I forgot to wash my face for an entire year.
That’s possible, you know, when you welcome a sixth child into your family. When our sweetie-pie was born, I went into complete survival mode – sweet, joyful, gasping-for-air survival mode – and I forgot about a lot of things that I used to take for granted. When people asked me how I was doing, I usually answered, “I feel like I’m under water.” Grateful, yes. Amazed, yes. But completely and utterly in-over-my-head.
For a time, for love’s sake, sleep was rare for me, but not rare for certain aspects of my life. Hobbies, creative work, and even self-care slept like a log. I’d say I missed them, but mostly, I just forgot.
Then, as our daughter’s one-year birthday rolled around, I began sleeping through the night and things began to improve. With a couple of good months under my belt, I’ve begun to remember things from the world of people-who-sleep. Little by little, one by one, dormant joys are waking up…
For example, I recently remembered that I write.
And I remembered that I like listening to audio books and Bob Dylan and Sara Groves.
I remembered that I read good books, I go out with friends, and I laugh with my husband. I remembered that I can watch an entire movie without dozing off.
And then – not so long ago – one night after I removed my contact lenses, I stared into the bathroom mirror and remembered that I wash my face at night. The concept hadn’t dawned on me for twelve months, but then suddenly – POW! – there it was: next, you wash your face.
I leaned my head back, draped a warm washcloth over my face, and breathed deeply, remembering.
Motherhood is a-spin with seasons. Sometimes, certain joys lie dormant so that other joys can thrive.
Thanks be to God for the endurance, the surprises, the reminders, the sleeping, and the awakening.
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