Thursday, September 20, 2007

Blessed Busy Mess

I think I may have stated the other day that "my days are blessedly full and happy." They are. Today has been another of that sort of day. We do not spend our days running from place to place, doing errands and such. We are home most days, for the large part of the day. Yet, still the pace keeps me hoppin'.

I am not as early to rise these days as I used to before Michael was born. And I get myself in bed much later these days, often times only to be awakened by Mikey's call for nourishment (or comfort, I'm not sure which) a mere thirty minutes after my head hits the pillow. One night last week I ran up the stairs to bed at 10:30, telling Brian as I nimbly leaped, skipping steps along the way, "I just want to close my eyes before I have to wake up!!!!"

Many weekday afternoons, at a point when both Michael and Andrew are asleep and Jacob and Nicole are quietly occupied and the chores are somewhat done and the house is tidied and my sad old 32 year old body gives out, I will finally settle for a quiet moment....only to hear a little one wake up. In a bewildered, bitter tone I utter, "Gee, someone didn't sleep very long at all!" That is, until I look at my watch and realize the nap was nice and long, but I was going the entire time. That's not a bad thing, just the way things go these days.

Today would have been a perfect day to roll out of bed and be a mean old Mommy. Michael was wakeful most of the night. Then after sleeping from 2am to 4am in his bed, he woke crying after wetting his entire bed and himself. After changing him he spent the next hours next to me again, during which my allergies decided to make an all out attack and I developed a horrible crick in my neck. If I sniffed too loud, Michael moved. If I turned over to rest my neck, I found I was hanging on to edge of the mattress. All of this and then we didn't even start eating breakfast until 8:45! The scandal! Yes, I tell you, I was primed and ready to be a grouchy Mommy.

But I wasn't. Could it be possible that I didn't even have the energy to be a crab?!?

As the morning progressed, like many mornings, we needed to clean up from breakfast, Jacob needed to begin school, Nicole wanted "to do school," and Andrew wanted to color and cut and glue. And, of course, Mikey was tired from his wakeful night and only wanted to be held, except for a short play spell with the bucket of plastic vegetables. All this. All at once. All this while my hot pot of coffee smirked at me from the counter - poised so smartly next to my empty mug. I was ready to be a crazy screamin' Mommy.

But I wasn't. Was it that I was so delirious from lack of coffee that I couldn't even muster up one little barked command at my little ones?!?

Lunch was approaching. We needed to do more work. But we also needed to eat lunch and clean up so we could make it to the library after Michael woke up from his nap. Then I stopped and looked around me. Disaster and chaos! That's all I saw. Toys littered every bit of available space on the floor. Glue sticks, scissors and paper were found on most table tops. Dishes were still in the sink and the dishwasher (a pet peeve). Laundry lay wrinkling in the dryer and mildewing in the washer. Spilled Raisin Bran still needed vacuuming. I was stepping in sticky puddles of juice. Jacob was working on his family tree. Andrew was still in the process of dumping out most available buckets of toys and flipping out puzzles. Nicole was begging to eat lunch and "do more school." This is usually when boiling point creeps near and Mommy threatens to become a bona-fide Jekyll and Hyde.

But I didn't. Was I in a trance, not able to morph into "that other Mommy?"

Nope. I was calm. My choice? All in my power and control to do so? I think not.

By the grace of God, surely.

As we drove to the library after lunch, I fought off a yawn and that car-induced sleepiness. I had a few quiet enough moments to think and reflect on the reality of things. The reality, I discovered, is NOT that my life is spinning out of control, as I would be so inclined to think in my silly little head. No. The reality is that my life is in so many, many ways SO out of my control. Somehow, in this morning, jam packed with obstacles threatening to steal my joy, my Guardian Angel was able to save me from cratering, from becoming that Mommy I do not want to be. And under the safety of his wings, I was able to step back, look and see that amidst the calm and the mess, my children were happy and occupied and learning and loving (minus a few squabbles here and there). I can honestly say that I do not want to abandon diligence in caring for and teaching my children and maintaining our home. It is good for me. It is good for the children. But I did observe that the mess is pick-up-able. The dishes will be done. The laundry will be folded and hung. The glue will be wiped up. And Mommy will get to sit and rest, albeit just for a moment and not hours. And if I can let go, if but for a short while, and let the mess be mess (and maybe even allow myself to enjoy it a bit), then that short moment of rest will be sweeter. That joy will not be stolen.

How do I know this?

Well, I sit here now. The glue is gone. The papers are put away. The dishes are done. Some of the laundry is folded. My children are happy reading and playing. And I am having a moment of peace to write. And it is sweet.


Crafty Mom said...

Good for you!! I have had many such days with just my two little ones, and I almost always morph into evil-Mommy.

I know how hard it can be when the mess gets so overwhelming. My life is more and more messy with each passing day it seems. But at least you were able to withstand and conquer.

Congratulations on a parenting well done.

Mom of boys said...

I am so happy for you! Now I hope that some of this will rub off on me! By late afternoon, I was the crabby mommy today! I even believe I shouted at dear old Philip! That brought me to tears!

Here's to tomorrow - another good day for you and hopefully a much better one from me!

He who wears the most black wins. said...

I just linked to you. I cannot believe how similar our days sound, even though you homeschool. I, too, feel blessed and busy and grateful and exhausted at day's end. I, too, wish I had more time. I, too, hit the pillow at around 10:30 only to wake up and begin again at 6:30 in the morning. By the time Saturday rolls around I just take a deep breath.

I, too, think each moment I have to breathe, write, or read is "sweet".

:) God bless you, dear friend!!!

Melissa said...

I love this post so much, Celeste, these words from the heart that so perfectly capture and describe these crazy busy days. I feel, in so many ways, so like you, but I'm sad to admit that I'm not often as patient or generous in spirit as you. I want to be. I try to be. I know that, with God's help, I CAN be. Thank you for this beautiful reflection!

Jill said...

Thank you for this post, Celeste. Here I am at 10:45pm and my baby has just nursed for the third time in the last 30 minutes. He can't seem to fall asleep, and I don't even dare try to hit the pillow sometimes because I know that my eyes won't shut either...
Oh, I have so much to say about this post...but I am worn out from a day strikingly similar to your day.
This is why I read blogs. Your grace during these exhausting days inspires me.