8.29.2013

NO MORE LAND

*This post was basically written at the first of June, just waiting for me to find a spare minute to edit.   
So close your eyes and pretend it's the start of Summer. 
You do that anyway, right?*
... 

The laziness of summer has taken over around here like the bad habit that it is.

My daily allotment of "do-nothing" is used up by 10:00 a.m. 

 Most of the time I neither know the date nor the hour.

First thing in the morning, my feet hit the floor with get up and go... 
twenty seconds later I am curled back up in bed swallowed up by blankets.

I'm in transition. 

Transition to NO MORE.
(River's last day of school run for the bus)


I'm stuck in "No More Land." 

The last month or so has brought plenty of no more.

NO MORE Kindergarten baby.


FIRST DAY of Kindergarten                              LAST DAY of Kindergarten

            
NO MORE Elementary school for Wade! 

         Last Hershey's Track Meet                                           Last day of 6th grade!


            NO MORE Junior High for Lauren

                   FIRST DAY of 9th grade                                             LAST DAY of 9th grade!! 

High School, here they come.

NO MORE Junior Classman for Brett

It's the beginning of the end for Brett's school years.
And my boy is nostalgic already.

NO MORE Student Elections for Brett.

Hallelujah!!

...and just because this took a few years off my life, here is Brett's SBO video.


NO MORE single status for four of my nieces and nephews this summer.

(Grant and Chloe)

(Taylor and Jen)


NO MORE bachelorhood, eh Jared?!

Wahoo! (Jared and Melissa)

NO MORE UTE domination for Taryn,
- she married a BYU baseball player ;)

(Taryn and Bret)

I wonder if my brother-in-law thought of "NO MORE" as he danced with his little girl. 

NO MORE high school for my Sterling Scholar nephew Blaine,
 Texas gets Elder Blaine now.

NO MORE school at all for my brother Josh.
He graduated from law school which is a really big deal, just ask his wife Amie.

NO MORE Little Miss Spanish Fork for little miss Lauren and little miss River.

They handed over their crowns to this year's crop of up and comers.
River started crying at the goodbyes, I think just because all the other girls were crying. 

Lauren started crying because I told her beauty queens should learn to cry on cue.


NO MORE baby girl. Quincy turned five this summer and is sadly a grown up, little girl.

When shopping for her, I can't shop in the toddler section anymore. 


And right in the middle of all of this,
I decided to potty train Canyon.

NO MORE DIAPERS...
yeah!
 yippee! 
wahoo!       

right?

Yeah, you would think I would've been thrilled. 

I wasn't.

For the past eighteen years I don't recall a time when I didn't have a baby in diapers. 
Often, even two babies in diapers. 

And now, here I was...
so close to being done.

Potty training my last child.
The end of the road - NO MORE. 
Freedom!


I tried to make it a big deal, a rite of passage between mother and son.
But Canyon wasn't having that, he knew what to do and he wasn't messing around.

Canyon had no problem, it was a breeze.
Three quick days, start to finish, and before I knew it and without even realizing it...
my baby was unceremoniously, potty trained.

and it darn near broke my heart.
~
I only know mothering. 
That's all that I am.

Admittedly, I'm not the greatest mother. 
I am not the most organized mother,
the most gentle mother,
I'm definitely not the most nurturing or attentive mother. 

But, being a mom is all that I have ever wanted to be.


For eighteen years now, I haven't planned anything beyond potty training my last baby.

And that is the truth.

I usually have a baby in my arms by now.
This is new territory for me.
Scary, uneasy territory.

Canyon's first three years have gone by so quickly- 
So subtle and camouflaged.
(newborn Canyon)


Here is a fun fact: Kids grow up.
 No big deal -
I simply wasn't prepared for how fast it happens.  

This summer I have taken all the "NO MORE" in stride.

Until the other day...
I was cleaning the kids room and saw the almost new package of size five diapers still on the dresser.

It was the last pack of diapers I would buy.
I was caught off guard and I burst into tears.

It would've been much easier to have no diapers leftover,
 - easier then a whole package leftover.

As silly as it sounds, I couldn't throw them away.

It seemed to be a metaphor for how I felt.

Unfinished.

Over the past year and a half, Dean and I have
agonized, compromised, and idealized
over the thoughts of adding one more baby to our family.

We prayed, put our trust in Heavenly Father, 
and braved the heartbreaking world of miscarriage.
Three miscarriages to put a number on it.

And I ask myself;
"who am I to want more when I have so much already?"

I really have no excuse.

I just know that the feelings of wanting more, just don't seem to go away.

So we took a leap of faith.
 - but another baby is just not in the cards for us - 

- and I am just fine 
(or getting there.)

I worry about regret.
I worry about the future.
I worry about moving on.
I worry about finding purpose.


So I'll keep the pack of diapers stored in the back of the kid's closet...for now.

Who knows why.
Maybe someday I will give them to my new-daughter in law and she will likely turn to Brett and say,
"...your mom is certifiable."

* * * 

One year ago, on almost the very last good day of summer - we took our seven,
to Seven Peaks water park for a last minute grab of some summer fun. 

