Most days, you can find me at home or at church or running errands. I’ll be wearing something I grabbed from my sister’s closet because she has the comfiest clothes, and lots of them! I’ll have coffee in my right hand, baby on my left hip, and my far-away-love on my mind. We’ll be doing school things, play things, outside things, and together things.
I’m always loving, sometimes praying and deep-breathing, smiling a lot and wrinkling my brows just as much. I live the mom life, total cliché in all the best and worst ways, and we moms- we do it all. From routine building to boo-boo kissing. Budgeting to over-spending. We love our families and we make sure they’re up and running, day to day, head and heart, every season.
We stuff gray lumps of Play-doh back into their containers because if it dries out, that’s another 50 cents to spend. We do secret throw-aways of broken toy pieces- toys that were over-loved and now over-messing the house, but never over-missed. Twenty minutes longer at the park because a new kid shows up who looks their age and just maybe they’ll become life-long friends. We rinse off the twin pop because he dropped it again and again and again.
She is clothed in strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. (Proverbs 31:25-28)
That’s us- the woman of Proverbs 31. Most days.
So on the days we don’t feel ourselves, when our patience is wrung thin, our eyes hurt from being open, and our tired is great big… what happens? The Play-doh dries up quick. Broken toys are seen and make short bursts of broken hearts. Parks stay a little emptier, and we let them eat the popsicle dirt.
All those things, but worlds do not break. Only, amazingly…
On those lopsided days we see lopsided things. On those popsicles-in-the-fall days, a sibling bond grows stronger with a gesture of kindness, and tears are erased. Not by a mother’s comfort, but from a gusty, blowing 2-year-old heart who knows what’s important and that a shared popsicle heals all wounds in their big little world.
While we tear through the house rampaging over a week’s worth of living, the kids are lava jumping and tunnel making. We make threats, the vacuum cleaner really will digest the entire rock collection that was left strewn on the floor! I really will sweep up and toss out the 30-dollar Lego pile! (Not really.) But their race to rescue the toys-in-danger isn’t accompanied by frustration to match ours, it is a torrent of giggles and screams and fast feet.
These are the days of candle-lighting, extra coffee pot making, and less-about-them-time more-about-me-time. While twinges of guilt roll around in our hearts, they are together in their boredom, using their actual imaginations to pretend. They are being kids while we revel in our adultness.
My own memories of childhood are cluttered bedroom messes, Barbies in mismatched outfits, broken crayons, and grass-stained jeans. Disney movie memorizing, backyard adventures, and cousins. Parents who raised me, fed me, and loved me rather than parents who entertained me and held my hand through every hole-in-the-ground, root-sticking-up, hard spot.
Of course, it’s easy to wake up and see how different things are today. More to do, more to be. It’s 2017, not 1995, and today is all about more. This means that most days for us are hands-on, routine, busy school days.
But on the days that fall over sideways- the tired and barefoot days… Everything is still OK. Replacement parts look different, but they still make things work. You just have to push them in tight sometimes. And a lopsided day only breaks a bit of the right wayness…
We take more time for ourselves than they’re used to, we find our way out of the broken bit, and we grow right through it.
Lopsided days are over quickly. They straighten up soon. We turn back a page to reread the sentence. Jumpy dances and lie-downs on the porch swing are exchanged for iPads, and the 2017 kids are restored to their natural states.
But for one, glorious, lopsided day, the kids play hard and us moms get to act out our tiredness and frustration. The guilt can go because lopsided days aren’t just OK. They’re good.
*Do lopsided days leave you feeling guilty and tired or happy and refreshed? Comment below and tell me all about it!