I love words.
I could read the dictionary, and that would be enough.
Who am I kidding? I have read the dictionary. Or parts of it. It’s gorgeous. All of those words just waiting to be read, or said, or memorized. Definitely to be used again. Please.
One particular word that comes to mind again, swimming up through the haze of yesterday, and too many late nights, is maunder.
It’s a beautiful word that originated back in the 17th century, and means to talk or move in a rambling, dreamlike manner.
Isn’t that lovely? It evokes such bliss. And…it’s not too shabby to say.
I like that.
So, I hope you won’t mind for a minute if I maunder on about my kids. Not necessarily because I think they are better than yours, but because they happen to be mine. And, if you want the truth, that makes them a pretty big deal…to me.
I am not a big fan of kids. They are loud. They are dirty. They are chaotic. They are distracting. And they are far too much work. Don’t, please don’t, ask me to babysit. It’s like a seventh level of hell for me.
There. I said it. I downright admitted it.
It’s not like I don’t believe people should have any more children, than say…1.5 kids, but if I have to choose to spend a day with someone else’s children or myself, 15 times out of 10, I’m going to choose myself.
And, I’m also not questioning anyone’s right to have more than five kids, because you know, there’s Nicky Glaser for that. If you want to have more children than the aforementioned 1.5, go ahead. And please, have fun getting there. Myself, I have four children.
And it’s crazy, because, my mom still seems to think that I have no idea how these kids got here. Monthly, I get asked if I am doing anything about birth control. And, yes, I have to wonder, because I have been married for almost 15 years and I only have four kids. That are decently spaced apart. Sometimes with half a decade between two of them.
It’s okay mom, I think I’ve got it. I really do. (Mother, I love you more than words can say, but this is my writing, and I’m going to poke some fun).
Back to my children, and out of my bedroom, please.
I knew that I needed to have children. There are some women that question their need to have children. And that’s cool. I have many dear friends that don’t have kids. And you know what, I really like them. Not because they don’t have kids, but because they are great people. Some of the best.
I also have many dear friends who have any number of children. Children that they brought in to the world. Children that they are raising on loan from someone else. And children that they have passed on to the next life to be raised wrapped in God’s arms.
For me, it was never a question about if, only when.
When I was young and dumb, and thought I was smart, I believed that I was in control of my life. Again, I was young and dumb. That factors in. See, I do have a strong belief in God. I believe that he has a plan for me. I believe he has a plan for my family. And most definitely for my children. When I see my children acting upon their agency, and succeeding at their God-given gifts with flying colors, I don’t question for a moment why they are here.
They needed to be here. There are things that God has for them alone to do.
The funny thing is, I thought I was going to save the world by myself. I thought that I would end up an archaeologist, or a doctor, but hopefully an archaeologist living in England, digging up dead and dusty people.
But the joke’s on me, because it wasn’t for me to save my world, it was for those darn kids. Golly, those four crazy, insane, earth shattering, ear splitting, mind numbing kids.
It was for me to teach them about what God has in store for them, to guide them down that path, and then to watch them take off at rapid speed, far faster than I could ever possibly hope to keep up.
And it is completely true. They really do move at light speed.
They are a beautiful combination of my amazingly handsome husband–who is so talented at everything and anything he does, (he can move mountains just by being him)–and me, someone who is driven to learn everything there is to know about everything, to create something out of nothing, and to run faster and longer than the wind can howl.
The real crazy thing is, there are days that I sometimes wish that maybe life had been different. I don’t know, you know, it just is that way.
For a long time it was just me and three wild boys. Wild doesn’t even begin to describe a house full of healthy, testosterone filled gents. Down right savage will do. Every day was a battle ground. Heck, it still is. (Does it ever stop?!) I think my boys even thought I was a boy at some times.
But something wonderful and insane happened not too long ago. I was presented with a choice.
When my youngest boy was a year away from entering kindergarten, I began to get all excited inside. It was hard to hold in. I could see this light at the end of the tunnel, and it was shiny and bright. It was blinding like the sun. All I could think about was what I was going to do with my life. Finally!
