It's the little moments, you know? The moments that were not planned, that unexpectedly creep into your day for better or for worse. Those are what life is made of. I have an entire binder that outlines my day--hour by hour...listing my expectations for myself in an effort to effectively run an active household. I think that God made me a type A personality for very specific plans...but I also wonder if sometimes He doesn't just put His finger in the smooth glass surface of my day to cause a few ripples. Even waves. To make me set aside my binder and wake up to REAL LIFE.
This morning Gabe would not listen. At all. We had to run to violin lessons, and despite being told more times than I have fingers to "put socks on..." I had to do it for him. "Get your shoes and jacket on, Gabe." It was as if he had lost his ears. (Those silly ears are constantly getting lost...) I had to do it for him. This was the cycle of our morning. He spent more time in the naughty corner than out of it! (And he wouldn't go to the corner, I had to do that for him, too).
At violin lessons he listened 80% of the time. To a perfectionist parent, paying big bucks for these private lessons--that was unacceptable. I felt the urge to let loose yelling this morning. But even though that would have felt really, really good for at least 60 seconds...instead I offered up a quick desperate prayer for patience. Am I totally failing as Gabe's mother, God? He doesn't listen! Show me how to speak his language!
Then I slowed down long enough to hold Gabe's hands and explain why he was on his LATEST time-out, a 15 minute whopper T.O. just before lunch. I told him the ways in which I was proud of him today: for learning how to balance his violin on his shoulder, for obeying right away when it was time to start quiet-time. He beamed. For the past few minutes he has been on a mission to impress me with his super-duper obedience. In my business today, I had concentrated so much on what I needed to have happen that I had forgotten just to be Gabe's mom: with neverending love, support, and patience. I had forgotten the language of motherhood.
After lunch, in an effort to keep Quinn out of the dishwasher as I was loading it....I would roar at him and pretend to chase him. He would run off giggling and screaming, and it would buy me at least 30 seconds of open-dishwasher loading time. Then those little pudgy feet would come tromping back for more. Gabe heard this, and he started in with, "Chase me, chase me!" Before I knew it I was chasing both of my kids around the house pretending to be a silly mommy-monster! We were all rolling with gut-wrenching laughter! Zoe was attacking me, trying to save the children! Another one of God's ripples. And then a wave...as I see Gabe hunched over by the couch.
"Gabe, what's the matter?? I'm going to G-E-T- you---RAR!" And Gabe says, "I think mommy monster made me poop in my pants!!" And he was not kidding. Off to the bathroom for a little afterparty cleanup. A little lesson in how to wipe. A lesson in hand-washing. More reminders of "get your fresh undies on, Gabe. Get your pants on buddy. Please don't play choo-choo's without pants and undies on...." And then: (almost) instant obedience. My kid came bouncing down the hall wearing fresh pants and undies, with a proud smile.
I have to laugh at my binder. My schedule. Rarely do I have a day that goes according to binder. Yet I long for that perfect, seamless day. I attempt it with each new morning. That's why the binder still exists and I haven't thrown it into the snow. And at the same time I cherish and bathe myself in the joy that is motherhood--the complete chaotic, unscheduled ripples that God blesses me with...as He takes His mighty hand (probably His left) and invisibly crosses things off my silly list... and adds new things in bold.