All day, I've felt the need/urge to blog. I've been saving it all up.
Then I logged on and noticed that this blog, this will be my 200th post.
Suddenly I'm nervous.
This was going to just be one of those catch-all, free-flow posts, culminating in some pithy, hopefully meaningful point, possibly about Christmas, most likely about motherhood or things like that.
But now I realize it's my 200th post. Is that like, monumental? I'm not sure ... so I'll just move forward as planned.
Carving ham is fairly gross. My brother concurs. The noises are disgusting. Good thing the ham is tasty.
I've always slightly prided myself on not having fancy china. I mostly have an ecclectic assortment of POM bottles and glasses from Goodwill (why buy new when people give stuff away?!), blandly colored dinner plates, and mismatched silverware. Today was the first time in my life I wished for china. And this first time coincided with my first time serving Christmas dinner all by myself, in my own home. I found myself wanting special plates. It's a strange thing, feeling a "need" for prettier plates, just to serve fairly normal food. Any yet, I wanted my table to look fancier. Why? I don't really know... the meal wasn't that impressive, Joshua still wouldn't eat it, we ate in the normal amount of time, and I still spent forever cleaning up. (in fact there are to pots and a pan waiting for me still.) Would it have made a difference if my plates had matching ivy on them? I guess I'll never know, since I don't foresee buying china anytime soon. Oo--maybe I should check Goodwill ....
I'm reading Donald Miller's A Million Miles in A Thousand Years. Don't ask me what took me so long to read it ... I can't really say. Except for I usually choose crashing on the couch or zoning on Facebook before I choose reading lately. Wonder what that says about my story .... if you haven't read the book, it's great. And as I sat and read the book tonight, the book about living a better story, I paused and took stock.
My son was watching "Elmo's World" on Sesame Street. I was reading right next to him. He turned at one point and said, 'Color!' This was just as the "Elmo's World" intro was on, and the "color" is all over the screen. I just said, "Yep! Elmo's coloring!" and went back to my book. And Josh went back to watching TV.
And then I realized something ... I was reading the part in the book where Miller talks about actually living a better story. Actually doing it--not just reading about it, thinking about it, dreaming about it ... but doing it. And I realized I'd just, in essence, denied my child the chance to actually color, and instead basically told him to watch a puppet color in some world on the big screen.
How sad is that?
So I put down my book on living a better story, and I went about living it. I pulled out Joshua's "woo whoos" (trains) and started making all the appropriate sounds. I flipped open his favorite cell phone, recorded my voice, and enticed him with that. He pulled himself away from the big screen world and joined his mommy in the real one.
And we played.
Then we moved up to his room (and I confess, I brought my book, but only because I knew precisely what would happen.) We entered his room, and he excitedly said, "Rock!" and proceeded to climb onto his glider (which is actually quite hysterical to watch him accomplish) and read his favorite book.
I slid down the wall, in between his new kitchen set and the end of his crib, and read my book. We read books together. And he'd come over and feed me plastic pie, and miscolored, oddly shaped noodles, and he'd climb back onto his chair with a new book. We'd read quietly for a while, and then he'd pull at the last page of the book--he always wishes there was more--and looked at me as if I could instantly create more pages. He, at one point, climbed off the glider, and came quite quickly over to me. I thought he wanted to sit on my lap, so I closed my book, losing my page, and pulled him in. He wiggled with so much opinion, I realized that's not what he wanted. I realized he wanted to sit by me and read his book. With his back against the wall, next to the kitchen set at the end of the crib.
I love how impressionable he is right now! He loves rocking and reading. But because Mommy was reading against the wall in the corner, he needed to as well.
We read, and danced, and ate plastic food together. Finally I realized it was bed time. So I talked him into letting me change his diaper, coaxed him into a sleeper, let him "brush" his teeth with his Thomas the Train spin brush (there's no brushing happening--just button pushing and lots of water dripping), and washed his little face.
Then, since I'm no longer allowed to read and rock, I sat on the footstool while he sat on his glider-throne, and I read him a book upside down. Good thing I memorized it long ago from reading it so much. I got to the part about when Jesus was born, and I looked into my 20 month old son's eyes and told him the story of how Jesus invaded our world, and helps us live a better story. He giggled and said, "Je--us Je-us!" (one of his three new words today), and I got tears in my eyes.
Because even though I let my kid watch some TV, and even though I struggle with playing the martyr as the wife and mother in this home, and even though I lose my patience, and battle selfishness, and always think I could be doing better and doing more, I think I'm living a pretty good story. I am the mother of Joshua, and that, my friends, is a role I would never pass up.
So I guess this 200th blog turned into a little bit of a catchall, but mostly a motherhood, hopefully meaningful muse mostly about me and a little about my first Christmas on "my own".
Oh, and the other two words Joshua decided to say today were "Cardo" (his soon to be uncle) and "Eva" (his cousin, my sister's dog).
Does he say "Mommy" yet? Nope. But that just makes this story all the better.
And he did finally let me rock him ... in the dark, I sang him our favorite songs while he clutched his favorite book. We prayed to "Je-us" and I smiled. I love my story.