In the quiet dawn before the day fully begins I am awake and taking mental pictures.  Wilona is in the middle of our big bed with her face and hands nuzzled up against my arm.  Ben and I are touching knees under her feet and his nose is just about in Wilona’s hair.  Ascher is on my other side, only half asleep, twiddling his toes under my side.  He always comes to our room when he wakes up in the morning, looking forward to having a snuggle in the last sleepy part of the morning.  This morning he toted in a teddy bear and a frisbee and he’s having trouble getting the frisbee to a good snuggling position(ever tried that?), or else I think he would have actually fallen asleep again.

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Sometimes I get up, after Ben is already away, and admire the gap that was my space between the babies.

DSCF1643 (350x263)


The constellation of a family feels complicated sometimes.  Parents orbit each other.  Tiny babies orbit mama.  Bigger kids make intricate orbits around mama and daddy and siblings.  Maybe parents orbit the kids too, I don’t know.  The whole system relies on the balance and gravity that God provides to keep in in top form but sometimes the system feels shaky as pulls adjust and balance changes.  I stress about dumb stuff(lookin’ at you, house cleaning).  They stay up too late.  No one communicates well.  Everyone always NEEDS me(cue dramatic huffy sigh).  A fast forward to nap time or gym time or give everything to Goodwill time or be anywhere but here time seems ideal.

So I try to fix my problems NOW.  And of course my problem is not my attitude, it’s the mess everywhere and the babies hanging on me and needing things and why oh why hand-to-forehead do we have beige carpet?!  and I either escalate myself into ragey, wound-up house cleaning, telling myself I’ll feel better when it’s done and swerving around sad children who are only catching my turmoil or I try to be unneeded and bury myself in chocolate and other people’s stories…

But of course none of that is any good because babies truly do have needs.  And because they are small and I am (supposedly) not I am here to fix their needs.

If I can just remember to pause my agenda and my to-do list and make sure they’re all nurtured up before I begin…

If I can mute the nag in my head that says I should be thisandthisandthis and my babies should be thatandthatandthat and crackers-and-milk-for-lunch and store-bought bread and paper diapers are cheating and heaven forbid my house look lived in…

If I can wait and remember that hugs and stories and easily accepted snacks and more(even though she did five minutes ago) nursing are the fastest track to calming us all down…

Then the grump doesn’t get a toehold and the babies wind down and play happily and I can see straight and the house can be cleaned a bit, if I even care anymore, and naps are quickly surrendered to and I have a smidgen of time to pretend that I’m going to be useful and uninterrupted but instead be mindless and watch a show or read a book, or even sleep too…

Then I can greet them with a smile and a hug when they wake.

Wilona (311x350)

And then, just as first thing in the morning, I can remember that what we really want most is just to be together.

And our constellation twirls onward, twinkling in the sky


2 thoughts on “Constellations

  1. lauraimprovises says:

    I remember having to get used to that feeling that everyone needed me. All. The. Time. :-) Then, one day, I realized in a new way how wonderful it was to be needed. You are doing a great job!

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