Monday, February 18, 2008

once upon a time, there was a perfect morning...

Today was a big day around here, or maybe just for me. It was my first day to actually go into the office where I work. I was supposed to be there from 8-10 this morning. And not only was I going, but I was planning on taking Ainsley with me. Don't forget that my office is 45 minutes from our house. This was going to be a BIG trip.

Naturally, last night around 6pm I started thinking about everything I would need to do and take with me this morning. I put the box of papers that need to be filed at the office by the stairs so I wouldn't forget them. I got a bottle for Ainsley ready to go in the refrigerator. I made sure I had diapers, wipes, and a changing pad in my purse. I reminded Heath that I'd have to wake him up early so he could move his car from behind mine. I even planned out what both Ainsley and I would wear on this BIG day, all the way down to shoes and socks. For those who may be interested it was a classic black shirt and jean jacket with comfy khakis for me and cute green and white outfit for her. I thought through how long getting myself ready and fed and Ainsley dressed and fed would take and set my alarm clock accordingly. And then I went to bed assured that everything was just right, planned perfectly so that the following morning would go off without a hitch.

I awoke this morning to my lovely alarm music and only dilly-dallied for a minute before getting out of bed. The morning went exactly as planned; both Ainsley and I were dressed, fed, and ready to go by 7am. I was quite pleased to be walking out the door right on time. (If my life was a B-rated movie, this is the point where a song going something like "pride goes before the fall" would start playing.) After backing the car out of the driveway, I put it into drive and looked up into a completely fogged over windshield. Immediately frustrated, I pulled the car over, blasted the defrost, and impatiently leaned back to wait until I could once again see the oncoming traffic. All you who live in the North are shaking your heads at me right about now - how could I, a good Iowa girl, forget that a cold car needs time to warm up?! My justification is that it is so rarely cold here, it is usually safe to assume that I won't need to utilize my cold weather common sense. Anyway, a full twenty minutes later, I was finally leaving our neighborhood. I was fuming as I merged with the early morning traffic on the nearby highway. I mean really, what Dallasarian would ever think to add more time in their schedule to allow for car window to defrost?

And then I realized "I'm such a control freak!" I've never thought of myself as a control freak, but I can hardly deny it after such a performance. It had absolutely destroyed my mood to have one relatively small unexpected event disrupt my perfectly planned morning. Hmm...what a discovery! I guess it's true that you learn something new every day.

Friday, February 15, 2008

hi, my name is...what's my name, again?

It's been awhile since I've written and though I could give excuses such as "I just had a baby!" to explain my long absence, the real reason is that my thoughts of late have been a little muddled and lacking creativity. So if this post seems random and disorganized, please know that I'm processing a mountain of thoughts that have accumulated over the past 5 1/2 weeks and are now avalanching their way out. Here goes...

Unconsciously, I think I've been trying to figure out where I fit into this new role as "Mother." (Doesn't just the name sound daunting and intimidating?) Even though I've been able to lay claim to this title for over 5 weeks, I am just now "feeling it". No one told me it would take this long before I'd feel comfortable considering myself "Mother." From everyone's comments, I assumed I would just slip into the role naturally, without any confusion as to where "I" come in. What I mean by that is this: Pre-Ainsley (from here on out, PA) I knew who I was and what sorts of roles and activities characterized my life. I was wife, daughter, sister, friend, employee, co-worker, neighbor. I took care of the house, cooked, worked, hung out with Heath, enjoyed many creative outlets. Adding "Mother" to my established list threw a wrench in things, to say the least. Suddenly I had become feeder, bather, diaper changer, put-er to bed, story teller, get the picture - a whole new list of activities and roles which til now were altogether unfamiliar to me. During those first weeks, my days and nights were quite consumed with feeding, waking, diapering, and playing with Ainsley. I had neither time nor energy to think much about my PA activites like cooking, cleaning, working, reading, shopping, going for walks, being creative, hanging out with friends. Was the new role "Mother" supposed to trump everything now? Are my PA activities and roles supposed to go into hibernation until the empty nest period?

Only in the past several days have I been able to begin processing all this to discover again how it fits together. True, I've added "Mother" to the top of my list of roles (after child of God and wife), but the PA me that I knew is still there. I still like to read, paint, scrapbook, cook, decorate, sew, crochet. My heart is still refreshed by creativity, deep friendships, a good book, and a cup of coffee. I am still interested in a great bargain, in hunting down the perfect gift, in trying new & different recipes. I am still Me. Me just also happens to be "Mother" to a precious baby girl named Ainsley. And I'm so glad to discover that I am and can be both! I love the new "Mother" emotions I'm experiencing - hurting when she's in pain, glee when she's happy, relief when she falls asleep, anticipation of her next milestone, the desire to protect her, hope that she'll understand her need for a Savior, pride in her accomplishments, and a deeper trust that the One who made her and gave her to me loves her more than I ever could. I love the idea of teaching her how to tie her shoes, color in the lines, bake cookies, and write a research paper. But most of all, I love that I've been given the awesome joy and responsibility to teach and train this little one to be a godly woman who will be a refreshing light in this dark world.

Hi, my name is Kristen, and I am a Mother.