December 22, 2010

Greener Grass

I am in my bedroom, blaring Roxette and pretending that I don't hear the crying babies in my house who are supposed to be taking their naps.  I am pretending that I don't have cravings, all these years later, for a cigarette every now and then.  I am pretending that I could, if I chose to, jump into my old 1989 Ford Tempo and drive out to the frozen lake, to sit alone in the beach grass and clear my thoughts.  I am pretending that life was easier when there was only me to take care of, and only a waitress job to show up for.  I am pretending that if I wanted to, I could chop all my hair and dye it red, or save up for a one-way ticket to Hawaii to be a bicycle tour guide (something I was once this close to doing).

Reality check, right?  Yeah.  In actuality, I couldn't even run out and touch the curb and run back.  In actuality, I do need to consider the feelings of my husband and kids.  They are not going anywhere, and I am not going to be a bicycle tour guide any time soon.

It is Christmas, so maybe I have the holiday blues, but I find myself wishing for all things and nothing at all. I am wanting to freeze time and keep my children young and loving and full of joy, while at the same time longing to wake up and wonder what I will do today.  I look up at the clouds in the high, blue sky and think of track meets.  I think of track meets!  I was in 8th grade, but back then I was good at something, and I went out on the track and I did it.  Afterward I could lie on the grass, eat a granola bar, and look at the clouds.
And then my precious 3-year-old son, with his tiny butt and tiny glasses, calls Bethlehem, "Breath Of Ham" and I have the strength to keep on going.  8th grade is gone.  My Ford Tempo has long rusted away.  The frozen shores of Lake Michigan are on the other side of the planet.  I am married to a man who is not perfect, but deserves to be loved as if he is.  Isn't that what the baby in the manger came to tell us?  That we are loved?

So I will trade my fantasies of Camel Lights for the plastic camel in the Little People nativity on the end table. I will close this post and go in and retrieve my crying babies, and I will say a prayer for my cousin, Ryan, who would trade every day of the rest of his life to see his son one more time.  It is hard being a parent; being a mom;  being a stay-at-home mom; being a never-gets-a-break-from-even-one-of-her-kids homeschool mom; being a homeschool mom in another country.  My life is very hard.  No one would argue with me on that one.  But a grateful heart I should have if I have any wisdom at all.