Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Doing What I Ought To Do

Is spring ever coming this year?  Because I feel like it's been February for about 6 months in a row.

I know that feeling has a lot to do with the weather, and the lack of sleep, and the fact that I've been living under quarantine for ages now.  I went to a baby shower last weekend and left feeling like I had talked too loud, too fast, and too much for the whole evening simply because I have forgotten how to interact with people who are not infants or children.

Yes.  It's been that bad, and I'm sure I was a total boor.  (Back to the Mom Cave I go, sans awesome car.)

A friend of mine remarked that it seems like we've had a bad year for illness, but I think we've actually had an average one.  However, the perception of perpetual illness is not that far off when you have 7 possible infectors/infectees, not counting the parents.

Think about it:  One child comes down with a juicy chest cold.  Fever, hacking cough, general malaise and grumpiness; nothing major, but it still knocks them down for the better part of a week on average.  Germ Vector One then lovingly passes this virus on to one of their siblings, via sippy cup sharing or full facial coughing or direct licking or whatever.

And on it goes, ad infinitum, ad nauseum (literally!).  What takes a family of four 2 weeks to overcome takes us the better part of 2 months.  So yes, it does seem like we are always sick, but we've actually just been through the usual this year.  And for that I'm grateful.

Why does my mom keep telling people I cry all the time?
That is clearly not the case.

Lent is continuing apace here.  Don't let me mislead you; it is definitely continuing, but almost without me. I feel like Lent has been a bust mostly because I hardly made any kind of Lenten promises and have proceeded to not keep every single lukewarm one of them.

Come 'ere!  C'mon, lemme lick you!  How else am I going to give you my germs?!

Rob kindly tried to remind me that my whole life has been Lent since December.  I, ever the reasonable spouse, managed to reply calmly:  I AM THE BIGGEST LENT LOSER!  

It's true, I have had a more physically sacrificial time of it for a while now.  Little to no sleep; awful, awful colic for Septimus; possible nerve damage in my back from the single most aggressive epidural/spinal ever; weird loss of feeling around front by my incision (which I am hoping is temporary but may not be); weeks on end where I cannot go for 30 minutes without hearing someone cry; and let's not even talk about the weight and the diet and the everything else like that.  

So yeah, that's been kind of hard.

But, but, but . . . despite all that, I've been just as petulant and whiny and spiritually immature on the inside as ever.  Instead of uniting all of my (admittedly minor) sufferings with Christ, I just whine and cry that I'm sooooo tired of it all.  

And then I eat a cookie.   Lenten FAIL.

I think I'm going to roll.  If I can get my giant head over far enough,
gravity will just take over.

Whoa, I just did it! What a rush.

Yes, I AM awesome. Thanks for noticing.

All my attempts at penance have been minimal and I have been seriously feeling like this Lent might not even be salvageable, and then I read this:

Without a doubt obedience is more meritorious than any other penance.  And what greater penance can there be than keeping one's will continually submissive and obedient.  (St. Catherine of Bologna)

Oh man.  Obedience, huh?  Obedience is better than penance?  Keeping my will continually submissive?  Augh.

Beautiful, gorgeous, darling quilt from my dear Barbara.
We are now the blessed recipients of 3 handmade baby quilts from Barbara.
In fact, that's why we keep having babies - the fantastic swag!
Kidding, kidding!
We keep having them for the tax deductions. Ha.

Upon further consideration, I guess there is a way to make these last days of Lent worth something.  If nothing else, I can be obedient.

And what does obedience look like at this stage of my life?

It looks a lot like cleaning the toothpaste out of the bathroom sink again without complaint; it looks like getting Baby out of bed the first time I hear her instead of letting her sit in there a little longer so I can have more quiet time of my own (pleeeease tell me that I am not the only one who does this?); it looks like walking around with a crying baby compassionately, not grudgingly; it looks like washing the floors, not playing around on Facebook.

Mopsy, my darling.  She is on the cusp of her
third birthday and as delicious as ever.

And I can do that.  I can make this last final push to be obedient, even if I cannot do any other thing.

I love messing around with the filters.  This one looks like Baby is coming
out of warp speed.  Which she usually is.


  1. Aimee, you crack me up and convict me all at once! I'm not trying to give you a free pass out of Lent, but honestly being a stay at home mom with an infant (and a colicky one at that) is so demanding and tiring. All you need to do is say your Morning Offering and and you're good to go with whatever God throws at you.

    P.S. We are heading down to MD in April...

  2. Anonymous8:49 PM

    Please, please cut yourself some slack. You are amazing. You have no idea. So amazing. You do so much for your family, for others.
    We all have our days where we let the baby cry a few more minutes, where we eat a cookie (or get a milkshake) instead of exercising. I know how tough colic is and you deserve whatever you need to get thru this time.
    Somedays you just need to say 'dealing with all this with whatever patience I can muster is going to have to be enough'. Next Lent everyone will be a little bigger and it should (theoretically) be easier. Then you will have a better Lent.
    A sign you are doing it right is how those kids ran to the house to see the Pope for the first time. :)
    -Lisa Luciano

  3. I think that you are doing much more than you realize right now. Sometimes Lenten sacrifices are planned out, defined commitments. And sometimes the sacrifice is keeping our hearts willing and open. Sometimes the things we think of as "distractions" turn out to be more than that. Your focus is right where it needs to be and God gets that. Maybe you don't feel as though you are able to do as much internal spiritual work right now but you are giving of yourself, each and every day. And that definitely leads to internal growth.


Go ahead and say it. You know you want to.