saving my life

For the next few months, my mom is watching Atticus three days a week. I could explain the reasons to you, but what is really important is that Atticus is getting extra Grammy Time. He still goes to his school two days a week, and other than Monday’s meltdown (which was not repeated on Thursday), this seems to be the best of both worlds: he gets individual time with Grammy and play time with his friends at school. These days, both of those things are probably outside. All our time is spent outside. That is the only thing he wants these days, grabbing my finger and pulling me to the door, blue eyes searching mine, Why are we not outside?

Is this a phase? I am kind of indoorsy and I need to know what I am up against here.

When my mom watches Atticus at our house, she does laundry for us. She unloads the dishwasher and loads it again. One time she brought milk with her because we sometimes find it hard to be responsible adults and had forgotten to buy milk the night before. In short, she manages to do everything that I never seem to get done when I am at home. I think she has magical powers.

I have been thinking a lot lately about why, when Mike and I left the type of church we’d grown up in, we didn’t leave the church entirely. I wish I could say that it’s because of a deep and abiding faith, but my faith, it wavers. Mike is more solid, but I think what holds me in the tough times is the community. I have been hurt by the church and its people, but, oh, they have loved me. In so many ways that I haven’t deserved.

I learned about that love when my dad died and there were cards and phone calls and casseroles. But I learned about it in a different way when Atticus was born. There were casseroles again, and Facebook messages instead of phone calls. I was overwhelmed and tired and in a fair amount of pain, but I knew, even then, that Atticus was already intensely loved by the people around us. What I could not see until recently was how deeply they shared in our joy at his arrival.

If God’s people have been his hands and feet for me since Atticus was born, no one has been that grace for me more than my mom. No one has shared more deeply in the joy, and I couldn’t even begin to list all the ways she has helped us out. She has given determinedly of herself to make these transitions easier for us, and we don’t take her presence for granted.

This week (and pretty much every week), my mom is saving my life. Having her spend time with Atticus right now is such a gift. And I’m not just saying that because I hate unloading the dishwasher.

What is saving your life this week?

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