This picture has absolutely nothing to do with my day...except for the fact that there was a similar picture on the wall of the doctor's office tonight. It looked so peaceful...so serene. And, so unlike my day!
It started off as a normal day. I was grateful to have "normal" back after a hurricane. I got Gianna on the bus, dropped Joseph at preschool, and went to story time at the library with the younger kids. It is All Saints Day, so I even attended a beautiful noon Mass...by myself (Daddy came home to be with kids)...a rare gift which I loved!
The afternoon plan was the gym. For a half hour (that's about all I can leave the baby without major guilt...she isn't always happy when I pick her up from the babysitting room!), I work out. This is something that I have always enjoyed. It makes me feel so great, so I try to keep it up as I know it makes me a better wife and mommy. Luckily, the four older kids really enjoy the babysitting room. The baby, who is entering the "stranger danger" phase, is the reason that I haven't been going much lately.
I first noticed IT (the day changer!) as the kids were piling into the minivan. Everyone had a snack and gone to the bathroom, so we needed to leave SOON (these needs come up again quickly!). I was about to buckle Cecilia (3) into her carseat when I noticed a very goopy yellow eye. It came out of nowhere. "Mommy, I can't see very well right now." Ya think?
Bummer! Everyone back inside.
I called the pediatrician and I was really hoping that they would just call in a script for pink eye. This has worked in the past...but probably only because it was going through the house and I needed a new bottle of drops for the next child (we drop like flies when it comes to contagious ailments!). Didn't work this time...they wanted to see her. Luckily, I found a bottle of drops that are not expired yet...I'll try those first :).
It was when I was *attempting* to make dinner (staying in all afternoon tends to make for very needy children at my house), I noticed that Justin (2) was shivering. Burning up!!! Very good thing we didn't go to the gym.
The next few hours were a blur. No one liked my makeshift dinner (not even me!). The baby also has a cold and wanted to be held the.entire.time. Justin's eyes also started to leak something unpleasant.
Thus, I ended up at the urgent care center with Justin after dinner. It wasn't until I got there that I realized that I was quite a sight...I passed the time by peeling something crusty off my sweatshirt :). I saw the sunset picture on the wall while we waited (and waited) for the doctor, and all I kept thinking was "Serenity Now." I realize that this is actually a quote from Seinfeld (I believe), but luckily, the Serenity Prayer also popped into my head.
I used to say the first few lines often when I was younger because my mom had made a beautiful needlepoint piece which hung in my childhood houses. It wasn't until years later that I stumbled upon the rest of the prayer which is equally beautiful.
Here is the prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
What a beautiful prayer to reflect on when I have days like these. And, I can easily apply the serenity sentiment to both little moments...like when I want to snap my fingers and make something stop (like during a child's meltdown)...or to big moments (like being impatient about finding our next home).
As always, stopping to pray (however briefly) helped me to remember the big picture. I am SO blessed to be surrounded by all these wonderful children (crusty eyes and all). To serve them is my true joy and my path to heaven. God help me to do it more willingly....and with more serenity!!! Amen.