By all accounts I should really be in bed right now. But I have been having this nagging feeling all day that I needed to write something (and by my last post you can tell that doesn’t come often anymore). It is 10:00 pm and I just finished a two hour battle with a two year old over bed time. It wouldn’t have been so overwhelming except that my husband is in Mexico and I was ready to go to bed at 3. Somewhere in the midst of her 30 minute long 9:15 pm meltdown over her pooping on the floor and my flushing it down the toilet (in her words, “I wanted the poop to be safe, not in the sewer!”) I realized that although this highly ridiculous scenario is not uncommon in my house, it will go pretty much unnoticed an unappreciated (unless I make my husband listen to every detail of it in a future conversation, where he will try to listen, but being really preoccupied with the current screaming that will no doubt be going on in the house he will miss most of the detail and not fully grasp the magnitude of it). And thus is my life.
After giving her a very hearty dose of Melatonin and fighting her to rub lavender oil and roman Chamomile all over her body, she was finally subdued enough to stop slapping me in the face and screaming to get her diaper strapped on and back into her bed. As I lay under the soft blue glow of the pillow pet lamp I felt little tears stream down my eyes. I can’t quite say what the emotion was… like a mix of happy to watch her finally give up the fight, sadness at the loss of my precious mommy time and a little complete overwhelm at the task of mother hood that still lays before me.
In that moment I reflected a little bit on my day. Just a few hours earlier I had taken the kids on a post diner walk in our giant red wagon, which is the only way I can cart all three of them around (yes I have 3 kids now… more information on that to follow). Which in the city makes me stick out like a sore thumb. Especially since I live in a Dog Lover and college student neighborhood and kids are kind of rare in these parts. We walked to Whole Foods where I clumsily maneuvered my giant wagon through skinny isles and around all the fruit displays to get a bottle of Kombucha and a mix for brownies because we all needed a chocolate fix. I felt proud of my little wagon full of cuties who were so curious about everything and person they saw… but I was greeted by a lot of awkward looks and glances. Maybe it is weird to walk a wagon through an upscale grocery store (who knew?)
On my way home feeling a bit more self conscious. I began crossing a side street only to have an older women driving a smart car cut me off mid road… oddly enough as she was zooming right in front of me and my wagon load, she rolled down her window and yelled “Thank you!” And although she did not get to truly express herself I am thinking what she was trying to say was, “Oh, I am so sorry, I did not see you crossing before I started making this super fast left hand turn, and now my car has so much momentum that I could not possibly stop, plus there is oncoming traffic barreling towards me, so thank you for stopping mid-road so that I did not hit you and your cute little family because that would have made me feel guilty and ashamed for years to come.”
And a very interesting thing happened in that moment. I felt really good. I think I might of even blushed a little because I was like, “Thanks for noticing me and appreciating my pause and attention to the road and safety of my family.” And suddenly the awkward glances from the store didn’t really matter to me because I felt like I was important again.
The other day in a moment of motherly despair I told my husband that I just need someone to notice what I do around the house…. and being the good listener that he is the next day he called me at work to tell me how nice it was that in his frantic rush to get out the door that I was somehow able to not only feed and take care of the kids but also make him two turkey sandwiches and pack some chips fruit and a vegetable. And that Thank you was like fuel to me…. because if nothing else good came of my day I knew that my husband was happy at lunch time.
Somebody (well Wikepedia says Benjamin Franklin) said that “Time is Money.” I truly dislike that expression, because time is anything but money when you are a stay at home mother. Time is love, it is dedication and commitment to people who you want to be happy and thrive. I feel like getting a good Thank you each day is like my paycheck… because then I know that I made someones day a little better in some way. It lets me know that I am doing a good job, and to be really honest, I question that a lot. I even accept scripted Thank Yous that people prompt my children to say, and I really enjoy when people pray for diner and ask God to “bless the hands that prepared this meal” (my hands need a lot of prayers, in the next five years alone I will prepare and serve over 5,000 meals and almost 4,000 snacks).
I know that “Thanksgiving Time” is still a few months out, but I figure in the attitude of this post here are a few Thank Yous that I wanted to give today (and some I actually did give, though I don’t know if they got all nerdily excited to receive the Thank you as I did!) .
Thank you! To the old man who noticed my 3 year old chasing him and his dog down the road today and stopped to let her have a pet of it’s soft curly fur. You really made her walk more magical…. most people in the city don’t stop.
Thank you! To the nurse at the doctors office who helped me open the door and search for my car keys after our 2 hour visit…. (someday I really will learn not to let my kids play with them!!!)
Thank you! To my brother in law, who in my husbands absence came over two nights in a row to helped with my dishes and reading bedtime stories to my kids, it really helped my sanity and braced me for the tantrum that soon followed your departure.
Thank you! To Lisa for the play date and a taste of your delicious Lemongrass Lime coconut soup… I am going to need that recipe!
Thank you! To my husband who promised me that I would be rewarded greatly for flying solo for 4 days with 3 kids. I hope it involves some sort of massage and perhaps lots of ice cold Kombucha.
Thank you! To my brother in law Daniel for taking the time out of his day to recommend essential oils for my health. I am really excited to put lemongrass on my feet tonight.
Thank you! To Amy for helping my family find this sweet house to live in, watch my kids while I moved in and scoped out a preschool for Fiona…. For whatever reason I feel like God is using you to help me and my family right now.
Thank you! To uncle Joe for calling to check in on me and little man today. I love how much you care about him and your positive outlook for the future. I really liked today on the phone how you said that Loving people was all that really mattered in life and taking a moment to form good memories and show that you care about someone is the kind of legacy you want to leave behind…. me too Joe… me too.
Ok… sleep now. My two year old will no doubt be awake at midnight requesting crackers and stories.