I had spent years pouring as much as I could into the heads of those little whipper-snappers, and now, it was me time.
I gave everything a consideration.
Should I go back to school and finally follow my dreams of getting paid to dig in the dirt? Should I turn my obsession with knitting into a small business? Or should I finally train for that marathon everyone keeps asking about?
Never in my wildest dreams did I consider another child. If you knew me post-daughter, you would have picked me out of the crowd as the lady who was never having anymore kids.
Yes, that was me.
But it actually wasn’t.
If my husband ever asked me if I thought about more children, I told him that only God would do. Only He could convince me that four was more. Well, four is more, mathematically speaking, but I guess I am referring to a quality of life kind of thing here. Numbers and I, we don’t really get along.
Somewhere along the line, after interviewing possible employers, meeting with probable professors, and investigating a plethora of races, I had this crazy dream.
But to be fair, it wasn’t a dream, because I was not asleep. I was sitting in a chair after putting my boys to bed. Suddenly I was in a very wide space, and I was carrying loads of things under my arms. It wasn’t baggage, it was more-it was trophies, and certificates, and gorgeous knitwear. Everything had my name on it. And I will admit to being very impressed with myself.
Up ahead, I could see this very beautiful woman walking towards me. She was stunning in looks, and I knew I wanted to be beside her. There was this overwhelming feeling of knowledge-that this woman was my very close friend. I quickened my pace, still carrying my things. But those things were slowing me down. And I really didn’t want to drop what I had worked so hard to achieve.
When I finally reached her, I wanted to hug her so bad. I was confused to find that I couldn’t. There was no way to hug her without dropping my things. And why wasn’t she hugging me? It was a horrible feeling. She either wasn’t hugging me because she didn’t want to, or because she couldn’t.
I stopped then and looked into her eyes. Her beauty took my breath away. I moved towards her, arms full of the world, and it was then her voice stopped me. The melody of her voice was music to my ears.
Until it wasn’t.
“You didn’t choose me,” was all she said.
In that moment, I dropped everything to the floor and sobbed like a broken-hearted child. Here was this angel, and she was supposed to be mine. But I didn’t choose her once upon a time. Those darn things that had been holding me back from reaching out and embracing the one person I knew was meant to be my soul-mate, I chose them.
I chose them. Those things holding me back. I. Chose. Them.
We stood looking at each other for a very long minute. And then I woke up. I mean it. I woke up. That light at the end of the tunnel that I had been seeing in my head wasn’t meant to be freedom from raising a wild pack of heathens. That intense white flame was my daughter. She was shining back at me, beckoning me to her. Hoping that I would follow her star so that we could be together.
Don’t say I don’t love my boys. They are insanely amazing. They have given me a whole new perspective on everything under the sun.
But our sweet girl has come into our home and she has made it more than any of us could possibly imagine. Our family was incomplete without her. And it was my choice.
There are days and days and days when I can’t believe I am back at square one. There are days and days and days that I wonder why I put myself here. Mostly those days when I watch the other mothers with their older children not breaking their backs racing after a toddler hell-bent on face planting into the pavement. Or those days when my husband is away for work and I am dragging everyone and their dog to the rugby pitch for practice and missed-my-bedtime tantrums.
And that’s when I allow myself to maunder. To speak, or write, in a dream like state, so I can remember why I chose to have my lucky star. My baby girl.
Sometimes people ask me if I’m going to have anymore. Maybe they think, hey, she had four, why not fifteen? It ain’t no thang. I like to smile at them, and quip that, thanks, four is enough for me. I wonder if they think like my mom, that I just quite haven’t figured out this baby-making thing yet. Or possibly they think more along the lines of the social-media–one is enough, thank you, moving right along.
But, to be honest, it doesn’t really matter. Because I know. I know that each one of these free-spirits was meant to be here to help me change the world. Not alone. Not by myself. But together. For me. Because God has a plan.
A plan that we can catch a glimpse of if we allow ourselves to move in a dream-like state.
And to have faith enough to believe.