Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Turtle Chair

I’ve got to be honest. I’m barely awake right now and most likely, my writing is going to have huge punctuation errors and it quite possibly may not even be coherent. I’ve become a broken record with the same formulaic complaints: I’m tired, raising boys is hard (especially the toddler!), I wish there were more hours in a day, my passions are on hold, marriage is awesome & difficult, Michigan is way too cold. It’s still all true, folks, and sorry if you’re tired of hearing about the same stuff. But it makes me wonder about change and how slowly it can really happen.

Josh brought home a child’s desk last week from work. A co-worker was getting rid of it and what parent of small children wouldn’t *jump* at the offer of taking home a green turtle-shaped desk with a color-blocked shell? Perhaps it’s hard to picture, but imagine my kids eating their eggs every morning on that thing while watching Power Rangers together. Adorable? I think so.

The presence of this desk–that is, having a ginormous turtle dead-center in my living room–brought me back to Jack’s preschool years at Cherry Lane. Their timeout chair was brilliantly named “The Turtle Chair” because it helped the offending kiddo to “slow down”. Quite soft for punishment, but I love the concept of slowing down and rather than condemnation, alienation & shame, there was first gracious space for reflection.

I could use a turtle chair these days. Josh and I are continuing to build and re-build into marriage, committed to making it stronger than ever. In doing so, we both find so many ways where we still make the same mistakes we’ve been making for over a decade. And Oliver–god bless him–is in so many ways a Jackson clone. We’re back to the body-collapse meltdowns, the screaming fits, the my-way-or-the-highway agendas from a strong-willed little person who can’t even talk. As hard as it is to be here again, when I’m in the thick of the difficulty (and especially after I’ve just lost my temper or over-prioritized myself), I need to sit in my own turtle chair. Because in the rare moment where I actually take it slow, I can honestly see a lot more clearly. And surely, I wouldn’t want moments like these to pass me by.