Monday, January 28, 2013

Good Days and Bad Days

Can't believe I wrote this six years ago.  I still remember those times, and honestly miss them, however I can't imagine how we made it through.  Certainly wasn't on my own strength...

Today was a bad day.  I didn’t get anything done. We had to get flu shots at the clinic at church so they had to take a nap before we go.  

They wouldn’t go to sleep.  I got one child down in my room, bounced the crying baby on my knee and repeatedly eased the other one back down on his pillow.  Just when he got drowsy, the other mobile child appeared at the door.  He wanted to sleep in his own bed where I was trying to put his brother.  He never wants to sleep in his own bed.  I got both boys into one bed while still bouncing the crying baby. 

Then, I accidentally made Superman fall behind the bed post.  I apologized while promising to get him out from under the bed when they get up from their nap. 

It wasn’t good enough. 

Robert cried because he wanted Superman, Nathan cried because Robert was crying and the baby just cried.  I put the baby down causing her to cry louder.  Then I used a plastic kitchen spoon that I found under the bed (what?) to try to reach Superman.  Either my arm or the spoon was too short. 

So, I cried.  

Then I got up, moved the mattress, returned Superman to his owner, tucked Nathan in and gave him a reassuring kiss, picked up the baby and swayed with her in my arms until they all fell asleep.  

Today was a bad day.

Today was a good day.  We went to the playground at our church getting some wonderful, fall sunshine.  We ate Chinese at a buffet and got lo mein all over the carpet requiring a generous tip to ease our guilt.  

We made cupcakes and decorated them with sprinkles.  Then we ate them.  After that it was easier to give baths than to actually clean up.  

I left all of the dishes in the sink and rocked my baby while wonder-daddy got the boys ready for bed.  

Robert, who is three, asks me, “Are you happy Momma?” 

Two glasses of spilled milk, one new clean pajama shirt and one more diaper later, they are in bed with their music playing.  Now the girl is in her daddy’s arms and we anticipate getting to watch one of our favorite shows.  They just look precious.

Today was a good day.

It was the same day…

And yes, Robert, I am happy.

Michele Simmons
October 25, 2006

Care to share how you made it through the hard days?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Blessedly Ordinary

I want to write, to have interesting things to say, maybe make a difference to someone.

But I am really, really ordinary and most of my days are not interesting at all.  My day, on paper, would not inspire.

I lie in bed thinking about how little I have to say and how ordinary I am.  I long for beautiful words to spill from my fingertips out to you.  Surely there is something of worth in my mind, right?

I have no idea about the worth of my own mind but I know where my worth is found and it has nothing to do with what I may write...or not write.  I begin to see that blessed are these ordinary days.

Blessed is the heaviness of a blanket and two quilts on a cold morning.  What I mean is…it simply feels good to wake to warmth and physical comfort.  You know, warm, heavy blankets feel good on my legs.  That’s it.  Simple.  Good.

Blessed is the sound of my sons playing quietly in the next room.

Blessed is my daughter still wrapped up, completely sideways, sleeping in the bed that belonged to my grandmother.

Blessed is the donut shop and every bite of that Boston Crème and I don’t care how many calories it is because today it made me happy to be there and it made my kids happy to start our morning like this, in a donut shop and you know what?  Judge me irresponsible but those hot chocolates with all their wonderful sugar, that was blessed too and we WILL do that again.

Blessed is a lunch of simple leftovers where everyone chooses what they want and we eat yet another simply boring meal…together.  Blessed is the laughter that goes with it.

Blessed is the sibling rivalry.  I am not sure how but they worked it out and perhaps taught each other lessons about doing unto others that my preaching could never accomplish.

Blessed are library books and the worlds they bring to our ordinary, slightly dingy red couch which, by the way, the dog licks when we are gone.   Seriously, he licks the edges of the couch.  I don’t know why.  Just thought I would throw in that boring little bit of reality.

Blessed are knee socks and veggie trays with ranch dip.