The air was small and the crowds were crisp. (um actually switch that...)
  
We pretty much had the run of the place, just like we like it.
 Towards the later afternoon, my older kids ran off to run the "BIG' slides.
Dean was twisting my arm for me to go along with them, 
but I was completely content just sitting in a chair with my towel wrapped little ones.  

The kids walked slowly away looking back and teasing in unison "bawk, bawk, bawk!"
- calling me a chicken.  

I wasn't bothered. 
I've done those big slides once before. 
I remembered all too well how frightening and painful they are. 
Mostly painful.

I'm older, more cautious now.
 I didn't need to prove anything to anyone. 

I stood firm, until Dean said - - -
"well, the girl I remember marrying, would go..."

grrrrrrr.....

"Fine!" I said, standing up and throwing off my towel. 
"I'll do it!" (what a bunch of bullies)

The kids practically carried me over to the slides. 
Brett and Lauren held onto each of my arms like I was some flight-risk detainee.

And sure, the bright colored slides gave the illusion that it was all a load of fun. 

And the cheers and laughter coming from the bottom of the slide
 would fool you into thinking it was so.

But in reality, 
the Sky Breaker slide is a wicked, plummeting, gutter of terror!

Brett, Lauren and Wade flanked me every step of the way on the slide tower,
 pushing me forward to the very top. 

And as we moved through the lines, I had secretly planned to just duck out at the last minute and sneak off to a less treacherous slide. 

So I wasn't really sweatin it.  
We got closer to the top and before I knew it, all the lines had merged into one. 

I was stuck.

I started to panic and said; "OK guys, on a scale of one... to my funeral... how bad is it?" - 

The people in line around us noticed the crazy lady (me) and joined in on the teasing. Most were saying "oh you can do it, it's not that bad" but one young lad told me of the real possibility that a body my size would likely come up and off the slide upon descent.

Awesome. 

My insides were a knotted mess - 
When I looked up and saw that I was next in line, I couldn't hold back my fear.

I told my kids that I would wait and go last,
                                             they weren't buyin that. 
I told my kids that I wasn't feeling well,
                                           they weren't buyin that.  
I told my kids that darn it, I was their mother and I refused to go! 
Lauren just looked at me and said, "Mom, you will regret it if you don't."

Darn it, she was right.

At this point, a crowd had gathered and there was truly no turning back. 

So I stepped up, and put my feet in the holding pool. 
I looked over the edge to see little ant size people down below, 
and I'm pretty sure I could see the Space Needle from that height.

I finally laid myself awkwardly on the mat, sitting up 
and holding the side for dear life.
Acting casual was made difficult with a bunch of strangers watching me from behind on the landing.


 The lifeguard told me with a smile, that I needed to turn around and lay face first. 

I replied; "are you mental?"
  
I thought Brett had given him the *wink *wink just to tell me that.
But no, he was serious.  

I knew almost for sure that I was being pranked. 

Cautiously, I lowered myself into the water again,
 trying to hold my position with my arms and legs up against the edges and my backside in the air. 
(similar to a baby giraffe trying to stand for the first time) 
Brett was on the verge of total humiliation.
Lauren was laughing so hard she was crying,
and Wade had an awkward look on his face, like he wanted to turn away...but couldn't.  

I gulped loudly, laughed nervously and begged the lifeguard to shut down the slide. 

I laid on the mat face first, leaving all the others to enjoy the lovely view of my back side.
 With water rushing around me, and only the sight of blue in front of me - 
I had a little talk with myself...

"OK, Hilary - 
you can be brave - just for a moment. 
  It will all go by so quickly   
now just breathe and go on three..." 

I closed my eyes, counted to three and pushed away from the edge... 
and right before catching air I heard the lifeguard yell; "enjoy the ride."

 * * *  

At the end of the day I usually throw myself dramatically on the couch exhausted and say; 
"NO MORE, 
please, NO MORE"

I often recall the thoughts I had as I stood on the slide last summer, filled with self-doubt;

"OK, Hilary - 
you can be brave - just for a moment. 
  It will all go by so quickly   
now just breathe and go on three..." 

These days my life's motto ironically comes from a sun-bleached lifeguard 
who a year ago advised me to "enjoy the ride." 
  
So I will.
And so I am.

4 comments:

Neves Horses said...

I love this! What a great post and great advice. You are definitely one I would think of who excels at enjoying the ride. After having both of my babies in bed with me last night, and getting kicked and punched in the face over and over and only being allowed a small corner on the edge of the bed which was not even close to being big enough for my large body, I definitely needed to hear this. I sure love you and your family.

Kathryn Roberts said...

WOW Hilary. That brought back the memories! Don't worry though. All of a sudden you will have ton's of little grand-kids running around, keeping your life exciting. And just like me you will be saying- it was just yesterday that I potty trained my last one. (By the way, you are going to be the best grandma ever!)

carrie @ the boonie life said...

What a great post! I loved all the "no more"'s and the terribly awesome story of going down the waterslide. Face first??? Seriously!? I would've died!

carrie @ the boonie life said...

P.S. Brett's SBO video was AWESOME-ly hilarious! Did he win??

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