Last night, our only unscheduled night of the week, I was asked if we could play as a family after dinner. We were all set to go:
I felt so boss at this motherhood gig.
Someone all of a sudden remembered s/he had foreign language homework that would have to be worked on now since it was due Wednesday and Tuesday was a practice night.
Pro: Yay, insight into time management!
Con #1: Poor time management in the hours between his/her arrival home from school and mine from work.
Con #2: The resulting sullen, woe-is-me-life-is-horrible-this-is-stupid-everything-is-stupid trope that ensued for 40 some minutes and kept me home with said child working on foreign language homework.
My kids are the Fun Nazis: #NoPlayForYou! #SillyMomFunIsForKids
Tonight, the mister and the older two got home from lacrosse practice at nearly 8:00.
The aforementioned, slightly complicated pork chop dish had been prepared, along with brown rice and steamed broccoli, dishes were running in the dishwasher and those still littering the counters were being washed in the sinks when they arrived.
We snarfed down dinner with few complaints, and then went to town in search of cleats for son #2's lacrosse class that starts tomorrow and a special binder for the girl's end of year project. Son #1 stayed behind and did homework.
One unfruitful trip to Sports Authority and only a partial yield of the sought after items at Target later (no dice on the cleats, it's like everyone in Fort Collins bought all the size 12K cleats in town), it was nearly ten when we got back inside.
The unfinished dishes were taunting me. So I answered their siren song and started doing them, resentfully noting the mister's residence in the recliner.
No - homegirl don't play that. Don't give the devil a foothold. Do not initiate the pain cycle!
"Hey, I know you're all cozy in your chair there, but could you give me a hand, please?"
Maybe it was my tone, maybe it was he was just cranky...who knows? Our relationship has reached "old married" status, which means there are going to be moments of contention, some more familiar and routine than others.
Suffice to say it wasn't a full blown argument, but the vibe was not romantical either. It happens. We're human. Still in love. It's allowable ;)
The thoughts that ensued before I was over it, though, they raged on in my head quietly. I recounted how I used to write and sing and now all I do is work, chauffeur kids, and clean. I'd seen that one of my former colleagues had been named director of our community's new Permanent Supportive Housing development, and a wee bit of envy crept in. I'd had meaningful and promising career options once upon a time...
But - you chose this. It didn't happen to you, you wanted it. It's ok - there is still time and this is just a season.
The youngest Meyer was having a hard time getting to sleep, so the mister went to perform bedtime reconnaissance. He returned with the following bit of intel:
"He said he wanted you to come sing to him, and I told him to lay down, that you would be there soon, and he looked at me and said, 'Last time you said that, it was a lie. She never came.'"
(For the record, I did that time, he'd just fallen asleep before I got there. So we're clear.)
"Guess I'd better go then. Can you put away the rice and wipe the counters for me, please?"
Upstairs, the girl was STILL up. She'd been really ramped up at Target and was in full-on relentless mode, and well, 5:45 comes really early in the morning is all. So I did my go-to-bed-now snarl and she did the teen-aged I-knooooow sigh that I just love. Fourteen is soooo fun. It's not her, it's the age is muttered multiple times a day. I haven't forgotten - it was just yesterday after all, right?
Anyway, the youngest was rolled over in his bed, and while I knew he may already have been sleeping, I poked the bear anyway. After all, I was not about to be made into a liar this time.
He rolled toward me, puckered his lips that are only 5 years old for another 11 days into the big, puffy, hyperbolic kiss that he makes and pulled me to him. "You're the greatest Mom ever. I wanted you to be able to watch me at soft lacrosse tomorrow to see how good I got."
It's funny how these moments can pierce my soul with a conviction that stings and yet comfort my heart with the validation that soothes all at the same time. For all the times I start to entertain discontent with and the frustrations of motherhood, such words bring me to face the burning conviction that this thing called motherhood matters. For all the times I doubt the quality or effectiveness in my mothering, these glimpses provide the reassuring solace that mothering, with me cast as their leading lady, matters to them, and they do notice. Sometimes - they are children after all.
Thank you Lord, for the reminder. Thank you for him, this child who is such an encourager.
"Aww, you're sweet. And I'm glad to get to watch you tomorrow, too! I'm glad you're excited."
And so, here I sit, taking a moment to be real, granting myself the grace to know I'm human and get distracted from the things that matter, truly matter, from time to time. And bolstering myself against the knowledge that they won't truly understand until they are parents themselves that sometimes the greatest thing we can do for our children is set aside our own hopes and wants for a season and invest in theirs.