Life and breathing

>Sorry it’s been a while. Life is life over here.

I’m convinced that there are no petty, annoying colds in Uganda. I mean sure, you could pick up malaria or yellow fever or other scary illnesses — but today, I’m living in the reality of no antibodies to the North American cold. Benjamin has been fighting at least two, maybe three different colds back-to-back since we returned home. Between that and figuring out sleep at night… and it’s pretty obvious that I’m complaining.

Maybe I’m just longing for the simplicity of my time in Africa. Nothing to do (most days) except get to know my baby in a lush, tropical paradise. Days full of pondering and ruminating, which led to spiritual insights, healing and some good blog posts that helped me see what was happening. At home, I have 100 more responsibilities, and getting things done seems to be the highest calling of the day.

“I don’t want to measure my day based on accomplishments,” I mumbled wearily to Nathan one night recently, saying it out loud to help me stay away from old habits. He agreed. But so far, I’m at a loss for how to do that. I get cranky at the messy state of my home. I long for escape from the demands of motherhood. I stare at the computer screen and miss the life and growing and playing and wonder happening right behind me.


So today, when cleaning was on the agenda during Benjamin’s morning nap while the other two are at school, instead I have a baby sleeping on my chest. (Congestion and a longing to be comforted prevents me from setting him down. That’s not such a bad thing.) I’m taking time to think and take a couple deep breaths. Africa’s not so far away when I just stop the merry-go-round, say yes to the moment and really pay attention to the sounds of spring rain outside my window.

This is the day I’ve been given. My prayer is that I’m present to live it.

  • Chasity

    >Oh Kim! I can so feel your heart in this, and so very much of what you say here are also the trappings of my heart. My littles from UG aren't here yet, but I know me. I know my hang-ups and so, in the future I know I'll remember your words as encouragement to myself to break the old habits and in the process to remember that I am not the only one battling these tendencies. Praying for you in this.

  • Annie

    >(From Jeb) Rain and merry-go-rounds and children can go quite well together.

    "I went over and sat down on this bench, and she went and got on the carousel. She walked all around it. I mean she walked once all the way around it. Then she sat down on this big, brown, beat-up-looking old horse. Then the carousel started, and I watched her go around and around. There were only about five or six other kids on the ride, and the song the carousel was playing was "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." It was playing it very jazzy and funny. All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was
    sort of afraid she'd fall off the goddam horse, but I didn't say anything or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off they fall off, but it's bad if you say anything to them.
    When the ride was over she got off her horse and came over to me. "You ride once, too, this time," she said.
    "No, I'll just watch ya. I think I'll just watch," I said. I gave her some more of her dough. "Here. Get some more tickets."
    She took the dough off me. "I'm not mad at you any more," she said.
    "I know. Hurry up–the thing's gonna start again."
    Then all of a sudden she gave me a kiss. Then she held her hand out, and said, "It's raining. It's starting to rain."
    "I know."
    Then what she did–it damn near killed me–she reached in my coat pocket and took out my red hunting hat and put it on my head.
    "Don't you want it?" I said.
    "You can wear it a while."

    -J. D. Salinger