that half asleep, “is there someone crying or is there some animal foraging in our driveway?” thought which only proceeds to draw the conclusion that there IS in fact a child crying. and the heart sinks and the body groans. and what in the all of this world is anyone doing awake right now?
and the hubby goes to check what exactly is the cause of this at 5:30 in the morning.
our oldest, our four year old, our wild and crazy and energy, the one who shares a room with his sister– yes… him– he has turned on the. bedroom. lights.
the one year old’s room? Yep, it is right next to this one with all crazy and crying and lights-to-bright-for-pre-dawn-of-day exploding out of it. yes, he’s up too. i mean, how could he not be?
when your day starts like that?
you may find yourself wanting it to end as.soon.as.possible.
well, sooner probably.
can’t we just pull down the moon like a block-out shade?
put the kids to bed?
just try again tomorrow?
can we just skip time?
how about just pushing that little reset button? and this time we remember to turn off the light by the pull chain, making it impossible for our rambunctious to turn on the lightbulbs? Can’t we just do that?
i know that button exists, by the way.
i just haven’t found it yet.
and then after hours of children with too-dark-circles under eyes, and a lunch which in short does not “go well,” at. all., why not load up the three children and head to the post office? i mean what could possibly happen there?
you know, besides a child running around with one end of the waiting-line-rope unhooked from one of the anchor poles, chasing after her brother screaming “look a hook!” and something that sounded like maniacal laughter coming out of her after that sentence as she stretches in an attempt to loop that hook onto her brother.
meanwhile, the four-year-old (remember him?) yeah, he’s crashing into the greeting cards and ripping them out faster than seems humanly possible.
i hear him saying something about finding Spider-man and wanting to keep him.
and then? his sister joins him. and, after they’ve mutilated that to their disturbed satisfaction, they take to running from their mother (aka myself), who is chasing after them with a 26 pound “baby” strapped to her chest. bless my ergo-baby carrier. life line. god send. it’s not just a baby carrier y’all. it’s the only way to survive! (- there’s a reason why strapping a child to its mother is a pattern across the globe)
i know the way to make them stop. it’s to make the face. you know the one? Yep, the one that comes with the voice. the one that makes everything ugly. and let’s just be honest, it’ll only work for a couple minutes- and quite frankly i just wanted to stay as calm as possible.
i may end up having to buy 15 “anniversary” cards and another 10 “best wishes,” but i will not lose my temper. i won’t. i don’t know how to handle this. i look them in the eyes and tell them to calm down. pull them to my legs. pick up cards as best as i can with a mega child tied to the front of me. and then?
i turn back to head into line.
there’s an adorable older woman in front of me. and bless her, she has the children wait with her while i grab envelopes. and i try to make sense of what is the difference between “priority” mail and “priority express”- yeah almost didn’t catch the +$10 price tag on that one!
my daughter pipes up in line. my son just finished telling the lady his name is “Tucker,” and Maddi gazes up at her and asks, “Who’s your name?”
the lady replies, “Joy.”
i only half listen as Maddi replies, “Ooooh that’s a GOOD name!” her hands to her cheeks as she tries to fully express just how much she likes the name.
within two minutes my kids are trying to “swing” on the waiting-line-rope and the baby is squirming every which way to try to watch me and them and everyone else while trying to not drop his pacifier. i grabbed the envelopes, paid for stamps, and got the “h” out of there.
“Mrs. Weasley’s “howler” would come in handy right about now.”
that’s what i am telling myself.
i doubt i’m the first. (if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, then you probably don’t understand the reference, so you should now go read the books, or at least watch the movies 😉 )
i could see me using her exact wording, “if you put another TOE out of line…” yep, that’s how i felt. but i don’t have the red hair and i don’t think i wear motherhood quite like she does. a woman you want to sit in the kitchen and just listen to, while at the same time knowing she is a force to be reckoned with.
(she may just be the epitome of my motherhood role-model.)
unfortunately, i cannot send screaming letters that explode into balls of fire after they’re done shrieking my reprimands to my children. it would be nice though.
The phrase “I’ll try again tomorrow,” morphs a bit to “Am I really going to try this again tomorrow?”
There must be an easier way.
There was something that stuck with me for the rest of the day though. You’ve probably already guessed it.
is there a more beautiful name?
she didn’t give anything more than that, just the word- which at the time I found a little bit like God was smiling at me through the chaos, and a quiet voice in the back of my head telling me i can choose joy. here, in this moment. this crazy. this wrecking of government property. i can choose to find joy. to name the grace gift. to name it all.
and in the car with the kids going crazy and me crying on the phone. yeah, i can still name grace. speak truth over myself and my children.
as i put lavender and cedar wood oil combo on the bottoms of feet and put the mayhem to sleep- praying for sleep- and thanking for grace. and joy.