Life as it was today…

I was SO tired this morning when I woke up.  I went from bed to bed to wake the children for school… and I’m not kidding — NONE of them even stirred.  I lay back down and waited ten minutes, then did the rounds again.  More success this time.  Everyone made it to school, and early too.

When my husband got in the shower he said he was going to work from home today and that made me happy.  Plus, I had the early signs of a migraine coming on and it just felt good to think I wouldn’t be facing the day all alone.  When he came downstairs he announced something he needed to take care of at the office and within 45 seconds he was driving away.  It’s his job, after all, but I felt a little sad.

The little girls were adorable this morning, making toast for each other.  This week they’ve had lots of fun with dolls, rocking them, pushing them in strollers, cuddling them and so forth.  I love to see little girls practice being mommies.

The headache got worse and we picked up my 6 year old from kindergarten.  It was pouring rain by this time and I felt so thankful that my husband worked well after dark last night getting almost all of the dirt moved from the street to the backyard.   The rain made the day feel a little dreary so when my little guy begged for a movie I got the tv out and let him watch one of the original Star Wars movies.  I decided a rainy day called for some chocolate chip cookies and mixed up the dough.  We paused the movie to pick up three more of the children from school.

I never lay down during the day, but today I had to.  I rested for 20 good minutes and then my little one joined me and I had to get up.  My oldest was supposed to go on a retreat tonight, but the deal was that all make-up work for school be completed first.  It wasn’t.  I had to say no.  I hated it, he hated it, but I had to do it.  It’s not fun being the bad guy, but he knew the requirements and I’m not doing him any favors by lifting them at the last minute.  Still, it stinks.

I worried it would ruin the rest of the night but he rallied well, thanks in part to a cool t-shirt his dad picked up for him today.  I went through an almost laughable stack of loose papers to make sense of  his homework.  We baked the rest of the cookies and soon he had a smile on his face.

I did no housekeeping today.  Just functioning took all my energy.  I’m not complaining.  I’m writing because I need to remember this day.

I started dinner late because of the homework issue.  So while I had ribs cooking in the oven, the hungry kids peeled carrots to chomp on and raided the storage room for Top Ramen, which they eat raw!  Gross!  I sat on a chair in the family room and turned my head in time to see my four year old jumping up and down on her Top Ramen to crunch it before opening it.  My two year old climbed up next to me with equal parts runny nose and dirt on her face to throw her body across me and give me countless kisses.  When she wants to talk to me she gets right in my face so our noses are touching.  It took a little more courage to have that conversation tonight given the state of her face, but she’s adorable and I love it.  I had just seen pictures of someone’s newborn baby and had that sad feeling in my heart (and my eyes) that my baby is so huge.

My carpet is littered with game cards from six or seven different games.  For some reason my kids don’t play games, but they get all the pieces out and play other things with the games.  It makes for interesting messes.  My seven year old and I took 2 hours and went through every piece recently, but it’s right back to the previous state of disarray.  I’m thinking we don’t need games.  I walked through the empty kitchen and found a cup of water in the middle of the floor with 5 rocks in it.  Hmmm.  There’s a baby doll on the kitchen counter face down in some peanut butter.  My floors have a nice layer of dirt on them but I’m not going to mop until our dirt has all been moved to its permanent location.

The children are having a wonderful time running outside in the gathering darkness and I’m happy to hear their screams and yells through the open windows.  My oldest and his Dad are watching snowboard competitions online as they do work and homework in the office.   I’m feeling a little vulnerable tonight but it’s opened my heart to the realities of how terribly blessed I am.  I look around at the mess and for once, I have the sense to be happy about it.  There’s a lot of life being lived here and I get to be a part of it.  I get to be the one they talk to about soccer practice and who said what.  I get to be the one that holds them when they scrape their knee or just need a shirt to wipe their nose on.  I get to be their mother.  And I get to be a wife to such a good man.  And we get to live at the end of the street with a big yard for them to run in and right now we get to sleep with our windows open.  I get to smell my lilacs in a vase each time I walk through the kitchen.  But mostly it’s just about people.  We get to love each other, and there’s so much we get to learn together.

Today life was messy, life was loud, life was rainy, life was real.  Life is good, and what a precious gift God has given me to be here for it!

Gratefully, Jennifer

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