Today was one of those ‘mommy days’…
…I just kept hoping for Mary Poppins to burst in and take over and do a MUCH better job with a whole lot more energy than I was feeling today. I considered singing the songs myself, and handing out spoonfuls of sugar, but that was the last thing they probably needed with the energy level that bounced around the walls in this house today. I could have used that spoonful or ten I’m sure!
There wasn’t really anything bad actually, no major tantrums or incredibly difficult issues to work on. It was just a day where I found myself feeling so outnumbered by my children and even my own thoughts were drowned out by their decibels of play and occasional bickering. I had the thought of locking myself in my room and doing a workout video on my phone (bah ha!) or better yet reading something! I might have followed through on the latter, but again, the loudness eventually overtook that thought before I could put it into action. I mean SO loud.
Life lately has had a sweet sort of rhythm and a peaceful melody even (loud but peaceful). We have a few new activities on the books, which while I stressed over not wanting to be “busy,” don’t feel that way at all. We have the perfect amount of activity and structure to break up the daily sibling play and squabbles and to get us all out of the house at least once most days.
Bedtime has been quite early with more activity and less “rest time,” we get them in bed lights out often before 7pm. Sleeping by 7. 🙂 This has been so great as John and I are reading our way chronologically through the Bible and enjoy our side-by-side time on the couch as we read and ponder and then discuss what we’re reading and what new things are sticking out. It’s been awesome! We’re also starting to have some really great, and short (their attention spans just aint quite over 2 minutes), conversations with these littles about things bigger than ourselves/themselves and the toy he took or the mean thing she said. Conversations about God, faith, spiritual warfare, grace, mercy, love, kindness and service. We have these little brief moments of connection about something that gets me so excited about how God’s given me the chance to speak into these little hearts. Some moments I’ll think “surely I’m about to cry tears of joy because this little one is about to say something so deep in response to what I just shared,” and then Brady says “Hey Mom, did you see that squirrel chase the other one while you were talking just then! He was SO fast!”
Well maybe the tears will save up for another moment. 🙂
I can not control what they take in, or how much they learn from my words vs. my actions. I’m trying to work on both but I am definitely human. But, I am praying my way through this thing called motherhood and often praying through each hour of the long days. Today, however long it felt (it was like a 70 hour day I’m sure, seriously!), was a day with tender nuggets that I want to tuck away in my heart and save forever. Today I got answered prayers!
During the hour long “Will you guys please pick up your toys so we can go to trader joes sometime today?”(while thinking THIS CENTURY!), and me folding the 4 loads of laundry in between that question on repeat, a small accident occurred. Brady was playing on the top bunk above the girls who were “cooking” glorious plastic concoctions below and passing them up for his non-edible delight. Simultaneously, Brady was “cooking up” the girls costume jewelry in a pot. He had a necklace (silly maybe, but my personal favorite of the dress ups), in a plastic pot and he was stirring it up. The necklace quietly broke. Brady kept silent for a while but then I stood up from the floor and announced that I was done asking them to clean up and I had finished my laundry folding and now it was time to have a real snack before any of us got hangry (mainly me).
As I started to usher them out of the bunk bed, Brady started apologizing profusely and begging forgiveness. I thought maybe he broke someone’s neck and killed them the way he was going on. He was definitely nervous. I think he thought Mahlia was about to kill him or maybe that I was going to be mad or yell at him. (In all honesty I was bummed out, so silly, but I was, but after seeing his deep anguish I didn’t even let my disappointment show an ounce). He held up a handful of the beads and confessed to breaking the necklace. I told him “Oh buddy, it’s okay, maybe I can fix it.” “It’s Mahlia’s” he said, “Mahlia, I’m so sorry, so so sorry!” Mahlia flew up the ladder to his top bunk (I prepared myself to grab her or him before she beat him up or screamed or whatever was about to take place), then she dramatically put her arm around him in a swooping side hug and said “Brady, it’s okay, I give you grace! There’s so much grace! I love you and I forgive you!” He hugged her tightly and thanked her and time stopped for a minute.
It was an incredibly over the top dramatized forgiveness moment but those were her words. My jaw hit the floor I am sure. A full 5 foot drop! Who is this child? She is filling our home with grace and forgiveness when the past year she’s often filled it with an equally dramatic level of rage or anger at times. At least the intensity is consistent. She brings her emotions in full blast which can be hard sometimes as her mom but which I also deeply love about her. Every feeling is HUGE.
Sometimes I just am dumbfounded by things my kids say and do, I love it when it’s this sweet. Their sweetness went on when they shared and exchanged their yogurt flavors because “Mahlia prefers strawberry” Brady said as he gave his to her. She thanked him with batting lashes and handed her blueberry over with a smile. Oh my heart! Ainsley of course wanted to trade too so I asked Brady to trade “But she has blueberry too mom!” “I know, so just trade her and you can both be happy” He gave me the “OH!!!” look and I think I just gave away some mom secrets to him in that moment.
On the drive to Trader Joe’s (hours after I had first hoped to go), we passed a random truck that was on the side of the road. I actually didn’t notice it at all but Brady kept saying “why is that truck there?” We were in stopped traffic on the highway so I glanced in my rearview and saw it. “I don’t know Bud, maybe it broke down? Why do you think?” Mahlia said “He maybe lost his 2 wheels or 1.” Brady said “He maybe got broken and then had to walk all the way to his home and he’s hurt or tired or hungry and now has to figure out how to get his truck and fix it….” It went on and on, this thought about this unknown man and what had happened to him. After he started to fade on ideas of this man and the truck, he perked up and said, “Mom can we pray for him?” “Sure” I said, “great idea!” and I began but then realized we were both praying so I stopped. Brady stopped too. I told him to go ahead.
“Lord, thank you for loving us, please protect that man who had to walk all the way home and his truck is broken. Please help him fix it and get him some food and help so he can do good things. Help him have friends to help and food to eat. And we love you. Amen”
And, that folks are two little nuggets that made the 90 hour day more than worth it! Love my job! Love my kids! Love my God!