A day with no earthly helper

I wake up feeling full of holes. Son crying, poopy morning diaper, a kitchen island filled with the debris of a long and busy weekend, the summer-to-winter clothes switch just beginning. My mother, stalwart helper, has a surgical complication and is off to the doctor and I am here alone with my brood.

I think of these bits of foliage from my trip to Charleston. Still beautiful even though eaten through by a million tiny insects. I bow my head, pray that I will be a beautiful full-of-holes mother today.

School. I have papers to edit, a paper to write, am contemplating the potential of a new job at the hospital that will demand a month of my time. I am my children's teacher, and I think about time commitments and how much to ask of them this first full week.

This job never really ends.

In the hardware of a barn, I see my title in rusty metal. It's a mantle that I wore unexpectedly, a hat I didn't imagine I'd have to wear for four-children-in-four-years. Yet how lucky to have any at all, with my diagnosis of infertility! I remember that, and bravery steels my soul for a long day at home.

These days, too, shall pass. Too quickly.

Already I watch my friends and family, with their sweet, cuddlesome babies, and my heart is filled with longing and regret for what I missed during those years.

My prayer today: be mindful. Live in each moment. Absorb the events of the day. Stay engaged. Lord, help me in my weakness.

Excerpted from my gratitude journal #806-829:
#806 Rosy reads an entire Laura Ingalls picture book
#812 My auntie Rosalie coming for a night and a day
#816 My children in the parade I used to be in as a child
#817 The sun beating down hot in September
#820 Bean fields drying yellow in the heat
#826 Sumacs turning red in Echo Woods