This blog is the story of my journey from lawyer to stay-at-home mommy. After finding out I was pregnant with baby #2, we decided that we would give it a go for awhile with me staying home with the kids. I worked after having our first child Deacon, so this experience will be a new one for me. I decided to blog mainly so that I would have a memorialization of the process since those first few months with a new baby are a fog anyway. But years from now, whether I never made it back or whether I am spending my days in suits and heels, I want to be able to look back and see what God is teaching me in these days of going from the courtroom to the playroom.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

At the Table Love Prevailed

If I were taking my usual maternity leave, this week would have marked my return to the office. Miller has come alive in the last few days, and I am so excited to be here to experience it.

When I was working and things were exceptionally busy, sometimes I would feel like I was living in a hotel. With the rush of the morning and the hurricane that characterized every evening, I felt at times like my house wasn't really my house, but just a hotel that we were sleeping in when the rest of life wasn't going on. We have a wonderful playroom for Deacon and he wasn't using it because we were never here. Weekends we were usually out and about trying to do the things we didn't have time for during the week. You know that feeling you get when you walk out in your backyard and you realize that you haven't seen it in months? That's what was happening, and we don't live in either of the Dakotas.

Now that I am spending much more time at home, I have begun to think more about what I want this home to be for my children. A number of years ago when I was in college, my mom mentioned to me that she'd been shopping for a new kitchen table. She'd looked and looked, but couldn't find anything to her liking. I asked her, isn't there ANYTHING that you like well enough to buy? And I was touched by her response - she said that she believed she wasn't finding anything she liked because she really didn't want to replace the table. She said there were so many memories associated with that table and she just wasn't ready to part with it. Not long after that, I was listening to the album of a singer named Riley Armstrong and heard a song called "The Table." I wish I was tech savvy enough to put an audio link here, but since I am not, here are the lyrics:

The table's where my father thanked the Lord for providing
The table's where he sat us down and told us to stop fighting
At the table there were tears, at the table there was laughter
The table's where my mother brought the fruits of her labor
We never did go hungry though there were times we were able
At the table love prevailed, at the table love was always there.

And I was always safe and warm
Sheltered from the sticks and stones
And although time passed by and we moved on
I will still pray Lord keep my family strong
Cause Life out there isn't how life was around the table.

The table's were my family shared the joys and the sorrows.
Stories of the day and the goals for tomorrow
At the table someone listened, at the table someone always cared.
And I will never forget all the memories at the table
Holidays with relatives and coffee with the neighbors
At the table we were home, at the table we were never alone.

Around the table we were one
Round the table we were fortunate to grow up
And as we asked to be excused, we never will remove it from our hearts.
I believed then (and now) that those words rang true about my childhood experience. I had countless memories, good and bad, around that table. That's where we ate as a family every night. That's where my mom and us girls decorated Christmas cookies every year. It was an eat one, ice one kind of event for me. It's where we read the paper Saturday mornings and dissected whatever ball game I had just played in. It's where my dad tried desperately to teach us the virtues of abstinence over burgers ("You see, girls, here is a jar of mayo. It's pure. It's white. But when you go sticking this knife in it after the knife's been in the ketchup and mustard, it's no longer pure and white anymore" Wha???) Anywho, that table, and everything it symbolizes, was the hub of so many experiences and events in our house growing up, good and bad.

Now that I have children of my own and actually have this precious time to spend with them, I have wondered what will be "the table" at our house. No matter what the physical location may be, my hope and my prayer is that Deacon and Miller will grow up with a multitude of memories that let them know that they are loved without condition and that they will always, always be able to come home. My favorite line from that song is "At the table love prevailed, at the table love was always there." Dear Lord, please let us create such an environment for these precious babies so that they may claim that statement as truth in their own lives. May they know that they can always come home. May they learn, as I have had to learn, to remember the best and forgive the rest. And may they be able to say that no matter what happens, in our home and our family, love prevailed and love was always there.
Here's little man and me decorating Christmas cookies this past year.