The other night was a typical, crazy evening going from one thing to the next. I was tired, frazzled and grouchy, but trying hard to get everything done and still stay a sane mama, one deep breath at at time. We had just arrived at Dallin's first baseball game of the season. I parked the van on the side of the busy street and proceeded to unload the kids. I noticed that Jake's diaper was about one ounce away from a major soak-through, so I instructed the other three to stay by the driver's door so I could hurry and change him. I specifically remember saying, "Abby, stand there and don't move." Then I turned my back.
A minute later I was aware of a car going by way too fast. I glanced up to make sure Abby was still standing by my side. She was gone.
I looked across the street and saw Jason carrying her, walking toward me, shaking his head. He was meeting us there and Abby had run to meet him as soon as she had seen him approaching.
"She ran right out in front of that car! It's a miracle she wasn't hit! Why weren't you watching her?" Jason was upset with me, and he had every right to be. I tried to explain to him that I don't have enough hands, that I was trying my hardest, that I told her to stand there, all the reasons that were completely true, but could never justify the life of our child.
"You need to watch her better!"
"I know. I know."
All I could think was, "She could have been killed. It would have been my fault. She could have been killed." All the emotions of the crazy day and the reality of what almost just happened overwhelmed me. I loaded Jake back into his car seat and told Jason to take Luke and Abby to watch the game. I felt bad missing Dallin's game, but I was too shaken to try to put on a happy face and sit/wrestle Jake for the next hour and a half.
As I drove home through my tears, I prayed. I'm trying my hardest to be a good mom, to meet everyone's needs and be in every place I need to be, but sometimes it's just not enough. I can't do it all. It's too much. Four kids, four hundred places to be, I'm constantly being pulled in so many different directions. If I work hard at one thing, everything else suffers. There just isn't enough of me to go around. I can't do it all. What am I supposed to do?
Later, I opened the April issue of the Ensign to Elder Bednar's article, The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality. It focuses on the power of grace and how Christ literally gives us his enabling power to do and to be more than we could ever be on our own. I could practically hear the answers to my prayers as I read.
"Because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, succor—literally run to us—and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying upon only our own power."
She might have been killed. But she wasn't.
I can't do it all. You don't have to.
What am I supposed to do? Just what you can.
I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have that I only have to do my best. It may not be perfect, or anywhere near, but as long as I am doing my best I can rely on the Savior to make up the difference. I know bad things will still happen. I know life will be hard. I'm just grateful that this time, my daughter was protected and I have the opportunity to start fresh and focus on what matters most.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
I turned 35 a few weeks ago. To be honest, I have dreaded this birthday for 35 years. But now that it has come and gone, I have to wonder, what was I so worried about? 35 is great! I feel like a spring chicken. Young, full of life and possibility... not nearly as geriatric as I had imagined. So I've decided not to hide my age. Who really cares if younger people think I'm old? They are always going to be younger than me, just sitting in the background, getting older themselves at the same time they are judging me for being old. There are just as many people who are older and recognize my youth and vitality for what it is (almost gone, but not quite). I've still got a few good years left in me. I'll take what I can get.
I had a great birthday, minus the fact that our trampoline blew away at 8 am on my birthday morn. I just have to count it as a birthday present because now I don't have to move the thing every time I mow the lawn. Truly, I'm sad it's gone, but I listed it for free on ksl.com and had about 20 phone calls in 30 minutes from people who wanted a free, ruined trampoline. I think that is as popular as I have ever been in my life, so happy birthday to me. I kept taking phone calls long after it was committed to a happy individual because I was having so much fun answering the phone. Okay, so maybe being 35 is a little depressing if that's my idea of a good time these days.
|You may remember that my brother Ryan and I are the same age for one day. Every year we pose proudly with a sign that tells our age on my birthday. Now we include our posterity, so here we are with my four and his three. I think they are about as nutty as a group of kids can be.|
|All I really wanted for my birthday was a break from cooking dinner for one night, so we went to one of my favorite places, Blue Lemon.|
|The traditional family birthday picture. I think we were a little more energetic than the old Blue Lemon was used to. Oh well, we had fun.|
|I always tell myself I am going to try something new but I change my mind at the last second and order my favorite, the Pear and Gorgonzola Spinach Salad. When it arrives at the table, I think, wow, this could feed a family of five. I'm definitely taking some home this time. Ten minutes later, as I finish the last bite and scrape the dressing off the plate with my fork, I think, wow, that was good.|
|Jason hooked me up with some fabulous presents this year, as always. He took me out to lunch and then to Runner's Corner in Orem and waited patiently for me to get fitted with new running shoes by my new favorite person, Hawk. I knew Hawk would be my new favorite person just by his name, and I was not disappointed. I felt like I got a personal training session along with the perfect pair of shoes. I also got some new running clothes, a few dance games for the Wii, and the immersion blender I have wanted since the beginning of time. Yes!|
|Good bye, my fair friend. Next time, we won't take the weights off your legs one week before a large wind storm. We promise.|