I have this social anxiety issue that involves the fear of “catching up.” Basically, the longer I go without connecting with someone the more I fear picking up the phone. There’s just too much to say. So I let it go longer. And then it gets more and more awkward, my own terror increases, I avoid phone calls. I hope for the voicemail when I do make the call back. I become paralyzed.
Then I run into the person.
And instead of the interaction being horrible and filled with accusation, it’s usually natural and easy and we simply start with where we are. If we have the time to catch up on the past, we do. But really, who does? So, we start where we are.
So here I am. Sorry for the last month of awkward blog avoidance. But really what were any of us missing?
We are expecting Blessed Child Number Four at the end of September/first of October. I call her (because I assume it’s a her though we’re going to be surprised this time) Ayudame or Finale, simulataneously.
Expecting the fourth elicits all sorts of great responses from the general public. Responses I would have found shocking or offensive 2-3 kids ago but now I just store away for my memoirs and character growth.
Most interesting observation: Responses from Women I Don’t Know. It’s always the same: Wow. I couldn’t have four. I just need things to be clean and orderly.
I never know what to say to that. My instinctual response is to describe my current struggle to keep Leila from putting her feet in my breakfast cereal, but can’t decide if that crosses the bounds of polite stranger conversation. Then I remember I’m having this discussion because said conversation has no bounds.
We are excited and busy. Wow. We are busy. Today was William and Mary Graduation, my favorite day to live by the college. We drove by the campus filled with beaming grads taking selfies with each other and sweaty, now-poor Dads packing cars and dreading the 14 hour day of ceremonies. I love it. I can’t get enough. The past month, I’ve had passing conversations with some neighbors of mine about how tired they are and how stressful it is to pack up and get ready for graduation. I remind myself that what they feel is real. Then I wonder if perhaps if they are too stressed to eat, could I borrow some meal plan swipes for my family of 5.5? Does that cross the bounds of polite college neighbor conversation? Because I could go for a salad bar , omelette line and ice cream machine exactly right now.
Four kids feels staggering. Each one is staggering in its own way. I have time to contemplate this because Leila gets up between 5-5:30 these days and we hit the streets walking. Colonial Williamsburg is a total disappointment at 6am. Really. I would think more Colonists would be up drawing water from the wells or something. I can’t even find the sheep. The sheep sleep in longer than my child.
We walk, and she baa’s at the horses and I pray. My prayers are combinations of Please, Please, Please and Help, Help, Help. And I sing. Don’t laugh. I’m singing more these days than ever. Most of the truth I know is found in those songs from my childhood. So teachers and children’s ministry people beware. What you teach those sweet Babes will one day be what they’re chanting when they’re in their thirties and completely at the end of themselves. It best be the good, strong stuff, not weird, flimsy stuff. Motions are good. But I can’t do motions while pushing a stroller.
So life is crazy and filled with change. But also with goodness and hope. Each piece of crazy is pushing me away from being comfortable and oh how I love to be comfortable! I think it might be my favorite thing. In fact we once did Tim Keller’s book “Counterfeit Gods” with a group of people and we each had to name our god, according to the book, and mine was comfort! I was so embarrassed. I thought money and power were much more sophisticated gods than comfort. I type this passionately from my position lounging on five throw pillows, you must know this.
Here I am. I gave a talk at least four times in the past two months about finding what you delight in, doing it , and protecting it. I delight in writing here in this space and I need to keep doing it. Hopefully I’ll be back before another month passes, and our whole relationship gets awkward and terrifying again.
Thanks for sticking around.