January 28, 2010
I needed today
I love it when you have a day with your kids when you're struck with the realization that you're doing ok, that they are learning something from you and that they just might grow up to be good people. It's an especially liberating feeling when it comes after a full week of days where you were certain in one way or another that you were a miserable failure. There's been lots of crying, fighting, fit-throwing, pushing, hitting, name-calling, and downright meanness going around in our house the last week. I was determined that they were all off to boarding school in the fall and that I would resign myself to being responsible for nothing, not even cooking or cleaning because I really just couldn't cut it.
But somehow or another as we ate $5 pizza for dinner at 9:30 last night I was able to take a deep breath and look around our kitchen table..... a table that doesn't even have enough chairs for us all... and be so thankful for these people that make my life shine. I mustered the energy to hit the grocery store this morning with them all in tow and even vowed to be patient enough to let them all walk on their own, no shopping cart. We survived.
They helped me fix breakfast. They helped each other get on their coats to go outside and play. They fed the chickens and the dog.
When it was time for schoolwork they took their time and when they complained about things I didn't get frustrated. I drew pictures at Alidia's request and she didn't get angry that they weren't perfect, she smiled and drew with me. Cole decided today was the day he was going to care about the size of his letters and diligently wrote in his journal with appropriate lower and uppercase letters. Something I was certain he would never do despite my painstaking attempts to make him. It was like it suddenly made sense and seemed worth his effort, all my efforts suddenly didn't seem like a waste any more.
They didn't turn their noses up at lunch or fight over who got to use the pink cup. They gave me space to get some laundry done. And now they are outside. Playing gleefully in the last bit of sun I think we'll see today. The clouds are beginning to crowd out the sunlight that brightened our morning. But I can still see it shining brightly in their smiles and their laughter. I can feel it's warmth in the kindness of their little conversations as I hear them through the window. I can sense it's presence in the overall feel of our afternoon. And I am thankful for the brief glimpse, the subtle reminder that I can do this and I couldn't possible imagine anything better.
Now if you'll excuse me, I hear someone counting and I think there just might be a little game of hide-and-seek that I want to get in on.