Blessed are the many conversations we have had today about the plot of The Magician’s Nephew and The Horse and His Boy and Legos and how Aquaman had the money to buy the elaborate mansion that Six and Seven built for him and did you know that when Anakin isn’t fighting battles he has pet snakes and a dry cleaning establishment?  I am grateful to know these things inside the minds of those I love.

Blessed are vacuum cleaners and all the dog hair that they remove from my life.  Blessed is our good dog who really does not care what his kids, my kids, do to him.

I anticipate that our ordinary dinner of hamburger stroganoff with I don’t yet know what else will be blessed because sweet daddy (my husband) will be home tonight

I guess ordinary can be pretty great.

Blessedly ordinary,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

King Robert of the Wild Hair

Robert’s Hair is wild.  It is a little coarse, curly, about 50 different colors ranging from platinum to light brown and there are bushels of it.  Robert likes his Hair.

It all started around the time we watched Blue Hawaii starring Elvis Pressley.  Either that or when he started reading books with pictures of Superman.  Either way, you get the picture.  He twists a curl in the middle of his forehead unconsciously and it looks just like the curl Christopher Reeve sported with his red cape.  

All summer when his Hair was wet from the pool, he ran his fingers through those curls, standing them on end a fabulous three or four inches from his scalp and they did stand straight out…it’s impressive!

Robert is nine.  His soul and his wit are about 15.  This causes an interesting dynamic sometimes.  Robert doesn’t yet crave opportunities for rebellion, but like most teenagers, he will.

I love the Hair short so I can see his big eyes and his close-cropped daddy sometimes suggests that he cut it.  I used to pester and nag until Grandma Jan suggested that we leave him alone, that he, the person who is Robert, really likes his Hair the way it is.

He isn’t proud about the Hair.  As a person, Robert is a very no-nonsense personality.  He isn’t vain about his Hair or any aspect of his appearance.

He isn't silly about things, okay sometimes he is.  He is the kid who will squish bugs who unfortunately choose to live in the house.  He does this as a matter of business, without sentimentality or squeamishness.  He is the boy who will fish toys or barrettes out of the toilet.  He once rescued a sister’s prized marbles from a rotten pumpkin full, and I mean full, of gnats.  He patiently dug through the stinky yuck, on a mission, no a Quest for his sister’s happiness, while a tornado of angry black insects swirled around his wild Hair.

Rebellion.  Ugly word.  Ugly from the beginning of time.  I don’t want to think of any of these beings that came to life before I even held them, rebelling against my crazy mother-love.  I don’t want to imagine the inevitable hurt of word or deed that will come.  I don’t want to see my sweet boy, maybe twisted in anger that neither of us will understand.  Yet I walked that path that seems to be in some degree part of our nature.  Some rebel a little, some more and some rebel early, some later.  Either way, rebellion seems to have played a part from the beginning.

So the kid likes his Hair big.  There is no rebellious intent in it unless we draw a line in the sand.  He isn’t vain about it.  He keeps his Hair clean.

What is It really all about?  Life, love, souls, eternity…what is It all about?  I am certainly only a spiritual child but I can tell you this…it is NOT about the Hair. 

Is It about how others see or esteem us?
NO…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for the man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.  1 Samuel 16:7b

Is It about church traditions?
NO…From Acts 8, the eunuch said, “See, here is water.  What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Phillip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”  And they blessedly pulled that chariot over and he was baptized right there, because he believed with all his heart and for no man-made reason.

Is It about obedience or going through the right motions?
NO, that isn’t enough, you need a sincere heart…Bondservants, be obedient…in sincerity of heart, as to Christ. Ephesians 6:5 NKJV

Is It about knowledge or spiritual power?
NO…And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have love, I am nothing.  1 Corinthians 13:2 NKJV

Is It about good works?
NO…And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor…but have not love, it profits me nothing.  1 Corinthians 13:3 NKJV

It’s all about the Heart…
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7b NKJV

GOD wants your heart…The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise. Psalms 51:17 NKJV
It’s all about the Heart…

I don’t think I want to draw a line in the sand about the Hair.  I think I will save my energy for the Heart…starting with my own.  However, my own Hair could use some work. 

Besides, the Hair is, well…kind of growing on me.