We fell into bed with our normal end-of-the-day sigh of relief.
“I’ve been thinking that it would be cool to build a loft in our kitchen.” I said.
“A loft? What kind of loft?” McHusband replied with his eyes already closing.
“You know, like one of those ‘tiny house’ kind of lofts so we could sleep up there? And the kids could read up there.”
“Sleep up there? In the kitchen? Like instead of sleeping in our bedroom?”
“Well, that would free up a bedroom for one of the kids or an office or something.”
“Well, I love that you are full of ideas, sweetie. That seems kinda… involved though.”
When my life feels busy, feels crammed, my default idea is to either build/change something or to move. I’ve named this idea for what it is: escapism.
- the tendency to seek distraction and relief… especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.
There’s nothing wrong with having lots of ideas. Life might be, well, boring without the influx. At the same time, I’ve had the ideas in 2014 alone to buy an airstream camper, move to France, build a loft, get some chickens, intern in Nairobi, and buy and convert a school bus among other, you know, more far fetched goals.
Essentially, I believe at some level that these would finally bring the simplistic overhaul that we need. #irony
A couple of weeks ago, we went on a home school field trip with some other sweet families from church. We visited another home school family with a horse farm. Upon first glance, it looked like the life I’ve always wanted. A cute little white farmhouse on acreage with turquoise vintage chairs and red boot flower pots lining the front porch; a barn out back with rows of corn on the horizon; the land where the deer and the buffalo roam… or something like that.
enjoyed tried to sit through a great science lesson on mammals and heard about caring for horses, bunnies, and chickens. We learned about 4H and life on a farm. It was idyllic. The house was Pinterest-worthy with all sorts of upcycled/recycled/unicycled décor. The teenage children spent their mornings gathering fresh eggs and grooming horses. Ahh, the life…
Fast forward to just under one hour later. ONE. FREAKING. HOUR. I had lost my youngest child. #parentfail #momoftheyear
Cars were pulling in and out of the driveway while I went screaming and waving for everyone to stop their cars. Long story short, we found McBaby #3 wandering around the front porch; the part of the property close-ish to the road. This was after the “science lesson” which consisted of me chasing McBaby #2 around while he was joyfully and obliviously hopping over straw bales, trying to stick his fingers in the bunnies’ cages and juggle farm-fresh eggs.
And it hit me: this isn’t the life I want to live. This is the life I want to put on my Pinterest board. I don’t even want a dog yet, what in the world makes me think I could/would/should be cleaning out coops or scraping
sh poo out of hooves?!?
The week before that, I read Dad is Fat, the new book by Jim Gaffigan. Not a deep read, but a funny one fo’ sure. My favorite chapter was when he described (with diagrams) what it is like to do the bedtime routine with 5 children in a tiny two bedroom apartment in Manhattan. He also described how he gets the three oldest to three different schools all around the city using… wait for it… public transportation. Suddenly, this sounded idyllic. Ahh, the life…
We could sell everything and move into a teensy-tiny studio apartment in off-off-off-off-off-off-Broadway. The energy, the diversity, the – wait, sometimes I nearly come unraveled shushing the kids when another is asleep and almost come undone when rolling the stroller and holding the other McBabies’ hands from the Chick-fil-A parking lot. What would happen if living on top of each other and the subway were part of our daily routine?!?
Once again, a life I want to pin.
These are idyllic – for someone, perhaps. What is our ideal though? What works for us? What makes our home a peaceful refuge? I’m not quite sure yet.
I know this much, it isn’t as easy as pinning a DIY plank wall, stenciling a room, or building a rustic beam floating shelf. It is an issue of the heart to pray for direction, for rest, for guidance. It’s a matter of keeping the territory we already have. Tending to the ones with which God has already entrusted us.
It takes great intentionality to stop the board-dom.
I’ll pray for you and you pray for me.
PS – While I did take the afore-mentioned ideas off the table today, I also bought a daybed with a trundle this evening from someone on Craigslist in hopes for the next project… #confession