Folded Laundry

I've mentioned that Bill's sister Lizzie would be staying with us - but did I mention that she's here? She is! Equipped with her very own mission call and everything! Look out, Lisbon Portugal! Prepare your socks to be rocked proper!

We get Lizzie until near the end of March, when she'll enter the Mission Training Center in Provo. She's a bit discouraged by the 3 month wait - but I am selfishly ectatic. Yeah, sure, it's probably difficult to feel uprooted for three months and to have to live with your brother, his crazy wife and their two admittedly adorable munchkins in a small upstairs room that's really only half yours 'cause there was nowhere else to put the two shelves full of books and that half-closet full of boxes. But me? I'm really enjoying the female companionship. It's right good fun to have someone to talk to who also gets excited about things like shopping and Glee. And I'm also really enjoying the help around the house! She's cleaned the bathroom she's sharing with the kids, she's done my dishes, she's run to the grocery store for me, and she watches the kids.

(Right this very minute, Bill is at his first day of school and I'm finishing up at work, and she's at home watching the kids!)

But this post isn't about that. This post is about last night. Lizzie was out adventuring in SLC, trying to find some quality mission clothes. Bill was out on a much-needed night off.

I was home with the kids.

And Daphne was having a hard time.

She was crying non-stop, which was highly unusual for her. She was hungry - but I couldn't get more than an ounce into her during any attempted feeding. She threw up twice, and was just all-out misearable. I gave her a bath to try to calm her (and hopefully sooth what I suspected was an upset stomach) but she just wanted to be held. Any time I would begin the motions of setting her down, she would wimper and then wail until I would hold her in tight against me, again.

She just needed her mom.

Well - I had made all sorts of plans for an evening with the house to myself. Dishes...laundry...thank-you notes (embarrassingly overdue), and maybe a chance to do a little leizurely reading. I have three books I'm dying to get to!

This was not in the cards.

Instead, I held Daphne tight and played with Wyatt and got him ready for bed one-handed. The dish situation got worse - and my living room turned into a scene of car/train/cheerio carnage.

It's moments like these - nights like last night - when I am reminded of what it actually means to simplify. Moments like last night, I'm forced to peel my desires and expectations down to the barest core.

Children alive? check.
Children safe and feeling loved? check.
children fed? bonus!

And then Lizzie walked through the door with the fresh night chill, and I was rejuvenated.

She took Wyatt up to bed while I tried to force another ounce into Daphne. One kid down.

She told me about her shopping adventures (and misadventures) and my mind was revitalized. Life was happening outside my four walls (that smell an awful lot like diapers, lately).

The evening quieted - and Lizzie hunkered down with her missionary reading and I hauled Daphne and three baskets of laundry upstairs to fold.

I settled Daphne onto our bed and she explored her limbs in wheeling, punchy motions just long enough for me to get one of the baskets folded and put away before she decided that she really would rather be held - and that it was quite rude of me to put her down when she had been telling me all evening long that she just wanted to feel close, thank you very much.

I picked her up, and the other two baskets of laundry, the thank-you notes on my bedside table, the grocery lists and the fact that I still hadn't really eaten since breakfast slid away into the meaningless background. I was alone with my thoughts and with this daughter person.

And I thought: Wow. There is an entire person in this little nine-pound package.

And I was overcome. Overcome with gratitude to Father. Grateful that amidst the absolute chaos of my life, things were so very, very simple.


Philip and Mandy said...

I love this story! Thanks for sharing. I think sometimes, we all just need to be held in tight. :-)

Jeff and Ari said...

You are amazing. That's all this boils down to! Next time you are short handed give me a call! I would have happily lent a hand or 4!!