Friday, January 23, 2009

So, Here's the Deal

Kinda looks like a steam engine for a minute there, doesn't it? It's the plant behind it.

There have been a shocking lack of posts to my blogs in the past couple months, and it's not that there's nothing to blog about. Trouble is, we are in a very busy season (I talk like we're accountants or something) and life is just going by so fast and in order to put the energy I need to into my days, I am virtually useless in the evenings (I also sound like I'm about to make a reproduction announcement, but never you fear, family-who-thinks-we're-crazy-for-having-3-kids-in-a-little-over-3-years, I am indeed not making such an announcement.) I am simply exhausted, and something has to give.

Not that it has been all work and no play. Much of our busy-ness, in fact, has been extremely enjoyable. To sum up a few recent of those enjoyable activities, we've just said goodbye to Casey's mom and her husband, John, who came to visit from Oregon right before getting into the thick of preparing their orchards for cherry season. They were here for a little under a week, and we had a great time with them. We got to take the Rail Runner into Bernalillo (I know--how exciting, right? But it really was!) for lunch one day, which we all enjoyed. It wouldn't have been very doable with just Casey and I. It's so helpful for activities like that to have the adults outnumber the children. Sandy and John gave Casey and I a few mini-dates, and all-around were extremely helpful while they were here. My guess is that they needed to rest up for a few days from their vacation when they got home.

But here's where the real issue of busy-ness lies: like a doofus (sp?), I had to mention in our Christmas letter that Claire is coming out of her phase of volatile tantrum-throwing. Only weeks after saying such an assumptive statement, Claire has upped the ante and her fits are over the top. She is, as Casey likes to refer to her, a loose cannon. We have cancelled a number of activities due to this, and (poor Ruby) I have decided it is best to not leave the house with them until Claire is better able to control herself. Her fits are almost uncontrollable at home, and there's no way we could go out in public with her right now. (I'll admit: today was more than I could handle so I took them for a picnic in the park--for their safety as well as my sanity. A fit in the wide-open outdoors is not so difficult to recover or escape from quickly. Nothing like the grocery store.)

I'm going to take a leap here and share that these two things (having a helpful visit from family and an escalatingly taxing parenting challenge) have helped me see something more clearly. It is dawning on me that, in days of old, it was easier to have a big family. Of course, there were sacrifices, and we do enjoy a great deal of modern conveniences they didn't have, nor did they necessarily have as much of a choice to have a smaller family. But generations lived under the same roof, relatives of all kinds were next door and around the bend. When there are several people pitching in around the house and helping with children, the load becomes not just bearable, but quite light. I even had the energy while our company was here to bake cookies. Something I probably do about every 4-6 months (except for the Christmas season). And though some of our meals were more complicated than they usually are when it is just the five of us, they were a breeze to throw together when there were people to help with the children and hands to help with the meal (and let's not forget clean-up; thanks, John!). It's easy to see why in old Italian or Spanish families there was so much t0-do over cooking. There were at least a few people involved in preparing the complex courses. No wonder there was such hoopla surrounding meals. The thought tantilizes me like the thought of a quilting bee. Not only are you accomplishing something practical, but you are meeting needs far beyond the physical. It's something I've noticed and appreciated greatly when I have company: I feel emotionally rejuvinated in the visiting that goes on whilst working on something together.

If I were making a reproductive announcement, I guess it would be that in light of our situation, I'm getting more and more okay with the idea that we may not have (many) more children. Not that we're quite to the "we're done" decision, but it is beginning to be a consideration.

Just a few thoughts from an atrophying mind as its overly taxed body takes a breather.


Anonymous said...

So much of what you're going through is because of the ages of your children, Sarah. It was easier for us to have the 8th then to have 2, for the very reason of having more hands to help. It will get better, I promise!
Love you and are praying for you!

Andy and Amy said...

I agree with your mom's comment that it was hardest when they were all little and they weren't truly helpful. The three older are so helpful and much more self sufficient now...what a huge difference. It is easier to go to the store with the older ones and Moriah than just with Moriah! Hang in there!