August 5, 2015
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”
Psalm 139:7-12 ESV
Comfort to my soul when my God promises I will never be lost to Him. But Oh Emily is made in the image of God, and she knows where to find me, too. Where can I flee from Emily’s presence when I’m tired and at my end? She finds me in the shower and the garage. She seeks me out in the hammock, and always knocks 8 seconds after I close the bathroom door. This girl who is terrible at hiding in hide-and-seek is a master at finding MOMMIE when I just need just a second to myself.
Grand Strand Baby! Beach vacation again, and this year it’s more fun than ever! But anyone who has done a beach vacation with kids knows it’s a ton of work. I know right where everything is in my Pfafftown Food Lion, but I can’t find anything here at the Myrtle Beach Piggly Wiggly. And there’s never enough dry towels. And I’ve got sand in all the wrong places. And Grace and her friend Kenzie look too fabulous in their swimsuits. And 3 days after turning 11, Lauren can’t hold hands with me. And I got to meet the practitioner at the CVS Minute Clinic thanks to Emily. And both elevators were out of order at the condo on Sunday, and I’m so thankful we chosen to rent on the 3rd floor instead of the 11th.
I think I’ve heard “watch me” about a thousand times. Watch me swim. Watch me mermaid. Watch me flip. Watch me jump the waves. Watch me on my boogie board. These girls are active (except for the 2 teens who sleep until 11). They won’t let me miss a single thing. And it never fails, once we are settled ocean-side, they want to go to the indoor pool. Then the outdoor pool. Then the hot tub. Then the ocean again. I need a nap!
But that’s where the guilt sets in. Lauren and Emily are endless in their energy, and I’ve kept up with them the best I can. But I know myself enough to know that Mommie needs time in a beach chair with her feet in the sand as the waves lap up around her. Sunglasses and hat. Eyes closed. Listening. Just in my own head. I can’t make sand castles as long as Paul can. And I like hot tubs and swimming in the pool but I need to read some Harper Lee poolside.
I see on FaceBook that I’m not the only mom who needs some alone time. Haven’t we all wanted just a little bit of time to just do for ourselves what we can’t take time to do when we are on Mommie-Time? No? Maybe just me. There’s so much we expected from parenthood and it’s all come true just like we knew it would. We didn’t escape the late night feedings and all the dirty diapers and changing the sheets at 2 AM and holding their hair back when they throw up and burying the dead hamster in the yard and back to school shopping and the driver’s license. We do it all because there’s no rest from any of it. You can’t miss it. But sometimes don’t you just need the shady hammock? No? Just me again?
But there’s all the other stuff I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t prepared to inspect Grace’s skin for fresh wounds when she was cutting. I wasn’t ready to pace the floor at the hospital when Lauren was having her head operated on. I didn’t know I would have to wipe up Emily’s drool from her face after a seizure. I wouldn’t wish that stuff on anyone. I didn’t want it. I couldn’t hide from it, though. And if all of it had never happened, I never would have missed it. But it did happen, and I am so thankful I didn’t miss it. “MOMMIE! WATCH ME!”
I watched My Gorgeous drive to the beach. Yeah, that happened. I watched My Lovely beat the ropes course at Broadway at the Beach. She followed me through some of it, but then took the lead over some obstacles. I watched a Full House marathon with Oh Emily in our jammies with ice cream snuggled on the couch, and I’ve watched her make new friends in the pool. I’ve watched Paul hunt for his “missing” swimsuit. And I’ve watched Kenzie act like she has always belonged with our family.
I’m not missing anything. Even when I’m in the hammock or feeling the waves on me. I just need some me-time. But if you need me, Oh Emily knows where to find me.