I walked slowly through my clean house, enjoying the slight breeze that was sneaking in one window and escaping out another. The children were fed, bathed, happy, and peacefully sleeping in their respective rooms. I paused in the Dining Room to admire once again my large vase of freshly picked lilacs. Beautiful yet delicate, these flowers brought a cheerful sort of life to the small space where I normally spend long hours scrubbing food off the floor. Not today. Not tonight.
Tonight this space was a space where I felt like the luckiest woman alive. I felt myself floating with happiness- for no discernible reason. It was one of those days where I really connected with my children. They seemed so grown up. So amazing. So much a small extension of myself- connecting with me in ways that I have only dreamed about in the past. We spent the afternoon at a farm, seeing animals, picking flowers, talking with friends, soaking in the peaceful scenery of a rural Vermont farm in the spring.
That day was full of laughter. And hugs. And kisses. And spoken words from sweet lips. And obedience. And all the things that fill my mothering cup so full of wondrous love.
As I walked through my house, smiling with thanksgiving for the many blessings that have been sent my way- I realized that I lacked for nothing. Not one single thing could make my life better. Because I felt complete.
The smell of my baking homemade pizza wafted through the air, competing with the fresh lilacs and the open window breeze. I felt as though the smells joined forces and whispered aloud to me. "You have made a home."
A comfortable home to raise my family. A home were peace and happiness are in frequent supply. A home where perfection is absent but love is overwhelming.
I sighed, relished the moment of supreme bliss, and looked forward to many more days with my little family. Each of them a gift and blessing of the greatest degree.
Scene, Monday morning:
I stumbled bleary-eyed to rescue children from their clearly torturous cribs (as evidenced by their yells and screams). No matter how early I go to bed Sunday night- Monday morning without fail comes as a rude surprise.
Addison lifted out of her room quite nicely, immediately off in search of a snack, but Carter? I discovered that Carter had somehow vomited in the middle night and then laid back down in it and kept sleeping. That was a super fun discovery.
After that cleanup, I headed to make the children breakfast. "COOKIE" they both demanded. For some reason, the substitute oatmeal I made them was received much like the kiss of death. Glaring at me and pushing the oatmeal far away, they both declared that they were "all done" and "not hungry." Fine. We had a lot of cleaning to do before the speech therapist arrived at 9. To vent their frustration, they ran around the house- pulling toys off the shelves, scattering dirty clothes down the hallway, pushing each other into walls, smudging every inch of glass in the house that might possibly have been clean.
I turned on Signing Time to distract them, and tried to finish my chores before therapy. Signing Time magic lasted for......thirty seconds. While I was gathering the house trash, back in Carter's room and wondering if it was legal to create diapers that smelled this horrible, I noticed an eery silence. Carefully balancing the overflowing trash bag, I walked back through the house looking for them.
Of course since Mommy served them such an unacceptable breakfast, it makes total sense that they would feel the need to fend for themselves. And of COURSE this "fending" would include the brand new, very large box of Cheerios that I opened just that morning to give Addison her pre-breakfast snack.
I tried to sweep them into a large pile, but with every stroke of the broom, two children tackled and spread the delightful floor breakfast while shrieking with glee. When I instructed them otherwise- they both miraculously and instantaneously lost the ability to hear. I finally stopped and just waited for them to leave the room so that I could clean this up in peace.
My patience was eventually rewarded. Once again silence and peace. But then I realized it was TOO silent. I heard the toilet lid being lifted, and I ran towards the bathroom shouting "NO!" But it was too late. Of COURSE they needed to wash their hands from all the Cheerios and of COURSE the toilet was the best place to do this. The fact that Carter was seconds away from dipping my hairbrush into the mix as well was only icing on the cake.
While scrubbing down tiny hands that felt the need to do some "stirring", thinking of the piled laundry on the couch I hadn't even gotten to yet, the large mountain of Cheerios still in need of assistance, the therapist arriving in mere minutes, and the total lack of connection that I felt with my children this morning- I was frustrated. And felt like I had it WORSE THAN EVERYONE ELSE. And that the day at 8:30am was already GONE. RUINED. DESTROYED.
The magic of Saturday night was gone. The breeze was gone because it was now cold and the heat was turned back on. The smell of baking homemade pizza was replaced by the sour smell of the bag of trash that still hadn't made its way outside. The euphoric happiness was replaced by frustration and fear that life would never grow beyond this. The feeling of completeness was replaced by a feeling of brokenness.
But after the therapist arrived and both children were her captive audience- giving me a half hour to finish up a few things without two 30 pound ankle weights, I stopped my petty whining. And decided to be thankful anyway. Even if the events and atmosphere of the morning weren't as divinely perfect as Saturday night.
Thankful for the vomit. Thankful for the stubbornness of my children. Thankful for the Cheerios mess. Thankful for the toilet play. Thankful for the overflowing clean laundry that I was folding.
Because I am still making a home. And this is all part of my home. The good, the bad, and the smelly. As the keeper of this home- I am thankful for the strong signs of life. I am thankful for the ability to laugh and keep going. I am thankful for the chance to step back and figure out how I can teach these new things to my charges. I am thankful for the endless entertainment provided me by the troublesome twosome. I am thankful that someday this will be a distant memory to torture them with in front of their friends.
I am thankful
because I am making a home. And it is a good one- even during the rough mornings.