Thursday, December 8, 2011

Totally On Purpose: Grace, Not Perfection

Dear Baby TOP,

Today is Thursday, December 8. You are 22 weeks and 2 days (give or take) into the baking process. A little less than 18 weeks - I hope! - before we get to meet in real life.You are still sucking the life out of my sacrum and my athleticism and, you know, it would be super cool if you could find your way to a new spot. Otherwise, we're good and I totally already forgive you.

Today I've been thinking a lot about how life is going to change when you get here. There are a million X-Factors involved in trying to predict the pattern of my days to come. This causes me a heap of anxiety. What will life be like on April 15? August 1? Or 2013 and beyond?? I wonder at the wisdom of The Universe offering up another bundle of love to me at the very brink of when I thought I would be finding myself in Big Girl Work. Am I hitting the reset button for another 6 years? Oh, Destiny, could you be so cruel?

And then I, of course, get real and know that The Universe did not actually cause your conception. (But you are WAY too young for THAT conversation!) I try not to give in to the notion that Fate decides things like this. It's mindsets like that in other people that can really irritate me, as I think they use it as a cop out for not getting their sh*t together.Then again, some people that I really love and respect have that outlook on life and they certainly have THEIR sh*t together.

Ah, the classic debate: external v. internal locus of control.(Maybe it's only classic to me, since I seem to grapple with it 8 or 10 or 100 times a week!) Somehow I feel like a bit of that is all wrapped up in God and Faith and, oy!, it makes my head spin and my heart hurt and my knees weak.

"Faith is not the absence of doubt." I keep reminding myself.

But "faith is not the absence of doubt" is not the mantra I found myself repeating this morning. Instead, I was reminded of a conversation my husband had with one of his oldest friends, now an Anglican priest. They were talking about "Dispatches from Candor", which the friend made the heroic journey from Pittsburgh, PA to Wolfeboro, NH to come see, and as Scott was talking about all the details he wanted to get right in order to honor Polly and those who love(d) her, his friend looked at him and said:

"You know, I'll take Grace over Perfection any day."

So, this morning, that piece of wisdom was whirling around my brain over and over and over again. I had amp'd myself up for a very stressful morning: Up even earlier than usual to get the boys ready in time to take Scott to school at 6:40 since the van is getting fixed (we hope) and we are a one car family for now; home again for a few minutes to finish lunches and snacks and notes to teachers and last night's reading homework (play rehearsal last night = no time for finishing  homework!); taking boys to the bus stop; greeting a 3-year-old, 2-year-old, 7-month-old and their keepers; hauling the trio of said small people with me to my midwife appointment; surviving said midwife appointment; hauling the trio home again....

Just in time for baby's bottle and snack and, yeah, now it's basically lunch time and every body has to pee and wants to try the potty to earn a chocolate chip and nobody wants to share toys and several minutes of "I said bless you to the  baby" "NO! I said bless you to the baby" "No I did!" "NO I DID!!!", and NO you cannot turn on PBS Kids because you were just arguing and there's no TV if you're arguing and PLEASE give me 5 minutes and I promise lunch will be ready and....

THANK GOD every one went down for a nap simultaneously so I could come to my Blog and work it all out.



Almost forgot this was a letter to you, Baby TOP. Sorry about that.

Days like this offer so very many opportunities for failure/disaster/tears/frustration. All I could do was think ahead, do the prep work, and hope for the best. And really, the stressful stuff only happened at home and not on the road or in the doctor's office. What's that we say, "Public stress is multiplied; private stress is halved"? Anyway, since there was no audience for the ugly stuff nn the biz we call that "A Win".

Because of the mantra in my head all morning, before I started this entry I called on my good pal Mr. Google and did a search under "grace over perfection". Up popped this little diddy:

Found this. Want to marry it.

It's a bit wordier than "grace over perfection" but it also has the side benefit of being a complete sentence. The blogger who created this is Emily Ley. She is a designer, entrepreneur, Mom, and many other things, I'm sure, but I haven't had the chance to fully explore her website. I cannot express strongly enough how accidental it was that I found it or how happy it makes me. (Which kind of brings me back to FATE again. What the heck!?) This particular post is from the spring but I could tell from the comments that I was not the only person to stumble upon it only recently.

I don't know exactly where I'm headed with these thoughts today, TOP. I guess I just want to keep the notion of Grace in my head as I navigate these "new, familiar waters" (Looky there, I just came up with a new phrase for the feelings of having a surprise baby when you think you are done!)

Baby TOP - forgive me for the times when I stumble, literally and figuratively, and try to help me remember that I am lucky. Because above all else, that's what I am.

(Your Lucky) Mom

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