Today after giving my entire house a scrub down, I collapsed. I have had a bone racking cough for days and I am depleted down to the last of my energy. But hey, the house is clean, so I'll take it. I couldn't count if I tried it the number of times that I have felt this exact way...tired and spent but happy and whole. Content with a life of homemaking and child rearing. Maybe days of toilet bowl shinning, tiny bum wiping, meal fixing, homework helping and clothes cleaning isn't for everyone, but it is for me.
Just the other night one of my boys was working himself into a real frustration. He was starting to sweat and talk louder and rant and be irrational. I have seen this escalation before, a simple injustice of home life turns an other wise decent child into a full blown terrorist. There is a part of me that urges a quick end to these sorts of things. The "knock it off, your grounded, get your red hot rear-end into bed and keep it there" sort of end.
Instead, I quarantined the little man into a separate room and started in on my motherly efforts. Nothing seemed to be working and I think at one point, I even saw a double stream of steam start to shoot out of the kids' ears. He was mad and did not care for my attempts at distraction, at soothing, at love.
So this is when you pray. Fast and quick.
It was nearing 9pm and it was dark out. The boy and I were both in our pajamas.
A bike ride! I nearly yelled the prompted answer out as soon as the idea fell from heaven into my heart. In an instant I saw the anger leave my frustrated guy like a black smoke being dissipated by a fresh evening breeze. We snuck ourselves from the bedroom out into the garage trying not to alert the rest of our family who was busy finishing up scripture study. We slipped our bare feet into flip flops and then we took off on a brisk ride around the shadowy neighborhood. We laughed and talked and raced. Then when our trail led us back to our own lighted house, we parked in the driveway and used the front porch bench to prolong our time together. There was a tender childhood apology and many "I sure love you a whole lot" chances. Then we parked our bikes and I tucked my boy into bed.
Spent and completely depleted down to the last of my energy, I collapsed into bed. But it was that warm, reassuring, confident tired that feels so good. So I'll take it.
Any day. And everyday.