Saturday, July 27

Holding On, Letting Go

             I left the morning dishes in the sink, knowing they would still be there later, and sat down to play "Memory". Aubrey had just fallen asleep and I knew I had at least 1/2 an hour, maybe more, to do a few "chores" and something "fun" with Ella. I decided we should do the fun thing first on the slim chance that Aubrey woke up earlier than expected...Ella has been VERY patient lately, as far as four year olds go anyways, and I wanted to be able to do something special with her for a few minutes.

     As we sat on the floor in all of our "morningness" (messy hair, princess nightgown, old sweatshirt covered in spit-up, coffee at my side) and started to play, I found myself laughing hysterically at Ella who was making up her very own rules ("You can have an extra turn", "No, you take this match," "Now I get an extra turn") and then giggling and throwing herself on the floor in laughter as she made up names for the characters on the cards (We were playing "Jake and the Neverland Pirates Memory" and she had her own, very silly names, for each of the characters). 

     I stared at her in that pink, hand-me-down nightgown and realized how lucky I was to have this moment, full of laughter, with her. 

      Don't get any bigger, I thought.

     I recall my mother-in-law telling me how she used to look at Scott's sister as a baby (because she was the youngest and last) and would say the same thing over and over again... Don't get any bigger. Don't get any bigger... like a chant that we hope holds special power to preserve this moment in time for us.

      I thought it was sweet when she first told me that, but don't think I really connected with what she was know, on a mommy personal connection level...until I found the need to do it myself.  

      Be in the moment Lisa. Hold onto it. Imprint it on your mind...This moment. Ella's laughter. The nightgown. The simplistic glory of it all. 

       Earlier that morning I had nursed Aubrey and then held her as she fell asleep in my arms, clinging to the fabric of my shirt with her little, pudgy, baby hand.

        Hold onto this moment. Imprint it in your know how fast this goes. 

     I find myself lately, especially with a new baby around simultaneously needing to hold on and let go on a regular basis.

     I'm trying to hold on to all of these sweet moments like snapshots in the memory files of my brain.  These days where the girls are still young. 

       Where Ella and I wave good-bye to Ava on the school bus and then walk hand in hand back to the house and play Memory and color pictures.

      Where Ava wants to cuddle next to me on the couch to watch a cartoon and still lets me pick out her clothes.

     Where Aubrey stares intently at me and coos...I know she is trying to talk, to say, "Mama, I like it here. What a great place, crazy sisters and all."

      But to be in those moments I find myself increasingly needing to let go too...

      Of the clutter that seems to be growing exponentially on every surface of my house.

      Of the fact that meals aren't so much planned these days, as they are sort of thrown on the table in a haphazard fashion (What? You want left over cake for dinner?! Sure, as long as you throw down some carrots with it!)

      Of the idea that I might find time to read books and write consistent blog posts and get to the gym as frequently as I once did.

     Of the fact that our front and back yard looks pretty trashy on many days...the lawn gets overgrown and the plastic toys litter the ground everywhere.  The garage is erupting with kid toys from every corner and crevice-- so much so that I find myself closing the garage door to hide the clutter. 

        Of the weeds in the minimally planted garden (don't get any ideas's a few seeds and tomato plants thrown in the ground this year!)...bah...oh well.

     Of the chipped paint on the kitchen cabinets, the holes in walls that need to be patched and painted, the floors that need to be washed...ESPECIALLY in the summer. 

      I'm learning to not be as anxious when these things don't get realize there's not much I can do about it and to be ok with that. I must simultaneously hold my hands in an open posture to let go of and accept all that comes my way in the sometimes crazy, always different,  day-to-day life of parenting. 

      And, as much as I  build this cadence that says-- "Hold on. Hold on. Hold on."-- I must do the same with letting go. I confess, I'm not very good at it. I get embarrassed to have guests over and cranky about the mss. "Let go. Let go. Let go." I must say it over and over and over again. 

     Becoming a mom to three is teaching me lessons I thought I had learned with the first two and didn't expect to need to re-learn, to a greater degree, a third time around. Lessons about what is most important in life...and what is not. Lessons in grace and humility. Patience and endurance. 

      Hold On. Let Go. Hold On. Let Go. Hold On. Let Go.

     So, if you see me around or come to my house and I'm stressing about the details I give you permission to remind me of my own words...

                                  Hold on Lisa, stop fretting to and fro, 
                                  there's always going to be a lot to get done
                                                                        ...for now just let it go!  

(the above image was borrowed from Google Images)


  1. Right there with you girl! Love this!!

  2. such a great perspective Lisa...I'm in that same place with Lizzy, holding on to my little girl

  3. Are you trying to make me cry?? Because it's working!! It's so hard, is there any hope in not having babies any more? Sigh.

  4. You must know this poem. I heard it as a teacher LONG before I had children and the value of it remains with me still today-- 20+ years later. Go here and scroll to the bottom and steal it from me! :)

    Because you are right... this is a season and you don't want to miss it. Play on!


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