Friday, August 16, 2013

There's a Dinosaur in My Bed

In groggy morning hours I climbed out of bed for a baby who needed a fresh diaper and bite to eat, took a toddler to the bathroom and cozied back in for one last shut-eye.  My pillows were askew and my quilt had parted ways with the comforter as each spilled over an opposite side of the mattress.
I cared very little if knotted flannel sheets made it all the way to my chin and did not bother to wonder where my second pillow went.  Suddenly from out of a hazy dream-like fog a sharp realization hit me:
there was a dinosaur in my bed.
A dinosaur.  In my bed.
And yet.

When a mother is running on sleep fumes and far-fetched hopes of just-another-30-minutes, "she" could care less if a hard plastic reptile shares her space.  As long as he is quiet, doesn't wiggle or wake the baby, and won't hog the bit of sheet she just curled under... who cares.

"She" doesn't think she left him there, but this morning he's welcome to stay.

Later in a more wakeful demeanor, I watched a sweet documentary of a family who sold all their household goods and now travel the states together in a little trailer.  It was a darling, dreamy, romantic documentary, and then I thought: family of 6 living in a 18 foot travel trailer?  Romantic?

We've done that kind of thing, and today we live off grid in a small-for-10-people cabin.  We travel together. We grocery shop together.  We have "date night" at home while the kids are still washing dishes rather loudly in the kitchen only a few yards away.

Wouldn't it be awesome if someone made a documentary of my life that made it look... romantic?  Everyone in the world could view my story and wish it was theirs.  It would be beautiful!  Don't we all need that?  A few well-timed clips of my house when it sparkles and my family when it shines would help provide perspective when I need it - like on mornings when there's a dinosaur's tail in the small of my back.

The truth is, that the beautiful moments, the bunting over the bed and rosy lighting, the laughter, the books all on the shelf with their binding edge facing out - it's real.  Hey, even jam globbed on the outside of the jam jar can seem cute if the background music is right!  But noticing the favorite parts, really seeing the best scenes depends more on the lens through which we look, rather than whether or not the beautiful actually exists.

On the other side of that ethereal documentary, wanna bet that there's an occasionally-tired mom who can't find a quiet place when the trailer rocks and sways from frolicking hoodlums?  Would you like to imagine what happens to milk that's spilled on the floor of a home that's not level?
I love the picture that documentary painted.  I was delighted and inspired, but that kind of  living is hard work. It may be simple, but it's challenging.

Just like all we mothers experience in our own different stories, life is hard work mixed with dollops of light and laughter, beauty, serenity, and song.  We each live a romantic documentary-worthy life, but since we don't have a camera crew or a soul-moving sound track we're left to our own editing.  What do I see when I survey my surroundings?

Honestly it's often the dinosaur robbing me of sleep.  That's reality.  Dinosaurs in beds.

But in my documentary, honky tonk piano plays as I contort my body into semi-comfort, shut my eyes and pretend the last pillow didn't fall off the bed.  And even if I don't get to sleep, I think of the small boy who brought his green buddy in to share my cozy place and then left in a hurry - important things to do with his early morning hours - and I smile.

I may not have a film crew but it's my story.
And it's a good one.


Marie said...

Beautiful...beautiful post!!! Thanks for sharing your real experiences:)

Kendra Zickafoose said...

Oh my goodness. I just watched that very same documentary this week and struggled with..... jealousy! The dreaminess of it all! But then in a late night quiet (because that is the only time it is quiet) my Bible study led me to the 10 commandments and the very last one struck me square in the heart.... do not COVET. And it goes on to specifically say 'do not covet your neighbors house'. And I actually thought to myself, do not covet your neighbors travel trailer! Ha! And once again God brought me to the place of being thankful for MY story. And your post today just drove that message home. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts! They have blessed me tonight!

Momma Bug said...

Oh Kendra~

We who are favored among women, how can we not see how lovely our lives are from many an outsider's view?

All of us are flesh, we experience challenges in relationships, the foolishness of the children we are raising up, the relentlessness of dust and greasy fingerprints... It's all a part of real life. It's good to focus on the breathtaking and the beautiful. It produces an abundance of gratefulness!

And yet because of sin and a broken world we hunger for a perfection only Heaven will satisfy! It is a good thing my friend, to be broken and to be humbled. More than anything else (cute trailers included) we want to know Him more!

And He is faithful. He wants us to know Him and will do that work in us which draws us close to Him.

I look forward to a future visit and sipping something under your cute-little-trailer awning one day ~ It will be fun to see what the Lord has in mind when remembering your hearts-desire :-)

Heaven is soon!

Cinnamon said...

Yes, oh how we've been there done that. I love what you said

"when the trailer rocks and sways from frolicking hoodlums"

Oh my how I remember that!! The unending rocking of someone moving. Can't everyone just stay still? ugh! Funny now but not then :-)

Love all your dollops and dinosaurs :-)


SarahS said...


Photo Momma said...

Your blog makes the rustic Idaho life look a bit romanticized to me :) Love reading about your family and the adventure you live. You have such a gifting of words and an artist's eye. Thanks for the glimpses into your days.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog. :) I hope you are all doing fine.

Marcy said...

I just saw your comment on my blog. Our Myles turned 4 on September 20th too! :) I was a day late posting his birthday pics.