Dinosaur Thought of the Day: We could have been extinct last night. A giant asteroid like the one that had made dinosaurs go extinct sailed safely passed Earth. But we made it.
Since St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve written several drafts of posts, but have yet to publish them–save for the one below. I’ve been busy, very tired, etc. Then the Boston Marathon bombings occurred, and I lost again the heart to blog for a while. I didn’t want to talk about dinosaurs anymore in the face of shattered parents, children, and dreams. I didn’t want to go inward, but reach outward, even though paradoxically I think we need to do the first to achieve the latter–but I think going inward via prayer rather than by writing about my trivial crap should be the proper way to go.
Personal blogs are by nature narcisstic, but almost all writing is, even fiction, despite what Tom Wolfe says.
I can’t do a lot of things. But 1) I can often feel other people’s emotional pain, often a lot stronger than I would like. Sometimes I am too clumsy to use this empathy. I don’t know the right words to say. 2) I haven’t given in to the lie that youth and fashion magazines tell us: “you will live forever (in this world).”
In other words, I am under no illusion that we may die at anytime, and yet we must to be a healthy, functioning human being, continue our lives.
So many people say it seems like we are in the end times. But Nero burned Rome a long time ago; it’s been burned again and again. And here we still are. And we have to hope while facing the grave.
I’ll do it, because of what I believe and fight daily to Believe, but it isn’t perfect obedience.
The Boston bombings made me realize that while no one can take anything from you,
except your life,
except your life,
except your life,
we have to walk, crawl, limp, look to the Finish Line, even if we may never cross the one at the marker we have in mind.
And when people themselves cannot make it, because their chance was taken away, or they are growing weak from sickness or age, or threatening daily, despite all our tears and prayers, to check out of the race early, or they have already cut it short, taking our breath and heart away because it was too painful for them to finish, we are supposed to carry them, whether with flesh or bones memorial, and be carried by them.
For with faith and love draw near.
MY POST WAY BEFORE THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING (AROUND MARCH 30):
My ideal day would be:
Starting the day off in prayer and gratitude instead of the reveille of two little Dinos screaming and crying.
Having everyone’s face washed and teeth brushed, without protest or indignation that I had put only 2, not 3, different kinds of toothpaste on the brush, and then an epic battle to brush Toddler Dino’s teeth myself, and get her to swish.
Having time to wash my own face rather than use a diaper wipe.
Drinking fresh juice instead of clawing for coffee like a vampire needs blood.
Making an amazing, wholesome nutritious breakfast from scratch, served with a rose, while no little Dino is screaming or arguing about TV.
Getting the kids into beautiful, custom tailored clothes worn by wealthy British children a century ago instead of trying to find anything that isn’t stained.
Taming and styling the Lorax that is Toddler Dino’s hair without protest.
Having a predictable schedule and getting to play dates or kids functions on time.
Looking amazing and unfrazzled instead of not being able to feel half my face because I’m so tired.
Making an organic, nutritious lunch.
Having kids take naps together so I can take one, too.
Having Toddler Dino do reading, math, science, music, botany, art, exercise, everyday and on schedule instead of feeling like I’m winging it every day.
Having a moment to myself and work out or volunteer. The time I have for blogging? Only made possible my being on my side typing while nursing.
Making a gluten-free French dinner a with candles and look like Shalom Harlow in that Tiffany & Co. Video. Because that is such a realistic picture of motherhood, right?
Ending the day in prayer and gratitude, not a three hour epic battle and a demand from Toddler Dino for better ore satisfactory explanations about Why Little Dinos Gotta Go Sleep.
Having the kids go to bed on time and not waking up twenty times a night to nurse and looking and feeling like the bride of Frankenstein in the morning.
The reality is that this ideal day only happens five out of seven days a week.
I’m just kidding.
Especially during the time I was recovering from my C- section a few months ago, I realize that I can’t do everything I want to do.
I realize there are a few lower energy things I can do on days I can’t homeschool, especially days when Baby Dino’s colic/fussiness is so bad he wants to be carried for 14 hours straight.
Level 1 Activities (Activities that require low energy)
1) Start the day off with a quick prayer, even if it’s in my head–even if it’s one sentence: Dear God, thank you for this day. (To my wise friend N., thank you for this reminder to be grateful, daily.) Most often it is followed by: “Please help me find the strength to get through this day because I’m dead tired.” This practice has evolved into a prayer circle: Recently, also at the idea of this same wise friend, we go around after our morning and evening prayer and say what we’re grateful for. So far, Toddler Dino is grateful that I get to spend time with her, lizards, beds, blankets, eggs, that Baby Dino’s thigh was going to heal even though she bit him a day earlier, planets, dinosaurs, and more.
2) Play calming classical music.
3. Listen to books on tape.
Level 2 (Activities that are very chill but still require some energy)
4) Read at least one story together.
5) Make up a story together.
6) Sing with your kid.
7) Making sure Toddler Dino eats at least one piece of fruit or vegetable and her vitamins. As she hates most vegetables I offer her pureed fruit and vegetable baby food in pouches.
When all else fails, I hold my children and tell them I love them no matter what. That’s the best activity of all.