We need beauty because it makes us ache to be worthy of it. Mary Oliver
Rain, the weatherwoman said. And the day after. And the day after that.
There’s something about rain that makes laziness festive. It was welcomed like fresh air, us all staying in, bunkering down in jammies for longer than usual, watching movies, and generally saying a big NO to the outside world. And going on seven days straight of it, we have well and truly embraced all things Lazy.
Pamper mornings with my girl? Why yes, please.
Where I curl her hair and she repeatedly says Thank you mummy, THANK you mummy, until the very last section of hair was to be rolled and then she was all Nooooooooooo MUUUMMMMYYYYYYYYY, because, you know, she’s two.
It was my first attempt at curling rags, and we didn’t leave them in long enough – Ella’s hair was still a tad damp when I unravelled them – so her curls didn’t hold, but that was never the point.
There’s this quote I once read that goes something like, “It’s not achieving your goals that is important, it’s in who you become when you try.” This was just like that. Because the us that we became as she was perched on the bathroom sink, eyes as big as the moon, feeling special that her mama was doting on her, me feeling grateful for the chance to bond with her over things unique to a mother-daughter relationship, well, it was lovely.
More Rainy small happies.
We’ve been waiting for it to clear up enough to go on the traditional post-rain Muddy Puddle Hunt. We live in such a hilly area that rain tends to just flow down and disperse, instead of gather into puddles, but still, when the rain stops we search like lions because Peppa Pig has completely infiltrated our family.
It’s usually a lost cause, but again with the goals and who you become thing. We became adventurers. We became hopeful. And we made the best out of what we had, which – in this case – was our favourite neighborhood swing and one little girl shrieking higher mummy!
The rain totally inspired my decorate-the-house urges that hit, well who I am kidding, very regularly. With Billy being upgraded to a cot (goodbye forever bassinette – does that need its own blog post?) I took it as the time to finally get round to putting up last bits of meaningful artwork and wall decorations that have been sitting around since he was born.
I made an easy string of star bunting out of the wishes written for him on the back of each star at his Baby Shower. I also displayed a few meaningful keepsakes on his wall – the shells we collected for him from our beach the day before he was born, some beautiful cards from friends, and the first shoe he wore, so tiny now it’s hard to believe.
More small happies….
This one. Sprouting teeth like it’s his job, discovering he has a voice and that it can make very large noises if he wants. We hear DA DA DA DA DA DA and fits of giggling bellowing through rooms, and I run to hush him because Ella is sleeping, but I end up laughing with him and taking photos because it’s about a 9.5 on the Cuteness Scale.
She’s the ultimate mini-mama, my daughter. When Billy needs his nappy changed, she’s racing to his room to get a new one faster than the speed of light, all don’t-you-dare-get-there-first. She wants to feed him, dress him, rock him to sleep, and though we worked through a battle of attention and bouts of jealousy initially, now she can’t get enough of him.
I love the way he looks at her, watching and learning from her just as much as us – if not more.
Until there is one too many kisses, one too many smothers, one too many food-shoved-in-unexpecting mouths, and then he’s not so much adoring as he is, well, we’ll go with bothered.
This past weekend I’ve shouted more than I’d like to. I’ve given up on days before I’ve even given them a chance. I’ve chosen tired-and-grumpy over grateful-and-present. I’ve approached situations with resentment instead of humour. And it’s okay because parenting is hard and sleep-deprivation even harder, the importance not nestled within perfect days of enjoying our children – although that is a lovely goal. The importance lies in who we become when we try. Try to make the best of our days. Try to change our outlook. Try to change the downward course of a day and salvage what’s left with whatever resources we have available. To rewrite our stories with This Is Not How This Is Going To End.
So we forgive ourselves for yelling. For ignoring our children. And we see that the thing is this: Beauty exists in every moment, no matter how clouded from it we may be. And as the one who puts in the hard yards for these children, who presses on through days which make me want to scream, I – more than anyone – am worthy of this beauty. I deserve it. I deserve to be the one who gets their Beauty because, dammit, I am the one who endures their Not-So-Beautiful with a heavy and weary heart. I deserve it. And that only makes me dig deeper to find it.
Happy Monday, friends. Amen to red capes and curly hair and The Search For Muddy Puddles. Go find your beauty. You are more than worthy of it.