Ties that bind

I traded my heels and pearls in this past week for gym shorts and t shirts. I went to Savannah to keep my 19 month old twin nephews.  My sister in-law went to Camp Greystone as she has done almost every summer of her life since she was six. She now goes as a Camp Staffer. It is a fun reunion with old friends and great memories. One of which, is that when she was in the eighth grade, her future husband’s sister was her modeling instructor. Yes, I know modeling at camp sounds odd, but we didn’t just model, we learned etiquette and other useful tips in life like “don’t call boys.”  She told me later she remembered that advice.  Life has such an interesting tapestry that weaves lives together and I am so thankful God chose for that precious girl to grow up to be my youngest brother’s wife.  But, I digress, about my week as a stay at home mom.  To be fair, my mother came also to help, and I honestly could not have done it alone. I have a new respect and admiration for my sister-in law, Betsy and for all moms with little tots.

I once gave a talk to a group of married women with children about fashion and told them that when their husbands came home from work, they needed to make sure they had on a cute outfit and lipstick… easy for me to say as a single gal. Looking back, after what I experienced this week,  I am surprised those women didn’t throw knives at me. I did well just to get dressed and did not get out of the same two pairs of exercise shorts and t shirts all week. Once, when I did get to wash my hair, I did not have time to blow it dry. It looked liked straw when it dried and was so bad that even my sweet mother told me to put on a baseball cap before I went to the grocery store.  Now, I am one of those people who tells women to always look their best in public and I went looking absolutely horrible.  Honestly, I called a dear friend, who has two young boys under the age of three and told her I had never felt so ugly.  She laughed and was glad I could be in her shoes for a change.

The minute my feet hit the floor in the morning, it was non-stop until I fell into bed around 8:30 and was asleep right away. I slept lightly all week listening out for babies. The first day I was there, Will woke up with a fever and was sick with a bad cold. He felt so bad that all he wanted was for me to hold him.  Robert, his brother was perfectly fine and full of energy. I was chasing him all around with a crying baby on my hip. Mom did not come until Sunday, and Scott was there, but we could not keep that poor little fellow from crying.  It broke my heart. It took him a couple of days, but he finally got back to his happy little self!

My other brother, David lives in Savannah, too and came several days to visit and eat dinner. It was really a sweet time for us to be together. Our father died when we were young, so it was just the four of us for so long, and we are extremely close. One of the blessings of such grief and tragedy is you can pull together as a family and become united because you know that those family members are really the only ones who understand what you have been through because they went through the same thing. Those are very strong ties that bind!

Every morning, we would take the babies for a stroll, and they love to go for a walk. They are just beginning to say words and repeat them over and over. It is so fun to view the world through a child’s eye. They get so excited to see a car and repeat “car, car” over and over. They do the same thing for dog, pool, squirrel, etc. etc. Their new word is “wow” and everything is a “wow” They get so thrilled about the smallest things and giggle and giggle.  We would come back to play, then it was lunchtime and then naptime.  During their nap, we cleaned, washed bottles, or one of us would go to the store. No time for naps for us!  One day, I mopped the porch, washed both dogs, baked banana bread, went to the store and then came home and made dinner.  And I realized, that is Betsy’s everyday and every other precious mother who is at home shepherding her children’s hearts. I was patting myself on the back for doing all of that in one day, but countless moms do that everyday without a second thought.

By the end of the week, my mom and I had a routine down and I wasn’t as tired as I was at the beginning of the week. Every morning, I asked God to give me strength and He did. It was such a precious and memory-making week. I know they are so young, and won’t remember this week, but I pray that there will be such strong ties that bind me to those precious angel babies. I did not know it was possible to love little ones so much. Even now, I have tears in my eyes as I see their sweet cherub faces and hear in my ear “want down” over  and over.

So, all you moms out there, when you are so exhausted and feel like it is groundhog day again after changing diapers, feeding babies, cleaning house, and everything else you do, go pick up your little ones and hold them close to your heart and thank God for giving you a tie that binds you forever, a child.