Joy, week 10

Tonight was a great night, a night that provided a massive sigh of relief and, therefore, a sunny outlook on all the effort that preceded it.

This week was many things.  It was a week of soccer practices and games, a week of laundry, a week of homework, driving and long lists with only a handful of items crossed off.  But the best name for my week would be “The Hunt for the Yellow Shirt.”

My oldest daughter is singing in a choir for the General Young Women’s Broadcast for the LDS Church in two weeks.  We knew going in that there would be long weekly practices and other things to do.  We had no idea that the clothing assignment would cost me 15+ hours of time spent going in and out of every store looking for a yellow shirt, an entire tank of gas (which topped out at over $100 this week… ouch!), and the general unhappiness of little ones who are dragged from place to place to place.  Monday afternoon found me in a thrift store with ten children, five of them under age 6 and three of them not mine, hunting for shirts.  I found several along the way that met the requirements but didn’t fit, and passed them along to other moms who were also hunting.  We found one that was fabulous, but two days later were told it wouldn’t work.  Once more we searched until finally I’d assembled four different options.  I started having nightmares about yellow shirts.   Tonight we went to the practice, presented our choices and let the leaders decide what they wanted her to wear.  Having that responsibility taken care of, I could sit down and relax and from here on out we’ll enjoy the experience.  A few days I felt highly frustrated that this tiny little life detail was taking over my life; tonight I’m just thankful that we were obedient, that I worried about it when I did and that I can move on to other priorities.

It all sounds so simple and so silly when I type it, but truly my week was largely an active hunt for a shirt.  Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?  In a way I think it’s so silly, but it’s also one of those things that reveals what motherhood is all about… doing what needs to be done so your children learn what they need to learn and are able to experience what they need to experience so they can become what we dream they’ll become.  Which is why the yellow shirt was paramount.  It’s also why I feel so relieved tonight.

There were some awesome moments this week, too.  That afternoon in the thrift store with extra children?  It felt so good because I was truly being of service to someone at the perfect moment.  I felt so grateful for the opportunity.  We had a lot of fun, too.  After we went shopping we stopped for ice cream cones, then grabbed pizza for dinner and came back to my house where the children ran and played on a beautiful spring evening.  The squeals of their laughter was music to me.  Soon their mom joined us and we laughed, talked, laughed some more, had Family Home Evening together and ate Girl Scout cookies for dessert.  It was one of those rare nights you remember as perfect, reflecting on with quiet happiness in coming days.  Throughout the week almost all of my children have come to me at different times to comment on how wonderful that evening was and can we please do it again.  We experienced joy  in the moment and have savored joy in the memory ever since.

On Tuesday night I was completely in over my head with multiple commitments all because of one rescheduled soccer game.  I did something that is honestly rather foreign to me and asked for help.  It was probably very good for me, but I’m also here to tell you that it’s very humbling to ask someone to go pick your children up from their piano lessons.  Yeah.

I saw my sister twice this week, once with her husband.  We laughed as my two year old stepped up to the plate as impromptu comedian for the evening.  On the second occasion we sat and talked about… quilting fabric, and had a fabulous time doing it because we both love it so much.

A few of my children had good moments this week and it surprised me how happy I felt all day long.  On one occasion I felt like shouting from the rooftops over a very simple victory.  I guess I’ve been pretty stressed about some heavy stuff.

My personal goals were largely deferred this week for two reasons:  the yellow shirt hunt and opportunities to serve.  It’s ok.  My greatest goal of all is to be a better wife and mother, to be doing the most important things, and I think this week qualifies.

The house looks a little better, I’m closer to being caught up on laundry.  I spent one-on-one time with several of my children this week.  One of my daughters chose to bridge the gap in a misunderstanding among friends, being the one who was kind in all directions.  I was proud of her for her actions and hope she learns great things from it.  This morning I sat with my two youngest girls and listened to birds sing outside our kitchen window.  I rocked my youngest to sleep this afternoon.  I’m caught up on the joy books I started on January 1st, with an entry each day for all eight children.

Life is wonderful.

It’s also starting early tomorrow morning.  I’ll be honest, the Monday morning after the spring Daylight Savings time change is NOT usually the easiest.

Have a great week!

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