Kyle and I are expecting our third child.
We're a little late to posting something about it online this time. Both of us are what you like to call open books, so it came as a surprise to me that we were slow to get the news out.
Except I was also laying on the couch and trying not to vomit for the first twelve weeks, so maybe it's not that much of a surprise. My first two pregnancies were walks in the park, actually. This one has been a bit different. I'm sure Zeke and Evie are glad to see the mom they once knew emerging from a haze of fatigue and nausea, and I am too.
So now that we're three kids in, I have come to the conclusion that motherhood is extremely ordinary. At least, mothering little ones is, for me.
I've never been one of those, "a kid at heart," people. So being in a child's world hasn't been magical or uniquely fun. I love helping my kids learn new things, definitely, but I can only play trains or tea party for so long. I think my capacity for kid-world is a smidge smaller than some.
Which was hard for awhile. I felt guilty, like my kids would be robbed of the glittery, Elf on the Shelf, Pinterest level, bento lunchbox toting childhood that would (obviously) guarantee them a successful adulthood. Hormones made me think this.
Fortunately, I am finally learning that all of this "all moms are different and that's not bad" talk is, um, true.
I have read book after book after book after mommy blog that all said it. "We're different people, so of course we're going to be different moms. Quit looking at your friends elaborate birthday parties and start looking at what you're good at!"
Thus, I have come to the content place of realizing that my giftings don't flow seamlessly with the little years. They require a little creativity, to be honest. I love history and literature. I am passionate about theology and justice. I am emotionally salivating for the day when my children will finally be able to understand (on the most basic of levels) the plot line to the Chronicles of Narnia.
Until then we read The Jesus Storybook Bible, and we talk about God, and we pray for the Syrian refugees. We work on understanding the concept that others who are smaller and weaker should be met with compassion, not with taking their toys because they can't fight back.
And I celebrate each new stage that opens the door to new activities. Zeke is old enough to stand on a step stool and "help" me cook or bake. They color their Dusty Crophopper and Daniel Tiger coloring books and I read. They play outside while I try to keep my garden from dying.
The amazing things about little kids is that almost anything can be a game if you are excited enough about it. Even cleaning their room. The other day Zeke organized his toys to color coordinate with the bins he put them in. My administrative, organizational loving heart almost exploded.
Once I got over myself enough to admit that I wasn't a "certain" type of mom and that this wasn't going to scar my children, I stopped comparing and started learning from the moms who make each day special, and awesome, and an opportunity for joy. I have unashamedly ripped off ideas from random facebook friends. They are so good at it! Thank you, childhood-whisperer mothers, for helping the rest of us out who would solely rely on Daniel Tiger and Curious George to relate to our children.
To someone who loves and prefers adult world, a child's world is pretty ordinary. Broken crayons, dirty faces, laundry, diapers, etc, but a child's world is also (believe it or not) quiet - there's no deadlines, very little stress. It's soothing. It is filled with contentment.
I have always struggled to be content. Watching my small children be satisfied with crayon nubs and a cheese stick has taught me a lot about being at peace in any situation.
For the first time, I am really looking forward to the newborn stage, in spite of the anxiety and sleep deprivation it brings. It also brings rest, and simplicity. It brings celebrations over the smallest things. A smile, small fingers wrapping around your hand, older siblings learning how to be gentle, a clean bathroom for the first time in two months.
Motherhood is ordinary, and it is good. It's good in the full sense of the word. Not the watered down one, the, "well it's good, but not great," kind of meaning; but rather the same kind of good the Lord saw when he looked at the fullness of His creation for the first time. The kind of good that brings wholeness, and deep peace.
We look forward to meeting our third child come August, and the ensuing dichotomy of chaos and rest that only a child can bring. It will be so good.