Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Forward Progress

Yesterday was an especially trying day. We all woke up with colds AND I have an ear infection. Aquaman, who does not do well with colds, was up at 4:30 am. Both of them woke up crying/screaming and basically didn't stop all day. I can remember being pregnant with Aquaman, and JT looking at me, worried, about whether I was ready to handle a child who was like he was. I said "I don't mind children who are's NOISY children that drive me crazy." And then here comes Aquaman. Who has the questionable diagnosis of vocal cord abuse because NOTHING he does is quiet.
And The Dude,who is capable of letting loose a screech that will send chills up your spine.
Aquaman, seemingly immune to his own volume, has sensory sensitivity to loud noises and chaotic situations. I know now,from whom he inherited this.
So then JT wakes up. And I am trying to get The Dude down for his nap, and JT is trying to get ready for work while Aquaman crawls all over him whining about something. And then I heard it: "what are you doing, Daddy?" "I'm just trying to make some forward progress here!"
Forward progress. What is that anymore? It looks different when you have kids. When the moment you get their food cleaned up they are hungry again. Or you finally get all the sand out of their hair and find them playing in the dirt. It's having a 2 year old potty trained fully for 3 months and then he suddenly decides he's going to poop in a diaper until he's 10.
The biggest challenge for JT in having children is realizing that our house cannot be the picture of neatness and cleanness all the time. It's a struggle for us all. But forward progress is not a spotless kitchen and all the clothes put away. I'll tell you what forward progress is.
It's gritting your teeth and finishing fire academy even when no one is hiring anyway.
It's getting up in the morning and hugging your kids when all you want to do is shut the door and go back to sleep. It's giving up a whole bunch of little things you'd really like, and future security so that you can be home more for your kids (not your house), but still have the money saved in case you need a root canal someday.
Forward progress is when you tell your 3 year old that he isn't safe alone in the car because some people don't have Jesus in their hearts and don't make the right decisions, and he says "someone needs to tell them, mom, they just don't know!"
It's an 11 month old who's been taking steps on his own for 2 months, who finally gets the courage up to let go of his own accord.
It's being satisfied with what God has given you, instead of always wanting just one more dollar, one more hour of sleep, a better job, no job at all, even just one more kid.
This morning, we went to the park at 6:30 am because they were already driving me crazy. I don't know why I thought it would be easier than staying at home.
But then again, when is forward progress ever easy?


  1. Love this, Joelle. Right there with ya. This morning I've had no shower, succumbed to a Coke for caffeine, a 3 year old waving a flashing magic wand in my face and through my hair, and an 8 month old who is pulling herself up on everything imaginable unaware of the impending danger. And I need to make a shopping trip for baby essentials, but there is fresh snow and ice on the roads and on my car. OY!. (Forward progress, forward progress.)

    I love the picture of the boys on the park swings. I have one very similar of Anna and Emily. Wish we lived down the street from each other!

  2. PS...Hope everyone is feeling better soon. And your poor tooth :( It's so much harder when the kids and parents don't feel well. Take it easy.