"I will buy those tomorrow."
Yes, my sweet girl, you probably will.
When I got home Kaden's half done homework was on the counter and I had to go retrieve him from the neighbors house so that we could finish. Scott came home a bit later with the twins and in just a matter of minutes the house went from quiet and peaceful to loud, bustling and chaotic.
Pieces of homework and parts of dinner were scattered around. Some of the kids were half dressed as I ordered them in and out of the tub. Brylee tried to feed the bunny but spilled, stinky little pellets all over my kitchen instead. Scott was in and out with Branson in an attempt to finish his pinewood derby car. All of the kids were begging for a trip to DQ for half-off day.
I felt irritable.
I used a half grin and faked my way through to hide those feelings. It took until almost nine to feed, bathe and finish every ones homework, but of course the kids still wanted a treat. In an attempt to cheer up the mood, I pulled out the snow cone machine and started on a little homemade DQ substitute. Most were happy with that- but one was not and pouted on the couch. I wanted to wring the little stinkers neck.
I read a chapter of scripture to them while they slurped down their treats and then at long, long last, I tucked them in. The pouter was still face down in a heap of pity on the couch, so I got a blanket, rubbed a sullen back and kissed the soft down-turned cheek good night. I didn't get the slightest response. I went to my room and collapsed. I laid in the dark for a while wondering how in all the world I can make it through the thousands of more nights like this, that lay ahead.
But what I really wanted to know was, How can I make those thousands of ordinary, difficult, stress filled, school nights less so. Some days and moments as a Mother I cherish and love and wish I could bottle up and enjoy forever. But the truth is, there are a whole lot of other moments that are just plain hard that I wish I could fast foreword right on past. Easy..when you consider the alternative, of tragedy, poverty or disease but still hard in their own right of the everyday struggle to Mother well... amid the million stresses.
I know that the hard of Mothering makes the sweet that much more so but man, walking through the hard spots over and over and over and over- is daunting. So as I laid their letting the "overwhelmed monster" come out from under the bed and start to grip my lungs in his fists, a particular thought came to mind. Not a new thought, just that this time it came with much more force.
Someday all of this will go in reverse.
Someday the house will go from busy, loud and chaotic to quiet and slow. Someday the stacks of homework will start to get smaller until they go away entirely and someday, I wont have anyone left to order into the tub. And tomorrow, Ella will have her own money and take herself to the store and say,
"Today, I am going to buy these sparkly shoes."
And then she will because she'll be a grown up.
The hard is part of the journey from today to someday. And when someday comes, there is little doubt I will miss some of the chaos. I will never miss the homework..but I will miss the chaos. The bad thing about time, is that it steals away fluffy baby cheeks and it turns quiet, mellow, sippy-cup afternoons into busy task filled nights. And then in a cruel trick it gives you back those quiet, mellow afternoons before you are ready.
But the good thing about time is that the feelings of stress, angst and frustration seem to fall away and you are left with memories of snow cones on a Wednesday night where in your mind everything was beautiful.
And who knows... maybe it was.
|by robin lee|