Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How did we get here?

I've been saying that little goat is two and a half for nearly 5 months now. It might be time to change the words I am using. The fact of the matter is that he turned 33 months last week, or 2 and 3/4, or "ACK MY BABY IS ALMOST THREE!!"

I'm in a little bit of denial, but there is no denying how much he has learned and grown. He is a joy and a wonder and surprises me every day. So there are things I want to remember about him just as he is now:
  • He will eat raw broccoli, green beans and a host of other things, but it better not have chicken or turkey near it or we will spit it out.
  • He makes me invisible mac and cheese for breakfast - using his tool bench and circular saw as the kitchen.
  • He takes my trumpet ornament off the tree and pretends to play it.
  • He knows all of the trains in Thomas (or so it seems) and is willing to correct you in all matters train if you have it wrong.
  • He does somersaults just because he can.
  • He loves having his nails and toes painted by Aunt Mimi and showing them to the world.
  • He sings to the songs from our music class - surprisingly in tune and on beat, even if the words aren't quite right. He also plays a mean set of shaker eggs.
  • He has girls who adore him - at daycare, at church, everywhere. They range in age from 1 yr to 90 yrs. He flirts with them all! He is a ladies man!
  • He doesn't quite get that at a certain point mom wins an "debate" about what he wants, just because she is mom. But I love his tenacity not to always except the world as it is. (But listen to mom kid, ok?)
  • He loves to look at pictures of "Baby Goat" on the computer, so we spend a lot of time on facebook going through old pictures. I see them and marvel at this boy and this journey for him and me and our whole family. How did we get here? I don't seem to remember but I look at each and every picture below and know in my heart that it is my same boy, but I honestly can't fathom how we got from the first picture to the last one.

Soon it will be Christmas and then before I know it I will have a three year old. I am not sure I am ready, but this boy, he is ready for anything. And he gives me the courage to be too. I'm not sure how we got here, but I've loved the journey and look forward to the next adventures.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend According to Cell phone pictures

 Thanksgiving Meal at the ILs

Little Goat Made Pilgrim Hats

Then he took over Friday and Saturday in Pajamas

Finally we got our first tree up in the new house..on Advent 1 (earliest ever)

Now sleep.  I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving.  I am going to bed very thankful for the entire weekend and all the wonderful family and friends in my life.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A very useful engine

If you have a toddler boy chances are you know this shifty character above.  He's none other than Thomas the Tank Engine.  He and his friends have taken over our house and during the latest bout of the plague that has gone through our house he's been a source of comfort, both on the TV and in our "action figure" form.  (Seriously the diapers gone through in the last week...I just don't want to talk about it).

And 95% of me has no problem with Thomas and his train cohorts.  Oh sure, Sir Topham Hatt gives me the creeps, but mostly the lessons are about sharing, helping, caring, etc.  But there is one major issue I've discovered I have with it.

Each and every train is striving to be a really useful engine.  In fact they work on it so far that they seek to be the MOST useful engine on the island.

Now there is nothing wrong with being "useful" in a train world.  That is what trains are built for, but as we antrhopomorphize them I wonder what message we are sending our kids.  So much of my current issues with depression seem to gather around my percieved expectations as a wife, mother, employee, and citizen.  I struggled with not doing enough of what I feel I ought to be doing.  There is just too much.  And how common is it for us to feel that we are not good enough at parenthood, or work, or cleaning, or anything.  I contribute to society's message that I ought to be doing it all as a mother.  I really want to be a "useful engine."

But the reality is that I would much rather be known as a kind engine, a loved and loving engine, a gracious and grateful engine, a giving engine.  Those are much more important than being useful.

Now my son doesn't seem to pick up on this as he's too busy pointing out TUNNELS, GORDON, TRACKS, etc... but I notice it.  And I'm not sure I buy that being useful is the best way to define even a train. 

