Monday, July 23, 2012

Learning to appreciate the unpredictability!

There are times when my children play brilliantly together. They laugh at each other's jokes and create the most imaginative scenarios. It is one of my life's greatest joys to listen to my children enjoy each other.

During our daily "down time" when I allow TV, I often sneak past the couch and notice that my 4- and 5-year olds are holding hands. They have done this since they were very young, and I really don't even think they realize what they are doing. It makes my heart happy though. Even though they are just vegging out, they are connecting to another human. I will be be sad when they stop this ritual.

I wish that I could bottle up these moments. Everything feels so worthwhile and I am so deliriously happy to be a stay-at-home mom.

Problem is, as we all know, these moments do not last. Nor, sadly, can I predict when they will happen.

I recently planned an arts and craft hour...rare for me as I try to outsource messes of this sort!! I was sure that all the children (including the toddler) would be thrilled that Mommy was giving them free reign on their creativity. I bought a "box of stuff" on sale at Michael's...hence this freedom. It was exactly that...a box of everything fun for little fingers to create masterpieces.

It was nothing like I had planned in my head. The fighting over the little poms poms started first. And then there was not enough glue to go around. And then the toddler got bored with his own and started to "fix"  the other kids'. It was awful, and I was so tempted to get a trash bag, throw everything in, and call it a day...lesson learned! I did put the toddler down for a nap and it got slightly better. But, they were still bickering and it seemed to bring out the best in no one (especially me!). I promptly threw the masterpieces in the trash as planned...but calmed down and took them out before the children missed them (this time!) :).

Then last night, I was absolutely dreading the bath and bedtime routine. My husband and I often joke that it's time for the "relief parents" to come and take over. We usually have exhausted and cranky people x 7. We've been putting them to bed even earlier these days (even though it seems most folks let their kids stay up later in the summer!) because we're just done. We don't have family around or babysitters, so it is just us. And, we're just...DONE!

Last night, however, even though all were tired as usual, the children were lovely to each other. Laughing and giggling through their shower, the older ones helping the younger ones, children actually paying attention during prayers, and no one fighting over laps during books. It was so wonderful...the kind of night that I know I will miss terribly (but I wonder if they will all turn into nights like this in my mom doesn't seem to remember many bad moments having four very small children at once!!).

As I said my night time prayers, I asked for the grace of appreciating the good moments...and just being happy when they come. Not wishing them away to be saved for a more appropriate time for me. And, I am trying to remember how much God loves me even when I am most unworthy. I need to try to feel as much love for my children when they are tired and cranky as I do when they are acting like the children that I always wanted! It's a process...God help me! And, thank you God, for never being DONE with me!

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