Saturday, April 7, 2012

the best I can do

I'm not sure how to break back into blogging after the events of this week.  I'm sure I'll have more to say as we grieve the loss of our sweet friend and suffer alongside his amazing wife and sweet daughter.  But I'm still not exactly sure what the Lord is doing in my heart right now, so I'm going to wait before I try to put anything into words.

So I'm not sure how to transition from there to here.  Here's the best I can do:

Lila's week has been all out of whack because our week has been out of whack.  Her naps and bedtime has been unpredictable and I've been gone a lot and she's starting to show those telltale signs of a toddler whose schedule and routine were messed with.  We had an explosive morning (which I handled with surprising composure and grace, if I do say so myself) and a frustrating afternoon due to the fact that she fell asleep in the car for 8 minutes (she NEVER does that, I was shocked!) and then refused to nap after that.  The latter, not surprisingly, I did not handle with as much grace and composure, as I've learned in motherhood that nap-time struggles are my kryptonite.  (Yes.  I'm Superman in this analogy.  Go with it.)

Anyway...I think I uttered our most common nap time phrase, "It's not time for play, it's time for sleep," about 12 times during the course of our nearly 3 hour struggle.  At one point during my many strategies and attempts to get her to sleep, I told her she needed to sleep because otherwise she would be a very sad girl this evening because she would be so tired.  To which she responded stoically, "It's not time for sleep, it's time to dance."  If I hadn't been so darn desperate for some rest myself I would have found that hilarious.

Now, armed with the knowledge that she did eventually fall asleep for an hour, I can see the the humor in it.  And I think this will be my ticket to survive what Molly calls "the grief crazies" (although it hardly seems right to borrow that phrase from her considering the depth of her grief compared to mine): the relief of unexpected moments of lightness provided by my daughter who has a knack for such things.

I will say one thing about this week.  Matt's dad spoke at the memorial service and his words were beautiful, inspiring, hopeful.  One of the things he shared was an encouragement to parents - that they would parent with no regrets.  No regrets parenting doesn't mean you never mess up, never lose your temper, never make a mistake - it's more the bigger picture. His message was be involved, be present, take time, invest in your kids.  He clearly did so with Matt and his brother Mark, and Matt clearly did so with his girls.  We personally witnessed it.  Multiple times, Eric and I ran into Matt and Harper having their weekly Daddy-Daughter date at Panera.  What a gift that Matt followed the example of his father and was intentional about his time with Harper.  He couldn't have known how limited that precious time was.

I will take this - among many other things - with me from the experiences of this week.  Of course Lila is more important to me than anything in the whole world (excepting Jesus and the Husband), but how often do I give her the impression that the game on my phone, an extra hour of sleep, writing a blog, talking to a friend, etc etc are more important to me than she is?  I'm not saying I will make my world revolve around her - that's not healthy either.  But what I am saying is I will try to be intentional about keeping her in her rightful place on my priority list.

So this afternoon, as I was trying to figure out how to write this post, Lila came up to me and said, "You want to play with me?  Come on, Mommy.  Play room!"  And a small voice in my head whispered, "No regrets," and I shut the computer without hesitation and with tears in my eyes following my precious one to the playroom.  Then we had a pretend picnic.  A hilarious, hilarious picnic which consisted of pancakes, cookies, chicken, and a plastic steak that looks like dog poop that Lila calls a hamburger.  And I couldn't keep my eyes from tearing up as I considered the reality that perhaps my years with Lila are more limited than I know.

And whether it is me sharing at her funeral (get real, I could never be composed enough to do that as beautifully as Matt's dad did), or her sitting in the front row as Harper did listening to people tell her about my devotion to her, I want it to be clear that I have no regrets.

In hindsight, I shouldn't have given her her bink.  I wanted her to be sleepy, but she ended up asleep.


Katy said...

Oh Kelsey,so many thoughts in my head and all I will say is I love you! you are a great mommy and friend. I will continue to pray for Molly and Harper.

Stan, Dana, and Isaac said...

precious and so well-articulated...