Ready or Not

Lately, the only time I've felt overwhelmed by what is happening in our lives is when I go up to the gameroom. This used to be where Casey and I would work out every morning (something she and I used to do before news of the quints arrived and before school began). Now, it is where all of the baby stuff that we have begun to accumulate has been placed temporarily until everything can be organized and some sort of system can be figured out to handle all "Quint Care Operations."

I'm not sure what it is about the gameroom that kickstarts my heart into panic mode, but it does it every single time I walk up there. Maybe it's because I'm a guy and being a guy means that I respond to visuals more than anything. The gameroom, more so than Casey's expanding belly (remember, to this point, I've seen her this big before with Eliot's pregnancy), has become a visual reminder of just how crazy our life is going to be. There are piles and piles of clothes, eight or nine bouncy seats, diapers, diapers, and more diapers, blankets, bedding, bibs, burp rags, more blankets, three pack'n'plays - 90% of all of this stuff has been donated or gifted - and other stuff absolutely necessary (at least that's what I'm told) to surviving life with five newborns.

It could also be the fact that I'm a "everything has its place and everything should be in its place" kind of guy and these randomly placed piles of stuff simply freaks me out! Actually, I know that's part of the problem!

The other thing it could be is that the piles of stuff are a clear reminder of just how much life is going to change, and more to the point, how much of our old life Casey and I are going to have to give up in order to embrace this new life. Seeing all of this stuff piled all over my weights, crowding out my space is just too much for me to handle at the moment without having to talk myself down for a few moments.

We never planned on having a big family and we never would have written this script for ourselves so seeing the baby making operation begin to exert its will on our home is a not so subtle reminder of the force it will exert on every aspect of our lives. To be sure, there is a lot to be excited about and we are thankful for this amazing time in our lives, but also to be sure, we have had our share of "why?, how?, and are you kidding me?" moments as this journey has progressed.

Thursday night we had our Bible study group over for dinner and after dinner was over, they helped us rearrange some furniture in preparation for the babies. What I wasn't prepared to do was clear my weights out of the gameroom, but they just started grabbing everything and moving it to the garage. To say the least, I was a bit pouty while this was happening and I'm not so sure I'm not still pouty.

It's so strange how little things like that can hit so hard sometimes, but it did. I guess my reaction to all of this is a strong indication that I'm not quite ready for what's coming, but can you ever truly be ready for five babies at one time?? No, I don't think you can, but that's life, right? The lessons learned the best are sometimes the lessons that force themselves on you when you least expect it.

But here's the deal, we have a lot coming our way and there will certainly be some heartache that accompanies this change, but how can we be anything but grateful and humbled by it all? How many have lost loved ones in the blink of an eye or had to stand helplessly as their house burns to the ground in the middle of night or found out that their baby has a disability that will be with them throughout life? The list could go on forever of all of the calamities and heartaches that strike in an instant, without warning, without mercy and turn people's lives upside down forever. How on earth do you deal with something like that? I won't even attempt to get into the "why?, how?, and are you kidding me?" of that...

Not only are we not dealing with calamity or heartache, we have five precious little lives coming into our world, but we've had a chance to prepare (as best we can at least). We've had a chance to say a prayer (actually, lots of prayers) to ask for guidance, to seek acceptance, and to get the help we need in coming to grips with everything - something a lot of people don't have the luxury of doing when their life is rapidly unraveling. We've had the incredible experience of watching family, friends, and strangers rally around us in support, prayer, and love not only for us, but also for five lives unborn. And amidst all of the preparation and the worry and the how of it all, we've had the joy of dreaming of what amazing gifts are being prepared for us by our Father in Heaven.

So, yeah, I get overwhelmed and we worry and sometimes we complain a little bit. But at the end of the day, it all comes back around and we remember just how good we've got it...and just how good it's going to be. As for my weight room, it's a thing of the past as are many other parts of what I used to call normal life. But as for today, excited anticipation (and the occasional hyperventlation) is here to stay. And our future, well, ready or not here it comes!!
God bless,


Tori :) said...

Y'alls feelings are the same feelings ANY parents feel at one point or another. I never had 5 babies at one time, but I have 7 kids and believe me- I often think "Holy crap, I've been a stay at home mom for almost 14 years. My clothes are out of style, I need a haircut and I'm flabby. What the heck happened to ME and MY life??" The sacrifices we make are overwhelming at times and yet, we always get thru the day and know in our hearts we wouldn't change it for anything.
Hang in there!!

Dean said...

Ethan...this was an awesome blog. Your perspective is insightful, honest, and inspiring. God is preparing you day by day for the rest of your life. Just remember...like the Verizon Wireless commercials..you have the whole network army right behind you...all the time. Dean

Laurie G said...

Amy Grant has a song on her Christmas album titled, "Breath of Heaven" which talks about Mary's feelings on her way to Bethlehem for Christ's birth. It talks of her being scared, weary, cold, tired, and unsure why God picked her for this miracle. I am reminded of you and Casey when I hear this song. While Casey is not birthing our Savior, she is having 5 tiny miracles all whom have a plan from God. It's okay to be weary, tired, and complain about "the ride" to this next phase of your life. You both are wonderful servants to the Lord...this is all part of His plan. Take some time to let it all hit you (the reality) and know your family is in for the ride of your lives.

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