I had five kids in four years. When our twins were born our oldest child had just turned four. I was a little crazy. And by a little I mean a lot.
I took them all to the store by myself for the first time a little over a month after the twins were born. I went armed with my double stroller. I didn't have any of those super nifty baby wearing devices that most moms use now...I had my double stroller. And I'm pretty sure that at several points in my early mothering, there were angels holding it up.
Anyway, it was Michael's birthday and I needed to get some things to make his birthday dessert. So I took all of my five wild indians to the local Walmart. It seemed a fitting choice. I got Lilla and the babies into the stroller (a very wise mama had schooled me in the art of getting THREE wild indians into a stroller with only two seats...bless her!) and the two oldest walked holding onto the stroller while I pushed it. About a third of the way into the store, one of the babies started screaming bloody. murder. (as a side note, please allow me to remind you that I was not quite six weeks postpartum...so...HORMONES)
Let me tell you, I was on a mission. If I didn't get my business taken care of, it wasn't going to GET taken care of so I was DETERMINED to make it through (what felt like) the ultimate mothering championship.
So I picked up the screaming baby. And um, pushing a double stroller with one hand is, well, difficult. After a few steps I realized that I was going to have to rethink. And while I was rethinking, the other baby started crying. So I picked that baby up too.
Long story short, I stuck Caleb in the back seat of the stroller, I put Lilla in the front seat and Nathaniel in the basket underneath the stroller. I was literally pushing over a hundred pounds of kid through the grocery store, while holding two babies and shopping for groceries in Supermarket Sweep fashion.
It's a good memory but it was not good at the time. But we all made it through, I got my groceries, annoyed other customers as little as possible and made it out in one piece. I'm pretty sure I cried.
Since then there have been many grocery store experiences. A lot of stressful moments and feeling like I'm going to snap if one more kid picks up one more thing.
Today I was just thinking about how much my life has changed.
We went for toilet paper today. There was not crying, no stroller and no baby to hold. Now they trail behind me like little baby ducks. There is pleasant conversation and...I just enjoy being with them. They're fun. They're weird, too. But they're fun.
I'm sure I'm making a million mistakes in my mothering. They will have sins and struggles to deal with and I'm sure a good portion of them will be because of MY sins and struggles. But if I can just get one thing right I hope it's pointing them to Jesus.
Our kids growing up is not the only thing that has changed. Michael and I were just talking last night about how different our conversations and thoughts are. We used to be caught up in things like names and what items of clothing are right to wear and who was in our fellowship and who was not. Lately, our thoughts and conversations are about how we are dealing with our sin and how God is changing and transforming our minds and hearts. I feel like God is totally re-calibrating us.
God is so good. He's amazing. He is patient and I am so thankful because I need so much patience and grace. And the way that He can just change us from the inside out is...well...awesome! It makes me want to break out in song and dance.
I need a lot of changing and I'm so thankful that He's brought us to this place!