was enticed by the apple – a definite Eve moment! And that, my friends, is why I think I feel so cruddy this week.

In fact, I feel so cruddy I’ve slept in every morning. Some mornings I woke up at 7, one or two mornings I slept all the way until 8. Losing my early morning solitude translated into loosing my early morning time with the Word. I still kept up with my Bible study reading, but that’s just not the same as truly digging into the Word. And that, my friends is what lead me to my Time Out.

I’ve been grouchy. All day. I prayed, listened to Christian music on the radio, had alone time in the car, and now I’m here. Alone. In my room. Ahhhhhh. It’s just what I need. A good book and a nap without distractions sounds divine.

Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock.

Did I say without distractions?

Pause right here.

What would you do?

I want to ignore it, but the incessant knocking would continue louder each time. I want to yell for them to go away, but that usually ends up with whining and everything becoming an emergency. And tears. Lots of tears. Instead I sweetly ask, “What do you need? Momma’s resting.”  The truth is – I don’t always respond sweetly. Remember, I’m in time out – for good reason.

No matter what, one thing I know – Mommies don’t REALLY get a time out. (Unless Daddy is home.) But taking a Mommy Timeout is always a good thing. No matter how short it is. Truth is, if I had poured myself into the word all week, a Mommy Timeout wouldn’t be needed.

Sometimes more work is accomplished in bridge building when taking a break.

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