I opened the blinds and tickled backs and gently rolled kids out of bed. I closed the blinds and whispered prayers and gently tucked kids into bed.
I dropped our old cat at the vet to have three teeth pulled, poor thing.
I super-glued James’s glasses (again) and finally made eye exam appointments.
I attempted to keep Luke and Lizzy entertained while I watched James dressed as Gandhi in the school’s historical timeline.
I waited for James at soccer. I waited for Isaiah at basketball. I attempted to keep Luke and Lizzy entertained while I waited for Eli at soccer.
I engineered bath time every night and discovered an entire container of soap dumped in the bathtub will cause bubbles to come out everywhere!
I washed and dried and folded at least nine loads of laundry. I rinsed and loaded and unloaded at least fourteen loads of dishes. I changed around ten poopy diapers and wiped just as many poopy bottoms.
I put Lizzy in timeout for climbing on the table. I put Lizzy in timeout for climbing on the counter. I put Lizzy in timeout for climbing up the ladder to the top bunk.
I made Cheerios for breakfast and cleaned up. I slapped together some PBJ’s for lunch and cleaned up. I tried every night to sit us all down together for potato soup and grilled cheeses and breakfast sandwiches and taco bar for dinners while discussing our day’s high/lows…then cleaned up.
I read naptime books and bedtime books and middle-of-the-day books because January is cold and gray and boring.
I dropped Luke at preschool on Monday and took Lizzy to Costco to stock up. I dropped Luke at preschool on Wednesday and took Lizzy for a run in the jogger.
I picked up dog poop and cleaned out the litterbox and rolled the trash to the curb on Friday.
I took the little kids to three different parks on three different days and pushed on the swings and watched over and over all of Luke’s “Hey mom…watch this”-es hoping the whole time he wouldn’t break an arm.
I bought a giant container of bubbles because I’m dying for Spring to start and blew around 400,000 bubbles for Luke and Lizzy in the backyard every single afternoon.
I left dinner cooking on the stove so James could show me his newly perfected lay-up out back.
I flipped on the back-porch lights so the boys could see for a backyard pick-up game that kept going until way after dark.
I put ice on Isaiah’s jammed thumb.
I reminded boys to do homework and signed planners.
I reminded boys to do chores and thanked them.
I watched Eli juggling and marveled at his amazing determination. I watched Luke on the monkey bars and marveled at his super-human boy strength. I watched James pull another top tooth and marveled at all the blood. I watched Trolls (again).
And every night despite the washing and folding and picking up I looked around to see loose socks and toys and a dish here or there knowing the latest mound of laundry was upstairs waiting for me.
I cook…I clean…I feed…I diaper…I drive back and forth to school…I watch…I wait.
I cook…I clean…I feed…I diaper…I drive the evening sports rounds…I watch…I wait.
Over and over and over. Like Groundhog Day.
Sometimes I feel like I’m spinning my wheels here.
Sometimes I am constantly in motion and perpetually exhausted and I don’t have a lot to show for it.
Sometimes it is all the same. Slow. Boring. Mundane. So totally and utterly ordinary.
Sometimes my anxiety kicks in and I begin to wonder if this is what I’m supposed to be doing.
Is this it? Is this my calling? Do I even have a calling? Should I be working more? There is so much student debt hanging over our heads, should I be doing more to contribute? My brain is beginning to fill with the words of all the children’s books I’ve learned by heart and kids’ sports schedules and the theme song to Elmo’s World, will I be able to pass my next boards in 2019? Should I be writing more or attempting to grow this tiny little blog? Maybe I should take a class or two? And what about volunteering…should I be doing medical missions trips? Or adopting orphans? Is this a FULL life? Am I doing it right? What have I done with my life really???
But somehow through all the noise in our house and all the noise in my head I keep hearing the same answer…
There will be time enough for working more days but so few afternoons snuggled next to my littlest boy before his nap. I will be present and notice how today he slipped his little arm around my shoulder as we lay there with our eyes closed and he patted me ever so softly on the back.
There will be a space for writing and maybe a class or two but not always a tiny hand to hold as she jumps one at a time down the stairs. I will move slowly enough to memorize how she smiles triumphantly up at me as she lands each and every one.
There will be room for volunteering and maybe a trip or two but those nights gathered around the table all together are so very fleeting. I’ll store away this Friday night’s memory of pizza and pop and my chance to hear about who’s mean to who at school and who they played basketball with at recess and what was so unfair and what was so hilarious and how they laughed so hard pop squirted out of Eli’s nose!
Perhaps I can do it all. Not all at the same time, but in seasons.
And perhaps my life’s greatest work is the boring, mundane, day to day stuff in the middle of my totally and utterly ordinary life. This beautiful, extraordinary life!
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6: 34.