Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Let Go and Let God

How many times haven't I heard people say this: often in the midst of some or other stress or strain under which people seem to not really be coping. I can't say that I've used this phrase often, or that I've paid too much attention to it when I've heard it. Mostly it has gently tickled over my one ear before leaving straight out the other. Until today.

This morning I learnt a hard lesson about letting go. And then about letting God.
This morning Zac rolled out of the bed: tumbling to the floor with a thud that startled me, and a scream that sent me into a massive panic. I wish I could say that I was busy, that I just turned away for a moment, and wiggly little Zac shot off the bed before I had a chance to do anything. The truth is though, we were both asleep after a pre-sunrise feed. I was so fast asleep that I didn't even feel him move out of my usually secure hold of him. I think he was asleep too, actually. And immediately when we woke we were equally shocked and frightened.

Zac cried for a few seconds, had no visible indication of any injury or discomfort, and was soon happily feeding and laughing at me. My recovery was not as fast. I too cried (for half an hour straight, and then some), and immediately I was condemning myself; questioning my abilities and sense of responsibility. How could I have left him on the open side of the bed? How could I not have woken through his movements? How could I let go?

And through the lambasting I was giving myself, I almost heard God lovingly ask, "and since when have you been perfect? Don't you know you are never going to be able to protect Zac from everything that could, possibly, maybe happen to him? You don't control things, I do. And what's more: you need me too. You cannot possibly even begin to 'excel' as a parent without my help..."

Such a meaningful lesson, and so difficult to apply some times.

Sometimes we let go because we choose to. Other times we let go because we're made to, or something cuts the rope that's holding us, or like this morning, we are just so tired we just stop holding on. In each case though, the question is not about why we are holding on, but rather what we are holding on to.

Regardless of which area of our lives this may apply to, we all need to remember: (as Jorja says) "God is with you". I imagine Him hovering below where we're hanging, daring us to just let go so that He can catch us and sweep us up in His arms, and take us higher and further, opening our clenched shut eyes to all we were missing in our fear, exhaustion and pride.

Thank God Zac is fine. Thank God I will be fine too. Perhaps now that I know I am no longer in the running for the world's most perfect parent, I can stop beating myself up trying to be that. Perhaps now I will really let go, and let God.

Little Gangster Zac

Friday, 9 November 2012

Bed Battling

This past weekend we went away to Port Owen with the du Plessis. While we were all pretty excited to get away, we were equally nervous by the fact that it was our first weekend away with the boys, without any additional babysitters!

After unsuccessfully trying to persuade aunty Dominique to assist in this department (unfortunately for us, we just could not match the offer of yet another 21st birthday party), off we went - 4 adults, 3 children and around 200 bags all packed tetris-style into Papu's green bus.

Port Owen is a lovely little marina along the West Coast, about 90 minutes outside of  Cape Town. We didn't arrive there until 19h00 on Friday evening, but we still managed to see the sunset on our way. We were greeted with drinks and canapes, and were pleasantly surprised by how well kitted out our waterfront duplex was (you know that you're married with kids when you see a washing machine and tumble-dryer, and immediately regret not packing in your washing!).

Our home on the water's edge

The biggest attraction, for sure, was the king-sized bed in the main bedroom (when you're married with children, any amount of extra space is a major plus!). Situated on the second floor with a balcony and waterfront view, we were all hoping that someone would want the other room downstairs. That said, it made sense that the du Plessis settle into the big room - after all, how many times in your life do you get to fit your whole family onto one bed, and still each have enough room?

There were four in the bed, and the little one said...

The room downstairs was equipped with single beds - not that Andel minded at all. He has waited patiently for an opportunity to have his own space. Unfortunately for him, it didn't come this weekend, because Zac, who has recently given up his crib (well, actually, we had to take it back as our rental had expired) and no longer really fits into his carrycot, decided that he was going to sleep, starfish-style, on the one single bed, leaving Andel and me to share the other!

Sleeping arrangements aside, we had a lovely time. We enjoyed mornings on the patio, hearty (and healthy) meals, home-baked treats, and satellite tv. We also took to some activities on, and in, the water, and took a drive into the nearest dorp.

Brekkie tasters for Ethan
Only sight-seeing for Zac

Taking a much needed break from the babies

Jorja, our little mermaid

At the end of it all, I'd say it was a pretty successful weekend. I, for one, was proud of the fact that, for the most part, Zac behaved and we were all able to 'handle' our children without too much drama.

A daddy's work is never done! :)

The early morning roadtrip home on Monday was bitter sweet. While we thoroughly enjoyed  having a relaxing Sunday, no one really wants to go straight from holiday into the office!

But at least we get to all go back home, to our respective beds. I'm especially excited about this, as this will be the last week Zac is sleeping in his carrycot in our room. This weekend, he moves into his big bed, in the cot!