I'm posting this video a little bit for you, but mostly for me, so I can remember Meredith's voice at this age. Her "yes" has a tiny sort lisp or something and everything she says is either breathy (like a fairy) or squeaky (like a dog toy). I love it. I love to listen to her talk. I love how she repeats everything you say, in the form of a question. If you tell her, "Mer mer, clean up your toys, please." - she will respond with "Een up my toys, peese?" Almost everything comes back, restated as a question.
I took this short clip of Mer tonight when she woke up after being asleep for only a few moments. I knew she was asleep because if she's not, she's talking. I'm not kidding about that either, sometimes she talks until the moment her eyelids droop. She woke because her "teef hurt" - she's getting 3 of her 2-year molars and one canine tooth. Poor kid. I asked her if she wanted teething tablets and she insisted, "No, edicine!" So medicine it was, always with a chaser of water.
A couple of my friends' blog posts have got me thinking. Maybe it's because the end of school is oh-so-very-in-sight (117 days), maybe it's because it's a new year, maybe it's because I'm working really hard at it, but - at any rate - I've felt very content lately. And that's a little crazy to me because there are many things I could worry about. I guess I've chosen not to worry. How uncharacteristic of me.
I felt so inspired by this month's First Presidency message. I feel impressed to quote a few parts.
President Thomas S. Monson wrote, "To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment." I think I feel that. I love the "whatever they may be" part so much. I've tried hard to accomplish the goals I have for myself each day (and when I don't, the kids keep me in check like when Gwenna reminds us if we didn't have family scripture study) - so I'm doing my best, and I'm finding peace in that.
He went on, "Said the American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson: 'Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide on, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.' ”
Each day I choose all over again what I chose when Gwenna was born - to stay at home with my children. That choice, for me, has been tough at times. I enjoy working but mostly, through our experience with Ted being in school, it would have been helpful - at times it would have seemed a saving grace - to have more income. But each time I contemplate this choice, I never feel right about it. I made the decision to stay at home with my children not because I didn't want to work outside the home but because I had a greater desire to work within the walls of my home. And for ME, that's the right choice. All I have to do to prove it to myself is consider the alternative and I'm bombarded with the reassuring knowledge that I need to be here.
With this last, tough semester baring down on us, I have thought of working and it just isn't right. It's taken a lot of courage on my part to accept that, a lot of faith to continue my path, and I have the peace in little victories Emerson cited. I've had it since Gwenna was born, when I knew that I'd made the right decision. Maybe some day I'll be employed outside my home but for now I NEED to be here. ... For the breathy and squeaky voice, for all the emerging teeth, scripture reading, modified soccer games with Gwenna, afternoon walks as a family, homemade meals, and every laugh that I couldn't bare to miss out on if I wasn't here. Despite everything not being "perfect" in my life, I'm so content with where I am right now and I look forward to looking back on this time when we have our victory - Ted's degree - with peace, knowing it was a job well done.