Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Category: nostolgia

I nearly forgot

For over 5 years, I slept in three-hour increments, waking for hungry babies, lost pacifiers or wet sheets. Now that “the baby” is nearly 3, my nights have grown longer. But then the dog turned diabetic and we hosted a round of sickness, I relived my newborn years and realized I had forgotten the feeling of Mama Exhaustion.

That bone-tired, bleary-eyed attempt of making breakfast. The deep breath of attempted compassion before approaching a child, instead of with frustration. The sense of being needed, right. now. The inability to fix anything, but offering a touch, a kiss, a few words of “I know” and “me too” and “I’m right here.”

Our kids always need us, that is evident. I’m 35 and call my own parents when I need something. A child never outgrows the peace that comes with a parent knowing your stress, your pain, your needs. The first time I was sick while away at college, I called my mom immediately. Of course, I didn’t expect her to show up with soup – growing up, I would regularly heat up my own can of Campbell’s – but I needed her to know.

As my own children grow, they need me in different ways. They need me less to get them dressed, but rather to make sure a favorite sweater is clean. I don’t have to entertain them, but they need me to throw a ball around for practice, to buy ballet shoes or take goofy pictures. Now I don’t physically  feed them by breast or spoon, but they need me to teach them about food and how to care for our bodies. Sometimes, they need me to bring their forgotten lunchbox to school.

In the thick of it, I never believed the fatigue of teeny-tinies would ever end. More than once, in the early hours of the day I wept of exhaustion. And then, nearly suddenly, I slept. Every night. And the season of tinies was over.

My wake-up call didn’t make me miss the season of sleeplessness. It did, however, give me a moment to pause and recognize our progress. To see where we’ve come and remember how we got there. And for certain, this too shall pass. We’ll move on to new struggles one day, probably right as we find ways to live harmoniously within the old ones. Parenting is a beautiful lesson in the myth of certainty. Surely when you come to know something, you realize you know nothing. It keeps us humble and curious. And, on some days, exhausted.

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confirmation proclamation

tonight confirmed a piece of my calling. i don’t really miss being a youth director. i love talking with the kids. i love thinking about how to express a thought about God that they might understand. i love hearing about what’s happening in their lives and understanding their perspective. but i don’t miss being a youth director. i miss lots and lots of parts of my job, but tonight confirmed that i am where i *should* be. tonight (as i substitute youth directed) wasn’t bad. i enjoyed myself. but i could say, as i arrived home, that i don’t want to still be doing my old job.

**caveat: this doesn’t mean that i don’t wish on a regular basis i could re-live lots of my youth director moments. if i could go back and experience them again – exactly as the were, this isn’t a regrets thing – i totally would. they are some of my favorite memories in life.

allow me to list them.

Playing pit. anna is a screamer.
reading an email from sue b. at lakeside and being completely confused, only to find out she was giving holly a DOOL update.
imitating what i imagined of a david crowder book which involved peeing like a man.
i got a rash on my eye at ichthus.
the boys “checking” the roof of kristy’s car (i wasn’t even in the car and i love it).
scott & jordan “job shadowing” me.
open gym
clinton dropping a couch on his foot.
taking up the most pews at ash wednesday services.
“luggage” night and the parents’ participation in the props game (who’s line is it anyways style). i believe someone was milked.
the night the boys had to sleep over because we were locked out of a lakeside house.
watching JS raise his hand to indicate he wanted to make a decision to follow jesus.
cleaning the house of a single mom.
scott & jordan insisting on using a drill instead of a hammer to hang a picture in another person’s home (we were helping put together a nursery).
singing happy birthday to KLM at sabbath, david crowder style.
picking lynzi up from swim practice each wednesday.
getting ice cream with alyssa. or kelsey. or abbie. or mary. or holly. or whomever my victim might be.
the jesus-calming-the-storm skit.
nick with a hello kitty backpack.
making cameron do lots of math.
bible study with abbie and mary.
driving over coronado bridge while praising under open skies.
watching joe wash daniel’s feet.
doing late-night yoga with clinton and jevon. whiners.

gosh, those days were great. but i just don’t think that unless i have those moments with those kids, that it could live up to my standards.

thanks, guys, for setting the bar high enough that retirement will stick.

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