Thus saith the Lord, “Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded …” (Jeremiah 31:16)
Ever have one of those days that you wonder where life is bringing you to? The decisions are endless — the options are few. It’s just a waiting game to see what happens. See where life brings you next. You wish for childhood days of building forts, making snowmen, and running through the sprinkler. You remember how the laundry magically appeared folded in your drawers, supper was automatically set before you (even if you HAD to eat those gross vegetables), and someone was always there to rub your back and tell you everything would be okay. Those were the days …
Well, now the laundry piles up. I am the one telling the kids everything will be okay. Supper is needing to be made, the bills need to be paid, the hours seem few but the day seems long. Always something to do and always work to be done.
Books to read at bedtime filled with pictures and fairy tale stories that will expand imaginations with unrealistic versions of princesses and dragons, superheroes and magical powers. Not those novels of suspense and fiction that brings you to another reality for a little while. Instead of just remembering to brush my own teeth, there are three more mouths to take care of. Three more faces to wash. Three more bath time episodes. Apparently, three is my magic number.
I wipe noses, clean up spills, track doctors appointments and medications, put boots away, pick up toys, make snacks and meals, fill sippy cups, put socks back on, tie shoes, make sure each buckle sits below the armpits before every drive, search for band aids again and again, administer vitamins, and manage a stream of tears and tantrums on a whim.
I yell. I cry. I count to ten twice. I take deep breaths, read the parenting books for every new stage associated with preschoolers, while all the while counting the hours to bedtime. Then, finally, that time comes. One climbs the stairs for a story. One takes a sippy into the crib and one climbs into the top bunk. Each step is a fight of exhausted child versus an equally exhausted mommy. Mommy is determined to win though because I need the quiet time.
Stories read, kids tucked in, one more drink, one more potty trip and then when I finally thinks its quiet, I hear that one small voice calling out. Decisions need to be made. Do I go back in to the bedroom again? Do I have the energy to read just one more story? But, as all parents can attest only too well, one goes in because a darling needs you, knowing too that someone did the same for you when you were little. And to my surprise, that little darling just wants to say he loves me. Those little arms wrap around my neck and those small lips kiss my cheek. Then he rolls over and tucks his arm under his pillow and closes his eyes.
It’s at that point that I remember why I do it. It’s that moment that gives me the strength to do it all over again tomorrow. Yes, I’m a mom. I have three boys under four. They have my heart and for the next 16 years, I have theirs.