Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mud Pancakes

If there was ever a week for me to have a pity party, it would have been last week.

I'm still reeling from all the things that hit us in that 7 day period.  The list is so long, actually, that it's comical.  In a not so funny kind of way.

It all started when Shaggy abandoned us.  He left us behind and flew off to the Windy City for a grand adventure.  A nice visit with his folks, some wonderful Chicago cuisine, and a weekend spent with old friends at a gaming convention where he got to spend hours playing with little toy soldiers.  Poor guy.

The challenge of holding down the fort was left to me.

The first day he was gone, half of us got sick.  Baby B came down with a cold . . . again.  Which ruined her sleeping-through-the-night routine.  Which made my feverish, achy, congested self feel twice as bad.  And K got strep . . . with hives.  Weird, right?  Who gets hives with strep?

But besides feeling terrible and totally fatigued, I was somehow managing to hold things together.  Barely.  Probably because I let a whole lot of things slide.

Some days, pants were optional and the little ones ran joyfully around in their undies.  Other days, shirts were optional.  Which also translated into less laundry.  Win/win.

For dinner one night, the kids had cold, leftover pancakes.  With leftover salad.  Which managed to appease my guilt just a little bit.

I called freely on Miss Television to help manage the children.  (She's really good at that.)  I left the toys scattered all over the floor.  But made the older girls work twice as hard cleaning up the kitchen.  (I guess some of my mean mom spirit was still alive and well.)  I complained freely to my husband, giving him a daily rundown of our tribulations.  Bedtimes got earlier and earlier.  And my chocolate stash disappeared unbelievably fast.

One night, I was putting the baby to sleep.  I emerged from her room to find poop all over the bathroom and shattered glass all over the kitchen.  And I had to wonder if I hadn't been suddenly transported into Lord of the Flies.  I squinted in an attempt to get my bleary eyes to see clearly and thought I saw a band of naked, painted children running at me with spears.

But, no.  It was only my very sticky, half-naked, broom-wielding children fighting over who had actually caused the bowl to shatter.

Just before my hubby came home, most of us got hit with a totally gross case of food poisoning.  Which kept us up most of the night.  Of course.

And that got me to thinking about my life in general.  It used to be calm.  And structured.  And not so very overwhelming.  I used to be able to remember things.  And keep track of people and events outside the walls of my own home.

The last year, in particular, has probably been the hardest year of my life.  Thus far.  I am under no delusions that my challenges will suddenly cease in the future just because I think I have had my fill.

But I'm tired of focusing so much on them.  I'm tired of waiting for things to get easier.  Maybe they never will.  It's like I can't see the fields of flowers that surround me because I'm staring at the mud puddle I'm standing in.

Granted, a huge part of the reason I've been staring at the mud is due to chronic sleep deprivation.  It is just so much EASIER to look down when you're so very tired.

But I'm tired of the view.  I choose to be more than my circumstances might allow.  I choose to roll with whatever life might throw my way.  I choose to let my Maker shape me however He sees fit.

I choose to kick off my muddy shoes and wander among the flowers, catching the joyful moments as they blossom.  I choose to gather them in my arms and carry them with me to feed my soul with their beauty.  To sustain me during all my future forays into the mud.

And, I'm going to learn how to make mud pancakes with my kids.  Which I may, or may not, serve them for dinner.


Mom said...

Soooooooooooooooooo - - - when is your vacation? Sounds like you could really use one.

Mom said...

P.S. Love the photos! Is that a new hairdo? Very becoming!