Saturday, February 4, 2012

fake it 'til you make it

This cupcake poster pretty much sums up my week. I had glorified plans for last Monday and Tuesday - my miniature Sabbath between jobs. A massage, errands, cleaning, baking and planning for Jasper's birthday party were going to leave me feeling both productive and relaxed before my first day at Zion.

Instead, Jasper got his first ear infection. He was snotty and clingy and up all night. We didn't figure out why he was so miserable until Tuesday morning and by then all my ideas had flown out the window. Instead we cuddled up in our sweatpants and thanked God for antibiotics.

I forgot how exciting and exhausting it is to start a new job. A woman I admire says taking in all the new information is like trying to get a drink of water from a fire hose. The next few days were long, exciting and busy. I came home glad for all the new names and stories I'd learned, but too tired to entertain Jasper while making dinner. Thus, he has now developed an affection for Kix off his highchair tray set on the floor. Yes, I know. It's resembles a doggie dish. But it means he can crawl around, explore, and snack as a free man while dinner gets cooking.

On Friday Matt and I agreed to look for a new daycare option. There are a few good reasons, but one in particular that made Friday hard. It made pulling Jasper out of a place he's known for almost a year feel really crappy because I love our lady...but I love Jasper so much more.

So we have spent the last two days scrambling to find a new plan for Mondays and Tuesdays until Jasper is old enough to attend St. John's Childcare in the fall. And while we've made some progress and we're grateful for the flexibility of our Village, we still don't have a plan. It was in this vulnerable state I attended a baby shower and watched two friends ready to join me in this chaotic and emotional realm that both breaks and strengthens my heart every day.

Later I met Matt and Jasper at the Metrodome for a Gopher baseball game. I was standing in line to get Jasper a pretzel (oh, let's be honest, I wanted the frickin' pretzel) and chatted with a mother and her 4 1/2 year old daughter. The little free spirit had dressed herself and had wild energy to spare. She sang Disney songs and twirled around us. Mom looked tired, embarrassed and about five months pregnant.

Sometimes when I get tired and embarrassed, I cope by showering someone else with the kind of love and humor I'm quietly needing. So I let her have it. I told this stranger how wonderful her daughter was. I told her that she's an amazing mom. I told her that I have a brother five years younger than me and that I remember everything about him being born and growing up. I was a good helper and loved him and he's still one of my best friends. I told her it's going to be great. Her shoulders shook and she reached for my hand. "I needed someone to tell me that today. Thank you." And then we both cried a little bit, sewn together by our fears, our fatigue and the truth about how beautiful we both are. I walked away thinking about my sermon for tomorrow: about the brokenness we all carry around and how admitting our pain in front of God and each other is New Life.

We stayed for a few more innings, Jasper enthralled with the bright lights and the players' pretty girlfriends. And then it was time to change him. We went into a bathroom stall so I could go first, but I'd forgotten that there's one thing about peeing while holding a baby I can't do by myself. Par for the course, I thought. 

When we came out of the stall, I saw my soul sister and the Little Mermaid.

Hello again. Would you mind holding my baby while I button up my pants?

The truth is, I am beautiful and I'm a great mom and things are going really well. But I need a little help with the buttons. Some weeks I need a lot of help...like when I start a new job, drop our daycare lady, and have Jasper's snot on all of my clothes. And on those days, I'll ask for that help. I'll cry a little. I'll give thanks. And then I'll fake it 'til I make it.

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