A Bursting Heart

The grand procrastinating monster attacked. She held me down with her mighty manipulative perfectionistic claws. The inability to capture all of it kept me from capturing any of it, so here is the fighting back against the perfect story and just telling it like it is today and then perhaps I'll back up and fill in the gaps of the last two weeks.

At 6:30 a.m., William wants to nurse again. He goes back to sleep and I stumble to the office. I didn't wake up in time to run, so I grab the ten minutes to read some wise sayings and some Word, and I stretch out all the kinks of a night sitting in bed nursing before little ones feet pitter patter across the floor.

George Wilder appears ready to read. We pick a book and begin. Amelia comes running with wild hair. We start the book back at the beginning and read and read and read. This happens after visiting the library, which we did yesterday. I think I get seasick reading book after book but the mighty pile lures the children and they soak it all in while I start to turn green and my legs turn numb. It does help me select library books with a bit more precision. We found some great ones this time: Crinkleroot's Guide To Knowing The Trees, King Jack And The Dragon, The Night Of The Moonjellies, and We Can't Sleep.

An hour later, we head to the kitchen for cereal. William is awake instantly. George's mom says he can smell breakfast! After nursing him again and again, I decided perhaps it was time to try some food. Smashed up avocado with some of mama's milk stirred in. He loved it. He dug it big time and then again at dinner!

Avocado snack ends and the children feed the animals while William and I play. Tummy time, singing time, what the heck do I do with you time. He smiles and laughs at anything, so we dust. He falls asleep for nap and George takes the kids on a bike ride.

This is my window alone for the entire day. Most days George gives this window to me to run or I try to run while everyone is asleep. He asked me the other day what I hoped to enjoy about my run. After a moments reflection, I answered, "To get my heart rate up as high as I possibly can."

There is this fuel that pours into my lungs from the fresh air. This strength that comes when my heart picks up the beat -- really picks it up. It is the stillness around me that satisfies this hunger to rest that doesn't come from a nap or a book or sewing or knitting or cooking. I wish some days that would work, but the rest, the energy, the renewing comes when I am kicking my legs as hard as they will go and breathing as many breaths as I can possible fit in a minute. It is a 1-2-3-1-2-3 in my mind that translates into another gulp of air. It is euphoric. Running calms the edginess of insecurity as a wife and a mom and a friend. It puddys up the cracks of exhaustion and frustration and the inability to focus. Running equals focus. Running means I've put it all out of mind except the breathing and thinking. My mind fills with ideas and prayers and thoughts and excitement. The edginess leaves and I'm ready to tackle the day. When I can't run, I do get frustrated and edgy. It isn't right and I'm working to get over the crave and rest in something else like a baking a bread, calling a friend, reading a book, playing an instrument, or working on a Martha Stewart project.

Well that didn't happen today but this is what did happen:

After Amelia and I had a great lesson about the worth of coins and some good writing, George took off with Amelia for an all day long project and I stayed home with the boys. It was a day for squashing bugs that made a "popping sound when I squash them", for digging in the sandbox, for making up silly voices, for spilling sand all over mom's bed from pockets, for another bike ride to visit neighbors, for playing with cars, for making granola together, and for dancing while John Hartford played the fiddle and William laughed at us.

As the day ended, George Wilder so missed Amelia. He had tried to save part of a beetle wing that he found to give to Amelia, but it crumbled in his pocket. He drew her a picture of a fish and waited and waited. When she came home, he ran out to her and instead of giving her a big hug, which I think he really wanted to do, he said, "Look my shirt glows!" It doesn't.

So without a run, my heart is bursting. It is filled again and again with love for my family and this life and this world and my God.



  1. There is just something about running (or biking/swimming/hiking) that just makes life easier to handle—even when it's just me slogging through three miles. I don't think it's replaceable with knitting, sewing, projects. And I've tried. I hope you got a run in today!


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