I used to drink my morning coffee in one of two venues: either while rushing around frantically getting dressed for work, or on a day off, sitting quietly on the sofa, slowly petting a purring cat while reading my Bible.
Now, I drink my morning coffee while wearing my pajamas in the passenger seat of my car, while my son sits in the driver's seat pushing every button that he can reach, rolling the windows up and down and re-adjusting all of the rearview mirrors.
I used to listen to a huge variety of music: Christian, jazz, opera, folk, classical or whatever else suited my fancy at the moment.
Now my music choices consist of the following: Amharic children's songs or wonderfully intelligent lyrics like "There's a spider on the floor, on the floor. There's a spider on the floor, on the floor. Who could ask for any more than a spider on the floor? There's a spider on the floor, on the floor."
I used to read extensively -- J.R.R. Tolkien, Francene Rivers, Jan Karon, Anne Rivers Siddons, Randy Alcorn, C.S. Lewis, Ted Dekker, Steven Lawhead...
I still read extensively -- books like "Go, Dog. Go!", "A Cuddle For Little Duck" and "Curious George Visits a Toy Store" just to name a few. (Somewhere in the corriders of my brain, I am hearing my Dad's voice from thirty years ago, every time that we brought a new batch of books home from the library, "You know, I should really go into authoring children's books, if people can get THIS published!")
I used to spend time doing crafty things like making beaded watches or making my own notecards.
I still do crafty things -- like unknotting and relacing the shoestrings from David's tennis shoes that Yikealo has just spent the last twenty minutes "artistically arranging" while I was in the shower.
When I used to go out for lunch, it was generally to somewhere like Panera with my father-in-law, where we discussed current business ideas or had a deep, spiritual discussion.
Now, if I go out for lunch, it's to meet my brother-in-law at the McDonald's with the kid's play area, where there really is no conversation because we're busy watching our boys run wild and listening to twenty other sweaty little kids screaming their heads off.
I used to listen to all of my great music on shuffle while scrapbooking for hours at a time in my basement.
Now I scrapbook in half-hour snatches while Yikealo naps, and my soundtrack is his static-enhanced breathing from the baby monitor.
I used to laugh at my sister for yelling at her kids while we were talking on the phone.
Now I'm the one constantly saying things like, "No, do not look in the neighbor's mailbox - it's not ours," "Please stop jumping off of the sofa! You're going to get hurt!," "Yikealo, do NOT pull Frankie's tail again!"
David and I used to spend hours playing Settlers of Catan in our library.
Now we play a great game called "Honey, have you seen Yikealo?" while Yikealo "hides" under the kitchen table and shouts out suggestions of where we should search: "Mama, alga!" (bed) "Yikealo's in his alga?" I ask in a very loud voice. "Ow!" (Yes) from under the table. "No, he's not in his alga," shouts David from the bedroom. "Mama, mekina!" (car) yells the boy...and on...and on...and on...
And the best part is...I wouldn't trade it! Okay, so maybe I do miss certain things, and maybe there are moments when I do sort of feel like this about motherhood:
(Gwen managed to snap this dreadful photo of me last Sunday right as I removed Yikealo's hand from a rather...ummm...un-photogenic area.)
But honestly, I really love this kid, and he has added so much joy to our household. I wouldn't go back to any of the things that I used to love if it meant not having him...and for the most part, it really feels good to be here!
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