Since the minute I got home from Hilton Head, I have been run into the ground. No need to go into the gory details, but soccer practices, school meetings, fun activities for COW and kids, doctor and dentist appointments, getting ready for school, canning garden veggies, and a plethora of other activities has meant I haven't stopped moving until I collapse onto the couch at 10:00 each night, with a body soooo tired, but a brain that won't stop swirling, keeping me from sleep. This leaves very little time to spend with my husband (He has the extremely irritating ability to clear his mind and sleep anytime, anywhere) and keeps me cranky about the state of things.
Tuesday morning, as I went from room to room trying to get ready for a day at the fair with COW and kids, all I saw was the stuff that hadn't gotten done around the house while we were so busy. Clutter and filth had taken over. Clutter I could deal with, but the fact that, while I was running my butt off trying to get stuff done and take kids here, there and everywhere, the kids slacked off. Their rooms were trashed. Their crap was all over the house. The laundry wasn't getting done. And Tuesday morning, as I was working to get ready to go, I saw those same children sitting on their rear ends reading books.
Mama was pushed too far.
I went out to the front porch for a good cry and a bit of "Help me, Lord!" prayer time.
When I returned, I gathered the children and set them straight.
While I appreciated the morning Giant helped me, and I very much am pleased with the way Buttercup stepped up and helped with the boys while I drove other kids around, I very, very much was ticked off about everyone failing to do the chores they know they are supposed to do. At this point, they aren't forgetting or unclear on what the expectations are. They are choosing to be lazy. That just doesn't sit well with a mom who is about to fall over from exhaustion.
Normally, I'm very good at getting them organized and doling out chores. However, there were so many things going on, many of them in the morning, that I could never get ahead of it. I made it clear that when Mama is looking a bit overwhelmed (You know, the crazy darting of the eyes, the sighing, the unusual snapping of children's heads off) it is the time to get their act together, not sit on the couch and read (Yes, I realize I'm upset at my children for reading.) before I blow.
I very much did not want to go to the state fair that day. I really wanted to spend our one open day to stay home and get the house under control. However, COW had already cleared his schedule in order to join us there at 11:30, so go we must.
Even after the 45 minute drive there, I wasn't in the best of moods. Thoughts of our dirty house and kids who were far from helpful lately filled my mind. Even after getting in the gate and meeting up with COW, I couldn't shake it and was unable to even make a decision what to do first.
One of the kids mentioned the Little Hands Farm, so we headed that direction. The line to get in was long, but inside is the barn where we take our annual photo. The photo we have taken every year to document the growth of our kids. I didn't drag my butt out there to not get a photo. For the first time ever, the kids saw me break a rule, and even better, force them to do it, too. We parked the stroller right next to that long line, and marched right on through the exit.
I was going to get my photo, and I wasn't going to wait an hour to do so. We headed straight to the barn, and the kids lined themselves up in our usual spot.
Guess who planted trees since the last state fair?
Funny how something so small can completely change your mood.
As I looked through the frame to take this photo, seeing how they had lined themselves up behind the tree, I couldn't help but laugh, and as I laughed, the irritation floated away.
When we first started taking these photos, we only had four kids, and the youngest of the four was a baby. Now, Phoenix is taller than the damn barn. Hello, Wake Up Call. I was being ridiculouis, holding onto my anger and frustration. While I will get upset with the kids from time to time, I need to deal with the situation and move on a whole lot quicker. Can't be wasting prime fun time stewing over a bad morning.
Gotta keep my mind on the prize. Keep focusing on what's important.
No, it isn't a giant doughnut burger.
|He ate all but one bite.|
But the giant doughnut burger adds to the memory of the day.
It has hit me recently (right around our 19th anniversary) that in my life, I have spent more time married to my husband than I spent living with my parents. And I have a lot of life left to live. The number of years these kids will be with me on a daily basis, relative to their lifetime, is very, very limited. As a squirrel gathers acorns in preparation for winter, I need to gather memories with my kids to prepare for those years they are no longer in my care.
Moments like this:
|We had a stroller, but everyone preferred this mode of transportation.|
Tuesday turned out to be a lovely day. And I didn't curse the state of the house when I arrived home at 9:30 that night, after the fair/soccer practices/new parent meeting at high school.
I love a good attitude adjustment.
Of course, that attitude went a bit downhill the next morning. School started, which means when the alarm went off at it's usual 6:00, I actually had to roll out of bed and get the kids up. I hate getting out of bed at 6:00 to get the kids up.
Doesn't help that I had to get this little guy up for his first day of kindergarten.
While I am so sad for myself, being smacked in the face with the idea of him growing up, I am so happy for him. He has wanted to go to school with the big kids for most of his life.
My mood was back up again when I got home, and it was just Phoenix (who starts high school next week) and Cuckoo. That is a combination I've never had at home with me before. It melted my heart to watch the two of them play and hang out together all morning.
And then my mood went back down a bit, as we hunted for school pants for the boy. I thought buying jeans for myself was awful. Buying pants for a child who is 5'11" and 123 pounds is downright maddening. Five stores we went to, and ended up having to settle with shorts and pants that almost fit.
That's life, I guess. We wouldn't appreciate the wonderfulness in our lives without those everyday frustrations to put it in perspective.
Today, finally, I get to stay home for a few hours straight and begin the process of getting this house back in order. While I do so, I will be cranking up some music, 'cause music always makes me feel better.
Now turn up the volume and dance with me to one of my favorite songs. It just happens to fit with the theme we've got going here today.
Have a lovely day!