I’m getting it.

The Man was in the ‘burg for the big game last night.  So I was on my own, which was not bad…I mean it was a little hectic this morning, but not really any different than any other morning.  I just decided that I would forgo a couple of things to make it more smooth, like I would skip eating and showering and toileting and all that non-essential stuff.  I think it is somewhat interesting that I can control my body in a physical way.  I can forget about how hungry I am when I have other people to feed, dress and get off to school.  I can go hours and hours and hours without a trip to the potty, all the while making sure that others DO make the trip (even the dog for crying out loud) so that I don’t regret it later.  Etc.

William and Kate were out the door, Ella was dressed for school and ready, but Henry was moving at a snail’s pace.  He was like a sloth.  Sloth-like Henry.  He missed the bus.  Then I was mad.  His tummy hurt.  His tummy hurts many many mornings, and he’s just fine.  You would think that I would just understand that this is the way he is, that his tummy always seems to hurt, and that it will be fine when he gets to school and the earth will continue to rotate, just like normal.  But in the back of MY head is a nagging little voice that says “what if he THROWS UP at school?!  Then he will be that kid that THREW UP at school.”  And I get all nervous and freaked out and then I get mad because darnit Henry this is MY TWO LITTLE HOURS THIS WEEK!  THIS IS MY TIME HENRY!  THIS IS THE ONLY TIME I’M GOING TO GET FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS TO JUST HAVE TO MYSELF!  And I tell him that he’s going to school, and that he will be fine.  And that he can go to the nurse if he feels sick, but DO NOT GO to the nurse if he’s faking it.  I drop him off, and he sees one of his buddies, hops out of the car and smiles at me, waving and signing love. 

Then I drop Ella off, and head out to run some errands, even though I am dirty.  It’s been the kind of morning that makes me not even care what I look like. 

And then the phone rings.  Because Henry barfed at school.  He is the kid that barfed at school. 

And I realize that most of this happened because I was selfish.  I can’t tell you how many times I remind myself that my life isn’t about me anymore.  Most of the time I get it.  Most of the time I know that this is the job that was meant for me.  But sometimes I wonder if these moments are not accidental.  Does God give us these moments when we are the most selfish?  Is He trying to humble me?  Is He trying to teach me?  Some days He must think I’m quite a dim bulb.     

So here we are, on a cold November day (in which I made the children wear their heavy coats even though they will look fat in them — William’s comment.  William couldn’t look fat if he tried his hardest).  There’s a fire burning, and a soft, warm blanket covering us.  Henry is back in his jammies, sipping coke, and I think I’ll just sit next to him and read, and enjoy the morning that has been given to me. 

I’m getting it, God.  Slow but sure, I’m getting it.

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I’m getting it.

Pretty Stories

Henry set the table on the patio that evening with an assortment of placemats and mismatched napkins.  I liked it that way…nothing matching…and little seashell napkin rings.  The six of us crowded around that table, enjoying the grilled steaks, and shrimp cocktails, and corn on the cob and tomato-basil salad.  And then we had rootbeer floats in those fancy soda fountain glasses. 

I looked around at one point, and thought what a pretty story it was…the six of us, together, on the patio on Father’s Day.  The sunshine was warm.  There was a breeze ruffling the leaves in the trees.  It was like one of those snapshots in your mind…how you think your life will be but rarely ever is.  Peaceful.  Happy.  Pretty.

The Man and I put the kids in bed that night, and then sat on the front porch with a glass of wine.  We watched the fireflies.  We listened to the crickets.  (We came inside when someone began blasting the crazy indian music.)  ((Not that I have anything against crazy indian music, per se, but it doesn’t really go with the crickety-firefly kind of evening we were having.))

We went to bed feeling like the day had been a really good one.   A really pretty one. 

And then the barf started.  (Do you see what I mean when I say it always comes back to the barf?)

It was the two year old this time.  (Their aim with the barf is real bad.)  ((Actually, they have no aim.  It just bursts forth.))  So I cleaned her up, The Man changed her sheets and I rocked with her for a while, then put her back in her bed, where without delay, she barfed.  Again.

So I bathed her while The Man changed her sheets again.  And I rocked with her again. 

We sat there in that rocking chair with the sour smell of barf still lingering in the room.  Her soft ringlets fell on my neck as her head rested against my temple.  I could feel her breath on my cheek and her tiny little body curl up into mine, just the way she had done when she was an infant.  Me and Ella, there in the small hours of the night. 

And right then, in the midst of all that ugly barf, I remembered how pretty my life is. 

“our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain” — Rob Thomas

Pretty Stories

Oh, the Memories We are Making…

I am in the midst of the-last-week-of-the-school-year/end-of-year-parties/teacher-gift-assembly h*ll.  Therefore, being short on time, I am putting up a list of the seven-year-old’s memories which he began compiling yesterday.  And let me just say, I hope it’s not a complete list.  Or a “best-of” list.   Without further ado, I give you William’s Memory Book…

1.  I started Pre.K.

2.  I had field day in K(indergarten).

3.  I started K(indergarten).

4.  When I finished K(indergarten), I almost drownded.  (What?  You did?  When was that and where was I?)

5.  Henry barfed on the couch. (It always comes back to the barf.)

6.  Kate barfed in the car.  (Oh dear God don’t remind me of that ride.  That is a ride that will live in infamy in this family’s history.)

7.  Kate barfed pink.  (See a pattern here?)

 And that is William’s life to this point.  Or at least his recollection of it.  You’re welcome.

Oh, the Memories We are Making…