Our weekend in pictures and thoughts.Monday, January 21, 2013
I probably should have been sweeping up the kitchen floor - it looks like a pretzel/veggie straw/craisin bomb went off. And I needed to get the laundry folded, so the load that's done in the washing machine doesn't start to smell all mildew-y. But it's been a long, rough weekend, and this mama needed a cup of coffee and some blogging time during naptime.
What the pictures don't show are the many all-out tantrums that occurred, or the screaming that ensued when 3-year olds didn't get their way, or the fussy baby, or the 2-year old throwing a fit because he didn't get to shut the dishwasher himself. Oy. It's been a weekend demanding much patience and grace. Sometimes, life just feels messy, you know? I do not pretend to be a super-mama, or to have it all together - and this weekend was such a real reminder of that. There are plenty of happy, joyful times around here - times that joy and peace just naturally happen. And there are other times when I have to constantly seek and choose joy, when I have to stop and take that deep breath before responding, because man alive, I just want to react. And not in a pleasant way, mind you.
I turned to Max this morning, after buckling Evie into her seat, and commented that she seems easy after dealing with two toddlers who are attempting to demand their way and push all the boundaries they can. I know they are just figuring out the way the world works, and pushing to see what they can get away with, and I know that we as their parents need to stand firm and teach them that the boundaries are not theirs to decide - but that can be challenging after tantrum #42, or after telling them "no" for the 18th time.
In spite of a weekend chock full of testing toddlers, we've had a good few days - lots of lounging around, reading books, playing with toys, making meals together, playing outside, and laughing. Max has been hard at work, trying to tear down and sell his big fish tank, and set up a smaller one that can more easily move with us in the near future. He's put in a lot of hours in the garage, doing what he calls "manly things". We started working on re-caning our kitchen chairs last night, and quickly realized that while it's not terribly hard work, it's time intensive and slightly tedious - it'll take us a few more days to get those done.
The other day, Eliana woke up from her nap before Ezzy. She came downstairs with me, and I got her a snack. I was then working on getting dinner prep started, when she came over to me and said, "Hey Mom? Can I take the car out, please?". I had this weird moment, because all of a sudden, I saw time flashing by, and she was standing there, a few feet taller, same beautiful girl, same question, as a 16-year old, and I about wet my pants at the thought of time going so quickly and my little baby being big enough to drive a car by herself.
It was a good reminder that although we are knee deep in tantrums and boundary pushing and precious toddler teaching moments, time keeps moving on. Tomorrow is a new day, and it'll be here before I know it. It can be hard some days, but I really do need to strive to embrace the little moments - the spilled snacks on the floor, the rocking of the babies at night, the chubby 2-year old hands tickling me with glee, the night feedings, the spontaneous hugs, the sweet 3-year old learning and singing songs - and not rush through them, not lose sight of these little, beautiful moments.
I don't want to all of a sudden have a 16-year old daughter, asking me to take the car out, and realize I missed out, or didn't make the time to notice the seemingly small things. I want more. I want joy and memories and moments that might be hard, but are so good. Being a mama is hard work, and some days I get discouraged and easily frustrated. I am not always patient or kind. And in hindsight, that is so convicting. I am so thankful for grace upon grace upon grace. And new beginnings each and every morning.
So, here's to the little moments and the constant struggle to embrace each small wonder, in spite of how hard it can sometimes appear to be. I will choose joy, even if sometimes I just want to sell my toddlers or lock myself in the bathroom for ten minutes.