Me and the bestie, unrestricted.
I chatted with my very best college girlfriend today. We swapped stories of our current woes: My her attempts at adhering to a new anti-inflammatory diet, and my attempts to sleep, ever again.

Best friend is trying to cut out all gluten and all dairy. With all my various attempts to eliminate various food groups from my diet in the last 10 years, I'm a sympathetic ear. Swap out rice for wheat. Sub almond milk for creamer. Try that gross veggie cheese stuff.

She says it takes the joy out of eating. I agree. It's hard, it's a lot of effort, and when it comes down to it, you don't eat pizza, pasta carbonara or maple bars. And when all you're doing is avoiding the ingredients of pizza, pasta carbonara and maple bars, you seem to think about them frequently. No--all the time.

I then gave her my account from last night at this house: a harrowing tale of two young brothers that tried, for the first time, to share a room.

Bedtime at 8 p.m.: All seems fine. First cry from the baby at 9 p.m.: Daddy soothes and successfully woos baby back to sleep. Second cry around 10:30 p.m.: Mommy gets skeptical that this is going to work out. Second cry turns into an hour of marathon crying: Mommy gives up, hooks baby up with a dose of Tylenol, nurses baby, then sits in the hallway outside of the room, hope fading that this will be the night of three consecutive hours of sleep for her...

By midnight, I had had enough. I yanked Baby A from his crib and plunked him down (both the yanking and the plunking were gentle, of course) in a pack-n-play in the guest room. Mercifully, Toddler J remained a silent observer to this drama and stayed more or less asleep. But the remaining hours of the night brought more nursing, more soothing and little sleep for the probably-teething baby and me.

"We're the same, you know," she said. "I'm doing a restricted diet. You're doing restricted sleep. Both take the joy out of things."

That made me laugh so hard. It's so true! After the boys go to bed, I look forward to the bright, shining window of time that begins at 8:30 p.m. and ends when my shoulders relax in bed as I'm on the cusp of sleep. At that point, someone usually cries, and I'm bolt upright and down the hall.

I try and remind myself, though, that as with all things, this too will pass. Small children won't wake me up forever. And in another year's time, Joseph will be in some sort of preschool, and I won't have to haul a double stroller in and out of the grocery store each day. And heck, I'll probably be able to go more places than just the grocery store each day.

And then I'll cry, because I'll remember when my boys were little. And how hard I worked. And how it was so worth it.

The fact that Sean's illness remains such a mystery means that the size of our family is even more in the hands of God than if he was just a normal, healthy husband. Will we have to restrict how many more children we can have? Probably. Will I get to be that bold Catholic mother, with five or six little ones in tow, proudly showing that we embraced the gift of children? Maybe, maybe not.

Everyone is restricted by something. It's Lent. For now, it seems appropriate.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of those blog posts that makes me feel that my perceptions have been shifted, or perhaps sifted, or rearranged, or something like that. The way you talk about restrictions is a much more helpful way of thinking than the more trite sentence, "Everyone has their problems," perhaps because restrictions (whether Lenton or not) are something that imply that one is dealing with them, enduring them, and surviving them (as cheerfully as possible) instead of just _having_ them. Good post!