Reading too much into a cartoon?  Probaby.  But gosh darn it, I think there are more important things than being useful.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Being Found

There is something about choosing to not hide any longer that is scary.  I wrote a post yesterday and was fearful of sending it out there.  I know why - it is hard to be vulnerable in today's world.  It is hard to say, "right now, I'm not ok" and leave it out there for the world to see.  I wasn't so much worried about the grace that my friends would give me in knowing, and grace they did.  The calls, and comments, and messages I received yesterday were a powerful wave of love to get me through the difficulty of being so open and vulnerable.  I am so thankful for each and every one of you.  As my dad said last night on the phone, "You have some really great friends."

Yes, I do.

It is people who are willing to love me while broken and vulnerable, as God loves us in our brokenness, that give me the strength to admit that I'm not ok, or that I wasn't ok but am working on getting ok again.  You've given me grace that I cannot always give myself.  And yes, I want to meet for coffee and lunch and walks and chats.  I want to be out there and myself - even if I'm a little broken down right now.

Even that is a change - I WANT - to do things.  I don't want to go about the motions for appearance sake.  I want to do the things I love again.

I'm not "cured."  I'm still broken and battered but I want to build myself up again.  And I am so thankful that I can do it with all of you.

Thank you for your grace and your love and your acceptance.

And I hope that in sharing maybe someone else can realize they are hiding in plain sight too.  I was amazed by how many people shared they were familiar with what I was going through.  We shouldn't be afraid to share our struggles, there are people out there who understand and want to help.

I want to help because I need help myself.

You don't have to stay hidden.  People want to come find you, but they need to know that you are hiding.  Let yourself be found and loved.  You are not alone.

I am not alone.

And makes it a beautiful, better, albeit still broken, day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Nearly every morning, little goat comes into our room, turns on all the lights to wake us up (we've been busy hitting snooze) and hops into our bed to hide under our covers.

"Hiding!" he calls loudly, asking in that one word for you to come find him under the blankets where he feels invisible despite the toddler size lump now in the middle of the bed.

So I look for him, gasping as I find him as he squeals in delight of surprising mommy.  Then we do it again.  And again.  Sometimes we hide together and sing songs under the covers as daddy hops in the shower.  Wheels on the Bus in a duet under a duvet.

The thing about his hiding though is that he knows he will be found.  He knows I will look for him, again and again and I will find him, tickle him and laugh along side him.  He knows.

I've been hiding a lot lately, but no one (or very few people) knew.  But instead of a visible lump under the covers my hiding was a lot more subtle.  I was hiding in plain sight.  Oh, you could see me, and talk to me and I went about the business of being mommy, and wife, and coworker and friend.  But the truth is I was suffocating under a blanket of my own creation, desperately wondering if someone would come find me.

Mostly because I could not seem to find myself.  I was hiding so deeply that I'd forgotten where I was, like hidden Halloween candy stumbled upon months later.

I was wrapped in a blanket of sadness, doubt, overwhelming guilt and expectation, of being less than.  And the more I stayed in that blanket the more I believed it and the parts of me that I treasure and cherish seemed to fall away into nothing.

The more I stayed under the blanket the less I became me and the more hidden I was from the world and from myself.

A "less than" me.

And it took months to realize that this "less than" me had a name....depression.

I didn't realize.  I wasn't unhappy after all.  Just so very tired of being "less than" and acutely aware that I didn't seem to change it.  The more "less than" I became, the less I could fight against the blanket weighing me down.

I was hiding in plain sight unable to be found.

And one day I realized that if no one knew I was hiding, no one would know to come look for me.  So I had to look for myself.

And I made some calls and did some talking and looked at some options.  And said that I was going to stop hiding.

Today I still feel some how "less than" I was, but I am "more than" the day before.  And that is a good start.  And more importantly, I'm sharing that I am hiding, so that maybe people know to look for me.

And I can continue to be found.

Not a "less than" me.

Just me. 

A lump under the covers still but knowing I will be found.

A #justwrite post today because I am tired of hiding in plain sight.