I can handle a baby. And I can handle gray weather. But two babies and gray weather just might do me in.
I may as well admit it: I cry at least once every day. And if it’s just once, it’s a good day.
When both babies are wailing and nothing I do calms them…
When I wake up tired from nursing each baby three times during the night and the day dawns gray and overcast…
When I move the pile of clean laundry from the dining room table to our bed because it’s time to eat and then back again when it’s time to sleep because I haven’t managed to fold it for three days running and I wonder if I ever will…
When I only pump three ounces of breast milk instead of my usual five and begin to freak out that my milk supply is failing and no amount of rational discourse on the part of my reasonable and (irritatingly) patient husband can convince me otherwise…
When Doug leaves for work and it’s raining outside and the whole day stretches before me and I don’t know how I’m going to make it through…
Those are the moments I flail and the tears press hard in the throat, against the eyes, and my children watch me, worried.
That is when I have to put one foot in front of the other and do the next thing. Take a shower. Get dressed. Feed a baby. Wash a dish. Something concrete, something productive.
And I pray. After a string of six or seven Jesus-help-me’s, I try to remember how graced my life is. I try to count the mercies.
Jane’s favorite song is “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” She wants me to sing it to her almost every night. She often sings it with me. The chorus goes like this:
Great is Thy faithfulness. Great is Thy faithfulness.
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
Here, then, because it’s the first Friday of October (October! Where has the summer gone? Oh right, I spent it wandering around in a postpartum haze), are some of the new mercies – and a few old ones – I’ve seen these last weeks.
My morning cup of tea.
Healthy, growing babies. (Luke has nearly doubled his birth weight. In two months. And I was worried about my milk supply? Really?)
Watching Jack grow into his new role as the babies’ big brother.
Jane’s sleepy voice piping in the dark when I come to tuck her in: “Will you be right here and cuddle with me for a little second?”
Meals from friends and others in our community.
A full moon rising in the east. Jupiter and Venus glowing like gems in the sky.
Making Doug laugh: when I lay nursing Luke (again!) this morning, he asked me how I felt. I said, “Like a mother pig.” I think there might have been a trace of bitterness in my voice. But only a trace.
Apples fresh from the trees.
A clean kitchen at the end of the day. Admittedly, this doesn’t happen every day, but I’m sure grateful when it does.
My home. It may be small, but it’s beautiful and I love it.
A tea party on the lawn with Jane.
Homemade bread with grape jelly.
Bouquets of autumn crocuses, gifts from my children.
Luke’s chronic look of delighted surprise (except when he’s crying so hard his uvula quivers…)
Ben’s male pattern baldness. I’m not making this up: he has the hairline of a 60-year-old, and the hair he has is of the comb-over variety.
I got asked – asked! – to lead a breakout session at next year’s Northwest Christian Writers Renewal.
Singing hymns with my mom as we rocked the babies to sleep.
Doug’s good job and his lovely colleagues and supervisor.
Daybreak. Always. Even when it’s a gray one.