Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Insanity of Motherhood.

When did ~THIS~ become my normal?
It's quiet time, and I am looking for:  a REMOTE.
Not to watch tv.  I don't really ever watch tv. {gasp?}
I am looking under basement couch cushions...finding lost toys...
I am hunting shelves that are piled with dust.
I look behind a giant speaker from my husband's-bachelor-days
and find random clothing tossed by a son, toys hidden there, too.
An empty, tipped bottle of rubbing alcohol?
I am on my knees, thinking it HAS to be here, somewhere....
And it washes over me like a wave:  WHEN did THIS become my normal?
I want to find this black remote, which holds the key to my health~
the one non-negotiable that is MINE:  my workout dvd, Insanity.
The DVD will not work without that remote.
So the intro of the DVD plays over and over...calling me....
and I realize that time is ticking, and I'm already behind schedule.
And this was THE WEEK that I was going to start fresh and
not miss a SINGLE workout.
And I begin to feel the tears well up.
I swore, before kids--and even with my first kid--
that my house would always be organized.
That our toys would be well-cared-for, and neatly-arranged.
That I would get down on the floor and play with toys, with my kids.
That we would, yes, play with all those organized toys, all pieces present.
A game comes in, pristine, with all its hopefulness of pure family fun
and giggles and all the promised-happy-memories.
And then it spends just a few months here,
and its identity is lost,
its soul is wandering,
it is a shell of its former glory.
Used as a jumping board, or shoved in a tight space,
or emptied out to play pirate ships.
My ideals were high.
Now look at me, on my belly searching the deep darkness, the-under-spaces.
How did every toy in this place end up looking like a battered rummage item?
I search for the remote, and lift up puzzle boxes with missing pieces and
BENT edges.  Game boxes half closed, half empty.  {sigh}
I rummage through glorious green bins that I bought to "organize" toys,
that now hold random pieces of games here and there...
Nothing in one place--all scattered. 
My mind is spinning in chaos.
I find myself muttering that ol' saying that mother's through time say:
"Now THIS, THIS is why we can't have NICE things!"
I lift a couch pillow and find a piece to a game that I don't
even think the kids PLAY.
And how did it make it's way here??
I  bet that's an interesting tale...
I think about my morning,
of the milk that spilled down the unreachable-crack...
the one between the fridge and the cabinetry.
How in the early part of a fresh day,
anything can be spun into joy:  
how I had counted it an Opportunity.
An excuse to finally: clean behind that old-piece-of-ancient...
whirring, buzzing, stained refrigerator.
With it's broken deli drawer.
Reminding myself it's all about perspective.
Reminding myself that Laura Ingalls grew up without one of these.
I thought about how the dog hates me.
How I take her aging bladder out for "business" twice an hour,
and she still found a way to leave me presents THREE times today.
One which a child handed me, one a child stepped in.
Disinfectant wipes, skin washings, and more laundry.
Yet I still rescue her from a tragic death of eating plastic and spare my own
fingertips as I pull a plastic-wrapped piece of forgotten-child-size string cheese
from between her snarled teeth.
Trying to remember that one day she will pass,
and I will be sad to see her go.
Because she follows me everywhere,
and keeps me warm on chilly winter nights.
My footsteps are followed in beat by the click-clack
of tiny dachsie claws.
It's the sounds of:  home.
School lessons with a runny-nosed, miserable toddler
who tipped over a tote full of school supplies.  Cracking it.
Countertops piled with randomness waiting for my "free time"
to organize and put things away.
I just keep piling, waiting.
Thinking every day:  tonight I'll take some time to put
all of this away.  Instead, piles GROW.
Into pile-trees.  It's a bountiful harvest of clutter now.
The crunch underfoot in a kitchen needing sweeping.
The jersey that needs washing and the stars
that yet need be ironed on it.
Laundry baskets full of clean laundry--
somehow it cleans, but the folding part and away part is
akin to impossible.
I feel like when I do get it folded and put away it
lasts there for about 12 hours and then
I turn right around to repeat.
Yes, there are days that I want to just sweep it all into a big heap,
Right into the backyard.
And then sit it afire.
And read a book.
Quietly, warming my tootsies.
I wonder if the kids feel the same?
I resist the temptation to sit there in the basement, and cry.
I felt the tears welling,
and I reminded myself that this:  IS ALL blessing.
For me it takes deliberate REMINDING.
It's a blessing to have mess, to begin with,
And I did what every overwhelmed mother does:
I took five.
This is my five.
I set aside all the mess and the walls caving in,
to write.
Not to turn on the tv, or cry, or yell.
Although I wanted to yell about the remote, and the cry part we-know.
I tucked the children down in the mess, to play.
They seem to enjoy themselves amongst the chaos that makes me cringe.
And I'm sitting here writing.
Clearing mind clutter.
And in front of me, the verse...
bound by a clip:
Psalm 34:
Of David.  When he pretended to be INSANE before Abimelech,
who drove him away, and he left.
"I will extol the Lord at all times;
His praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the Lord;
let the afflicated hear and rejoice."
I think it would be therapeutic to pretend to be outright insane.
Sometimes motherhood can take my mind to insane places.
It can take me away from my Insanity workout.
But it does one thing well:  it reminds me that I am weak.
And that I cannot get through this insane job-description
without a really BIG head-choreographer.
Who knows my insane.
Who gifted me my insane.
And that in my afflicted states,
I can still rejoice.
Because when you sweep it all into the backyard--
peel away all the clutter and overwhelm:
All of this is a gift.
Every sacred overwhelmed day,
is a gift.
Ahhh.  Back to peace.
Now, to get the a little school,
and dance amongst our mess.
Dear God, please be our peace today.
Keep my mind fixed on blessings.
Praise always on my lips.
I stray so easily.
(Better yet, Lord...I'll bring the book, you bring the marshmallows...)

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