It’s 8:00 am and I’m sitting at my computer with the windows open breathing in the crisp, clean morning air of the country. The birds are chirping happily and if I listen carefully I can still hear a few crickets and frogs singing by the pond. By some miracle all three of my children are still nestled snug in their beds hopefully dreaming of something wonderful.
And then my peace is interrupted by the sound of a 4 wheeler flying by. (True story!)
Still, I find myself feeling overwhelmed with gratitude this morning. My life has been richly blessed. I have a loving, kind husband, three beautiful girls whom I adore, a roof over my head and a view from my window that most people will never know.
It seems impossible with so much beauty around me every day and so much to be thankful for that I can still have days like the one I had yesterday.
I was recently diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an auto immune disease that attacks the large intestine. This causes me to be extremely fatigued…pretty much all the time. So whenever I wake up full of energy and ambition I try to put it to good use around the house. Yesterday was no exception. I spent all morning cleaning the house. I picked up every room, vacuumed, mopped, cleaned bathrooms; I even went as far as cleaning out the fridge. I was so proud of myself. By the time that was done it was lunch time. After lunch I was still feeling the unusual burst of energy and decided to tackle the upstairs craft room/storage room.
When I went upstairs I noticed that the door was open and that a few boxes of stuff that I had arranged a few days before had been thrown onto the floor in a big mess and the box was missing. It wasn't hard to guess who had done it or where the box was. (My girls love to play in boxes).
My anger at seeing the mess caused a reaction in me that I of course regretted later. I let the girls have it and told them they were not allowed in that room anymore. I even threatened to start throwing away their toys if they couldn't leave my stuff alone. It was not one of my finer parenting moments. My oldest daughter told me I was a “mean mom” and “never let [them] do what [they] want to do”. I harshly replied that she could do a lot worse and I’m not that bad of a mom. Oh, the irony.
I spent several hours in that room, first cleaning up the mess they had made dumping out the boxes and then on to the rest. When I finally got done organizing, and cleaning, and throwing stuff out I came downstairs proud that I had accomplished so much. When I rounded the corner I was shocked at the mess I discovered!
It doesn't take much to push me over the edge. This easily could have. But I had made a choice while I was working upstairs, a resolve if you will, to do better; to not let me temper get the best of me. I would prove to myself and my children that I was a good mom and to make sure they knew how much I loved them. So I calmly asked the girls to help me clean up the messes that were made so we could get started on dinner. And they did (with a little pushing of course).
By the time dinner was made and on the table my oldest was singing my praises and bragging to her sister that she would get to sit by me “the best, most wonderful mom in the world.” After the way I had reacted earlier in the day I knew I didn't deserve it but I was so grateful to hear her say it. My mom always said that the one thing she wanted with her kids more than anything was to make sure we knew she loved us. And we did. Now I’m hoping for the same thing. Despite all the bad parenting moments I hope the love my children feel is the thing they remember most. And I resolve again on this beautiful Tuesday morning to do better; to be better; and to remember how truly blessed I am.
p.s. They are still asleep!