Tuesday, September 14, 2010
A morning begins. A school morning. Even though I haven't PLANNED for it, even though the school shelves that got so nice and tidy had become destroyed by summer reading, summer painting, summer creating, and summer neglect.
Still, we start cheery. I know in my head this week is going to be easy and slow on everyone, meant especially to remind minds of what was once learned after a summer of intense play. And meant to give a Mama some time to fully prepare.
But soon, baby cries for feeding. Toddler cries because she can't sit on baby and give Smooch smooches. Boychild sings at the top of his lungs the ABC song and then interrupts himself every five seconds to ask me what an R looks like and "Is this a V?" holding up a Z puzzle piece? Right while I am trying to explain something to the girl beside me, from the math workbook she was SUPPOSED to do during the summer months. Then the girlchild begins to wail "I don't remember how to do this! I don't KNOW ANYTHING"
And my eyes begin to glaze.
The school shelves shout at me that they ought to be perfect this very moment and WHY aren't you prepared?!? The laundry whirling in the bathroom screams of work that will be coming shortly, "so be prepared for us" the thumb their noses my way. A new cabinet sits empty, mocking me until it gets filled.
And oh yes~Judah gets baptized on Sunday and has nothing to wear and I have no time to sew him anything! And a baby at church needs a welcome gift made, by Sunday. And thank you cards need to be written and birth announcements need to be made for the few that would appreciate one. And pears and grapes are going to be needing to be canned soon! And I haven't gone to the garden in a few days-there is likely another large batch of tomatoes to be dealt with. And I haven't forgotten about the jalapenos that are actually getting wrinkled waiting for me to deal with THEM. And I haven't paid the bills yet this month, have I? And Judah needs to be put on Matt's insurance.
Matt is gone for work, day one. I want so badly to have it altogether when he gets back. I want him to have a nice meal waiting, since he wanted to go back to work about as much as I wanted him to. I want to have the cupboard he built for me filled by the time he gets home, so he sees how much I appreciate his work.
But I don't have it together at all. Not one little bit.
My teeth bite back the tears inside of me. My hands clench, holding my emotions as best as they can. For several moments, I can only sit and wonder at the awfulness of this moment.
Instead of crying, wailing with the rest of them, I give Corynn the easiest pages in math to do. I tell her I am here for TEACHING and how it is okay not to know something because "hey! that is what LEARNING is, after all." I say it in a voice, almost whispered and too controlled, but not harsh or impatient or frustrated like it could sound.
We bring out the paints. Adele' eats the paint and paints her dress with them, but hey. They are non-toxic and washable. I get a potroast with potatoes and carrots in the crockpot, with extra onion, just like Matt likes.
And I begin organizing. I can't organize the school shelves because the table is full of painters so I instead organize the pantry. I sweep the shelves, sort the food, and my teeth begin to unclench. Organizing SOMETHING always helps.
I feed the baby. My dear one, who I would love to sit and rock all the live long day~kissing temples and puckers and soft, furry ears. And I mourn that I am pulled in so many directions, away from his little body. I mourn that there is laundry to do, and school to teach, and produce to can, and eggs to gather and supper to make.
I mourn for my baby, who has already lost the baggy back-of-the-head-wrinkles that he had just a week ago without me noticing.
I spent nine months anticipating his birth, waiting impatiently for him to grow strong enough to come and ever since....I beg him to stop growing. Stay little, my darling! Don't let me forget how you lean into me and tuck your head into my neck.
Eventually naptime comes. Quiet. And baby and I get some moments. Moments to stare adoringly. Moments, just our own. Being behind a camera always helps calm my nerves.
After rest, children run in sunshine and Mama stays inside and fills a husband-made cupboard with jewel tones. It is lovely.
The school shelves never did get organized, my curriculum never did get hashed out. But a cupboard got filled for a husband, a pantry got cleaned for a family, two loads of laundry were done for bodies, a baby and Mama had alone time, a toddler got extra snuggles, and two children were taught a very good lesson on patience and self-control. A Mama, too.
Even though for some reason, some of the carrots and potatoes were still hard by suppertime, the rolls were just a TADBIT burned; and even though the school shelves and school planning were moved to TODAY'S agenda; and even though I wondered how I would survive the day that morning~ I did survive and not just that: I got the most important thing accomplished.
On the first day of school, it was I who was taught. My homework was self-control. I learned that more than any other thing on my suffocating to-do list, prioritizing your FAMILY is most important. Loving on them, doing things FOR them, and reacting in a godly way TO them is the most important thing to check off on your list.
Show your family you love them. CHECK.