I just figured out why I cry

Alright, women–especially moms–cry. It’s such a total stereotype too, which doesn’t help the whole problem of crying at the drop of a hat. Who has two thumbs and doesn’t like being a stereotype? This mom. Crying was a pretty unpleasant discovery for me after I had kids. I’ve never been a fan of crying in general. You make funny noises, bad faces, and snot and tears get everywhere. Not appealing. Plus, let’s just be realistic–what on earth is crying really accomplishing besides a puffy face? Pretty much nothing. Have you ever looked in the mirror while crying? Not your best look. In fact, if you’re anything like me, I bet you were so horrified that you cried even harder.

Here’s the kicker about the whole crying thing though. Sometimes the toughest part about crying isn’t the emotion that accompanies it, but simply not being able to define or understand that emotion. Granted, lots of times you cry because you are genuinely happy or sad, but the other 75% of the time you cry simply because you relate. No, there was nothing explicitly sad about that bedtime story, but you relate so deeply to the idea of loving your baby as long as you’re living; your baby they’ll be, that you just cry.

The other day I was watching a commercial for detergent. This was while the Olympic games were still on TV and the commercial showed all these little kids with their game faces on participating in Olympic sports. Of course, I’m exasperated because everyone knows little kids shouldn’t be doing the high dive and so far this is a lame commercial, so I’m watching with equal amounts of irritation and annoyance while a little boy bounces gently at the top of the diving board before preparing for his backwards dive. All of a sudden the camera cuts to a woman in the stands watching with tense eyes and white-knuckled hands. And then the words: Because to you, they’ll always be kids.* And then in one giant woosh of emotion I saw every Olympic athlete with a mother in the stands watching her baby on the parallel bars or running their heart out in a footrace and then of course I thought of my own two little babies as adults someday doing who knows what and doing it well, and like a crazy time warp, all of a sudden I was that mother in the stands with tense eyes and white knuckles. So yes. As you may have now deduced, of course I cried.

I didn’t cry because I was happy, and I didn’t cry because I was sad. I simply cried because I related so deeply. Someone once compared having children to letting your heart walk around outside of your body for the rest of your life. That’s true. A common side effect of letting such a fragile organ jump off of couches and cry over the mean boys in Sunday school, or getting scared of the thunder, is that your heart is always a little bit raw and broken and exposed when it comes to your children. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, it’s a gift that allows all parents a unique and earth-shattering look into the Father heart of God for his children. And the strange uptick in crying? That’s simply what happens when you relate to everything in the deepest part of your exposed heart.

I’m trying not to let it bother me though because I’m pretty sure I prefer it this way. I’d rather live like that trembling fall leaf, than the bud that was always hidden deep inside the branch.

Speaking of which, the trees in my town are starting to turn their leaves. What is up with that anyway!?

*or something to that general effect. It’s not like I sat down and wrote out the commercial verbatim.

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Like trying to fill a bathtub with no drain plug…

Is that title too gross? Some words just gross me out but I couldn’t think of a clearer way to communicate how i felt. “Drain” is a nasty word like oozing and sloughing. And “Plug”? I have no idea, but gag me with a spoon already! I have no idea why i’m still writing this paragraph. I should really just delete it and start over, but in my experience, my creativity is based on 25% inappropriate topics, 30% things i would normally filter into the do-not-mention category, 20% no small children fighting over the same toy in a room full of similar toys, and 70% good old Holy Spirit. I realize that’s more than 100% but let’s keep in mind that that’s how the Holy Spirit rolls sometimes.

Anyway, before I started espousing the characteristics of words most commonly used in a wound clinic, the point of this whole blog was to assure you–dear reader–that I haven’t forgotten you this last month. Nothing saps my creativity faster than being constantly needed by people that don’t have a “Hey, let’s go play by ourselves and not fight or pull the dog’s tail!” button. I would even take a “regular naptime” button, but neither of my children have that one either. I’m pretty sure theirs was a factory recall but they are cute little buggers so i decided to keep them–dysfunctional nap button and all.

One of the tough things about being a creative person is that my creativity is a lifeline to God and one of the ways we intrinsically communicate. I am in his presence most when I’m sitting at the piano–even if it’s in a dirty house and in my bathrobe while my children get into the fruitsnacks. Even busting out the old glue gun can bring me into His presence, because it isn’t merely the aspect of occupying my hands and sitting still to think but simply tapping into an aspect of my nature that was divinely inspired. Most of the time that I write, I feel the introspective heart of God probing my own. It’s important to know yourself–even as cliche as that sounds. Just because you tick when everyone else tocks, doesn’t mean your tick is wrong. Although usually a tick isn’t a good thing. But you get what I’m saying, though…right?

You know, I really had a point I was trying to make with that whole blog title and now it doesn’t seem to apply quite as much. I was trying to use a word picture to show how being a mother to two “lively” children affects my creativity. Aaaanyway. That’s the other thing about kids–they take away your short-term memory.

Hi, what are we doing here again?…oh right, i was blogging.

Squirrel!

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This post goes out to HGTV

Alright, for those of you that want an “after” picture–I was talking to Martha the other day on the way to my HGTV shoot and we decided that I should probably clean my kitchen and put on those darn drawer pulls before we make the official “after” post. I mean, in my experience, Martha Stewart is occasionally right about that sort of thing, so I decided to go with it.

I do have a tiny sort of deadline in my head. Apparently (according to county records) on November 2nd 2012, my house will be one century, one decade, one year, one month, and one day old. I would love to have it mostly finished for pictures by then. For those of you mathematically challenged people–and since most of my readers did not grow up in China, I’ll assume that this applies to about 78% of you–my house was built in 1901 and i believe it was finished on October 1st.

In the meantime, I would love to see before-and-after pictures of YOUR houses. I don’t care if the before is messy and the after is clean, or vice-versa, but feel free to send them to me so i can feature them on my blog and talk about your interior decorating choices and whether or not myself and the rest of the internet think kindly of them. I kid, we will only say nice things. But seriously, send me some pictures.

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