If you are a parent of any number of children, you will most likely have heard the phrase, “you’ve got your hands full there!”
Several (hundred) times. A day.
Personally, I don’t mind it. It’s not a tut, or a put-down; it’s a generally positive encounter with another member of the public, who takes the time to acknowledge, on some level, the weight of responsibility you are pushing/ carrying/ dragging/ chasing/ enjoying; depending on the time of day.
I like it. I smile. I comment on their dog.
(I then walk away contemplating the fact that I don’t really like dogs, to be honest, and wonder if they too were just being polite and don’t really like children either?!)
Anyway. I digress…
If you are active on social media- and interact with parents- you will also likely have seen the responding meme, “If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!”
Which is a little, you know, nauseating; but equally, a good response.
Still. I feel the need to go a little further…
For if you think my hands and heart are full, which indeed they are… you should see my head.
Man… my head is busy.
So busy, in fact, that things like gloves and letters and car keys and return slips and registration numbers and internet passwords fall out on a regular basis; whilst things like the latest model of Mum guilt and the plastic crisis and over-scrupulous event planning and advanced spiritual warfare take root and burrow like worms in my tiny, over-worked and under-rested little brain.
“Wow,” Husband often responds to my complicated attempts at pillow-talk, “it must be so exhausting to be you!”
And so every now and then, I write. I write and write until my fingers burn and my soul is soothed. I write until my mind finds peace or my creative itch is scratched. And then, of course, I shut the laptop and get on with life until the next overspill arises.
Which is fine.
Except that it leaves gaps.
Huge gaps between feeling pretty low, dark and lonely– to loving life and thriving again. I try as best I can to paint a full picture each time I take to typing; but it’s not always possible in the time given.
And so here I am, at the start of Advent; having begun to clean and clear out our dirty house, ready for the ministerial onslaught that is Christmas; wishing to clean and clear out my busy (NOT dirty, this time!) mind before the new year begins.
I have a few anecdotes. A few sleeping dogs to prod. A few niggling questions about life and love and faith and friendships that I’ve been wrestling with and would love to flesh out here.
But… it’s already 10pm and my children will be up at 5…
It already looks like I won’t be fleshing them out tonight!
So for once, I think, I’ll actually aim for short and sharp…
A few extra posts this season, to illuminate the dark.
(Doubtful? Me too! But let’s just see how we get on, eh?!)
Thanks for reading… and I hope we meet again soon!