Today I was sitting at the piano in primary and looking at Noah. He isn’t on the front row anymore, my little Sunbeam is now in the CTR 5 class. How did that happen? I think about what a sweet, sweet blessing he is in my life, so free with his hugs and kisses and “I love yous.”
I look for Sophie–where is she? She’s not there. This is Jr. Primary, and she is now a Valiant 8, will be baptized this year. Where is time going? She sat on my lap during Sacrament Meeting–way too big for that now, but it makes her happy–and I petted her long hair. It’s getting darker–all my kids’ hair is–my four little blondes will end up dark like David and me.
Lucy moved to a big-girl bed on New Year’s Day. What’s the point of a crib when she can pop out of it at will? When she’s having a fit over something and I mimick her crying by saying “Waaa!” she laughs and stops.
Ben bore his testimony today–he’s growing up and learning how to get nervous speaking in front of others. He testified of the Church and of Jesus Christ. We spent the evening together making a tin-foil covered cardboard stag as his Patronius visual aid for his book report on Harry Potter 3 tomorrow.
I remembered it was Fast Day for once and maybe that is why I felt a little more soft hearted today, just overwhelmed with gratititude for what the Lord has given me–this beautiful family, a husband I love dearly, the gospel, wonderful friends and family, this warm, safe home and the amazing gardening adventure. I think about how he has held us in His hands through so many tricky situations that only He could navigate, and how there are more ahead this year, but I know He will take care of us.
It seems so much of life is spent thinking about what we want–what we want from loved ones, what we want with our careers/finances, what we want to have happen today, tomorrow, next year. But when I’m thinking about what I want, I am not thinking about what I have–it is constantly looking at the empty part of the glass.
There is something to the zen concept of eliminating expectations. Expectations kill relationships, and kill happiness—they keep us always focused on what we lack, not what we have. In marriage, for instance. If I expect David to act like David I will never be disappointed, and can just love him. But to not expect at all–that is a divine state–to just take what comes, experience it, observe it, accept it in faith. That’s not to say we don’t proactively engage in things, but that we don’t tie our happiness to specific outcomes.
Despite rationalizations, expectations are not hope (trust that God is in control and will take care of us), they are not faith (the hope for things which are not seen, which are true), expectations are wanting things to be done a certain way, to go a certain way, for certain things to happen–and they put me on the path of ingratitude.
These were my thoughts today as I looked at the four amazing individuals I’ve been entrusted with–here when I didn’t even think I could have children ten years ago. My cup runneth over, yet sometimes I still see it as half full.
Today Noah trimmed off both cat’s whiskers. Sophie sang in the tub tonight for an hour. When I was getting dressed and hadn’t gotten to the pants part, Lucy helpfully suggested that I “put on a pull-up.” Benjamin just came down sleepwalking, went into the laundry room and came out with a bottle of Shout and Lucy’s snowpants and, when questioned, said frustratedly, “What, you can’t expect me to go around without any pants!”
Life really is good.