Monday, June 16, 2008

Families and Gardens

Blogging is like everything else, if you don't do a little bit everyday, it piles up on you. Only blogging is a lot more fun than most of the other things we have to do everyday. I wish I could do it daily, but I am chronically overwhelmed by life in general. I think I would have been a good prehistoric person, gathering roots and berries with my female friends while the babies nursed, the toddlers played underfoot, the older kids pretended to hunt and gather, and the men were off hunting.

Father's Day was uneventful. We went to church, then planted a garden, then went to Nanna's for dinner. I guess after the activities of the last month, Matt and I were glad to just be home with our kids, doing regular things. We were so late putting our garden in this year. The nurseries are picked over as far as veggies go. In my perennial beds I have been trying to plant some bare root plants I bought at Costco before our trip. There are ferns, astilbe, hostas, purple geraniums and irises. But the flower beds don't look any different after I plant them, because they are all underground. It will be weeks, months before anything appears. Some of them may seem like they didn't take, but then next spring they will make their appearance, growing more beautiful each year.

I have been thinking a lot about what Stacey wrote on her blog about how love grows. I would add that it grows like a perrenial garden. The stuff most of us put on our blogs is like the annuals and hanging baskets that we buy for show, instant color and dazzle. But the real growth of families is often much slower and sometimes invisible to the untrained eye.

When Matt and I first got married, Sarah was 11 years old. I remember how hard those early years of learning to be a blended family could be. I gradually learned that blended families are not instant families, you can't just add water and stir. I had some kind of fantasy about us, like a scene out of "It's a Wonderful Life", all standing around the piano singing Christmas carols. Only we didn't own a piano, and none of us could play piano. So when Sarah called Sunday morning to wish Matt a Happy Father's Day, my joy knew no bound.

Now we are starting over, with another precious little girl. She doesn't call us mommy or daddy yet. We are laying the foundations for a new blended family, brick by brick. Some days we make great progress. Some days feel like a step backwards. I am once again pouring over parenting books. But instead of books about step families, "Raising Your Spirited Child", or teen manuals like "Get Out of My Life, But First Can You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?", I'm gleaning the adoption books, looking for reassurance, hoping they'll validate my feelings.

I hope all you dads out there got to do something you wanted to do yesterday. Whether it was fishing, golfing, playing ball or sitting around doing nothing. I hope you realize how important you are to all of us who depend on you. Even though we often take you for granted, expect you to be Superman, be able to fix all things, know all things, work your butts off to support us, listen to us, and still have energy left over to play with the kids when you get home. Whether you are a seasoned dad, a brand new dad, a step dad or a waiting dad, I salute you!

Happy Father's Day!
Trying out the new gardening tools.

Erica Marley (left) and Judy Marley (right)
These ladies are professional party planners. Look at their party bags! They showed up, set up and cleaned up!
On Saturday, we were showered with gifts from our church family. What a generous outpouring of love and support, welcoming Maya to the fold.

Maya shares her toys with Baby Sierra.

Maya surrounded by a mountain of gifts.

This is the view from our ball park.

Riley on first base.

Chris takes the pitcher's mound.

I am so proud of my boys. They have had to become so much more independent these past couple of months. Chris lost his "poopsy" status. (A poopsy is the youngest member of the family.) Riley has to share his mama with yet another sibling. They have been hanging in there like real troopers. Last night they were grumbling about swimming lessons starting today. Giving me all kinds of grief. I forgot to set my alarm clock last night. So when I woke up at 9:10 in a panic, I quickly dressed Maya wondering how I was going to get the boys up, into swimsuits and to the high school pool by 9:3o. I started toward the stairs to wake them up and there they were, marching up the stairs with their swim suits on, grabbing towels and stuffing them into plastic bags. I am once again filled with joy and gratitude for these amazing children that have been entrusted to me.

1 comment:

StaceynCorey said...

What a great update. You're family seems to be doing so well adjusting to life with Maya. You guys sure are busy.

You are so right about the perrenial garden. It's the little things every day that make the difference. Can't wait to hear of the day she starts calling you Mommy and Daddy :).

Glad to hear your doctor's visits went well and that you have some new tricks to get her eating more solid foods.