Today began with the pretty little dream of a relaxing day.
Tea on the couch, quiet kids, a good book, and maybe I’d sort through the mountain of laundry I’ve been avoiding and find my clothes…
So this should be the point where you turn back, if that’s what you hoped you’d be reading about.
I naively poured a cup of tea and sat down to catch up on some writing. But things, as they have been lately, were off this morning. The kids were grumpy and more needy than usual. It’s incredible how they pick up on the energy in our home, the subtle shifts. There were dishes everywhere, and leftover bits of Ezra’s birthday spread over every surface. Also, there’s a new- to- us couch in the middle of the living room, lovingly deposited there by my mother -in -law (it was much needed, but not until our teen moves out…). Though I tried to relax, the environment wasn’t exactly conducive to my plan.
I also found myself dealing with tech support for my video editing program, which the littlest had a hard time understanding, since he couldn’t even see me talking on the phone, after all, the assistance was virtual. I tried to hold him, showing him the curser as it moved across the screen, “someone else is moving it”, I explained.
Of course, he thought I was nuts, and demanded to know where this person was, before also demanding a snack.
And then I took a look at the counter. One of the things I struggle with, while being a homeschooling mom, is the amount of glasses we use throughout the day. There are 6 of us in this house, but frequently, the cupboard is empty. Is there a fairy who works alongside the sock elf? You know, the one who steals one sock from all the pairs, leaving you with a stack of unmatched socks? Maybe he has a friend who also drags every cup from the cupboard and leaves an inch of water in the bottom of each.
Usually, everyone gets one cup daily.
And if, at the end of the day, it appears that someone has taken two cups out of the cupboard without a decent reason, they get to do the dishes…it’s become something of a game in our home. I’ll let you in on a little secret, usually, it’s me who uses multiple cups, but I also do the dishes. Anyways, we have a small tile on the kitchen counter with room for each glass, so that the person in charge of kitchen clean up at breakfast or lunch doesn’t wash the cups until the end of the day because the cups are all in one place and easily identifiable as one of the 6 coveted glasses. It usually works well, if I follow along too.
Well, no one has been playing the cup game.
Not today, not yesterday, and the cups were everywhere!
I felt the rage build up inside of me…the kind of rage that disguises itself as ‘cup-rage’, but really was just, fear and sadness and I- don’t- even- know- what’s -going -on -with -the -world mixed up together in a soup, threatening to be spewed at my children.
So…I asked, well, if Im being honest, I told Maggie to dress Ira to go outside and sent Ezra to get himself ready. I threw down any intention of productivity or relaxation, washed those F*&^(ng cups, packed some snacks, hopped into the car and went to the bird sanctuary. We often head there on grumpy days since a hike in the woods with some cute little chickadees who eat from our hands = just the cure we usually need.
We were floored to find a full parking lot and a steady flow of traffic in and out. Thankfully, no individual families were intermingling, so we could keep up our goal of being distant. We played with the chickadees, far from anyone else, for two hours before coming home feeling more relaxed.
And then you know what happened?
The kids were tired and calm.
They snuggled up together, each with a bowl of peaches and my phone shared amongst them to watch a movie on Netflix,
and I stole away to fold my clothes and watch a movie.
That was peaceful enough for me.
Asking myself, what do I have control over?