I joined the cast of a musical theatre… a children’s musical theatre. I’m 39. Here’s what I learned.Continue Reading...
Have you heard of “Wakie”? It’s a new app – and oh it’s a good one.
You register for a wakeup call, and another app user, looking to be of service (maybe?) calls you. Think of it as Uber for people with lots of energy, need for attention or just straight up practical joke delivery.
My brother – who shares nearly the exact sense of humor as me – was probably user #58 and purposely set an alarm three minutes after his download so that a complete stranger could call him and scream “BEEE-DOH-BEEE-DOH-BEEE-DOH” into his ear.
I’ll pause while you Despicable Me fans digest that.
Tonight I got a random phone call from an organization that introduced themselves as “We Care”. It was a three-way call from my husband and my brother after I sent a very vulgar text message clearly spelling out my status of “doneness” before admitting to hurling a sippy cup full of orange juice against the wall.
Why did I commit such atrocities? Because first, I knew it wouldn’t actually break and second, watching it splat everywhere in my white kitchen safely after my kids had been threatened into the garage to the waiting minivan was supremely satisfying.
Satisfying for exactly 3 seconds.
Have you ever tried to get three children into a mini van? If you think it’s easy, I will pay you for lessons. But it doesn’t justify breaking tupperwear.
Let me rephrase that? Have you ever tried to herd three children into a mini-van… one with ALL of her piano books… one who cannot find her sippy cup, no not that sippy cup, the other one with the other milk…. but no not that cup because that cup is yukky, and a third who has to go potty, but by potty he means, “change my pants socks and shoes because I already went while hiding in the third seat of the mini van.”
Now do that roughly ten times a day. Pickup, drop for ballet, grab a meal, errands, speech, gymnastics, gymnastics #2, and church. By time number ten, after they’ve all come home from school and destroyed my house in less than 15 minutes, I’m spent. Every.freaking.cent.
I don’t speak toddler. I don’t reason in toddler. No habla todleros. And I get even angrier when the “big girl” doesn’t have a PhD in empathy for exactly how frustrated I am and brings her own demands to the table. And that’s how the “other” sippycup with the orange juice met it’s demise.
Almost 8 years into this motherhood thing, kid reasoning is my official kryponite. I got NO skills. I have anti-skills, leaving my kids to straight up own me.
It’s not always true. Some days I can get there. We rock it. And some days, days like today, while trying to carve out time to build those sacred endorphins that prop up whatever ‘rock it skils’ are trying to take root, I make it to the side door just in time to find the repair guy unzipping his pants to pee just off my driveway.
And as though the heavens were humbling my outrage, during the estimate my own son appears half naked, ready to relieve himself.
By now it’s 10:30am and I know I have to be at preschool pick up at noon. So to workout-land I go. Vigorously. So vigorously that mid-tricep kick back I impale my boy’s head with a 3 pound weight because he snuck up to tell me his satellite show went down.
We made it to preschool… with wet hair and a nice forehead contusion.
Then comes the after school lunch fight. The after lunch snack fight. Then the drag my littlest through an errand while my middle child does occupational therapy fight. We rush home to greet our big girl who wants hot apple cider. I gladly comply. Little wants cold apple cider AFTER I made it hot. Did I mention the ice machine had been disconnected by a different workout-interrupting repair guy? Middle wants almond milk… before she doesn’t.
“I want regular milk and maybe some juice”.
I snapped. I screamed. I threatened butts into the van. And then I threw a sippy cup before hurriedly wiping up the orange juice from my white cabinets like the raging poser that I am.
And do you know, 5 minutes out of our driveway, they crashed? They were more tired than me.
How do I not know this?
Y’all. There’s nothing elegant about this mess. There’s nothing easy about this mess. And there’s NOTHING perfect about this mess for the naked eye to see. Because when I dare to lift my perfect list of daily ‘to do’s’ against the dust storm that is motherhood, it doesn’t blow away, instead it’s just kind of mockingly weatherbeaten by the sand of the everyday, waving in the wind, intermittently leaving ragingly annoying papercuts. All against the backdrop of lessons learned about as well as groundhog day.
It’s kind of like having the carpet ripped out from under you while all of your good intentions, love for your family, love for your community and plans for attic hand-me-downs to finally pay off in consignment fly through the air.
My sister/friend Jenni – brave mother of 5 – writes “the irony of having 5 kids in 7 years is that there wasn’t any way to achieve my way out of it. There was no “perfect”…” http://jennispuler.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/im-straight-up-deficient-at-painting-pumpkins/ Go read every bit of this. Because it’s true.
God sets us up to unlearn what we think we know, to stop relying on what we think are our best points. He strips us of our crutches of self so that we learn to rely on Him. And I have to believe that at the crux of that learning is how much we need each other. A perfectly imperfect committee of people who may not rock the room-mom thing, or totally do, but wish like hell that someone would help them pick out paint colors. Or folks who have found their total balance in career/motherhood, and would love to wrap their arms around those of us who still believe that Pinterest is an assignment, not an resource. Or those amazing homeschool moms who have the peace and breadmaking skills that pass all understanding, but who can look at us in the eye, recognize that’s not how we were built and say something incredibly nourishing to our souls.
Dare I add a “to do” actually create the “We Care” app? Cause today I really needed those jokesters to pick up the phone and tell me that even though I’m drowning in the pettiest of drivel because I choose to drop to the floor and smear my nose in it, I’m not really drowning at all ’cause they’ve got me. And I need the buoy of someone else who’s been here, or is here, or just has love overflowing enough to help me laugh.
And I need that phone call that begins with “holy crap I can’t do this another day” so I can take inventory of my battle wounds and remember that I’ve got one that has survived this story and that hope transfused to you will totally be worth the rooting for.
Cause we really are all that each other’s got.
If you’re reading this, you’re in my sphere, and I’m apologetically in yours And I need to know that you’re honest and available in all of your struggles. And that I’ll be honest and available in all of mine.
This isn’t just toddlerhood. Or motherhood. Or daddyhood. Or infertility. Or sicknesss. Or divorce. Or bankruptcy. Or scandal. Or stagnation. Or cancer. Or addiction. Or loneliness. Or bad manners. Or boredom.
It’s honest humanity.
It’s saying… “Hey, I’ve got a kid with some issues and this stuff is hard and scary and demanding, yet I will drain the marrow from my bones so that she will get what she needs to start her life on their best foot, so I’m sorry if I’m not available for playdates.”
It’s saying… “Hey I’m suffering really really hard with an anxiety disorder and the everyday things that are hard can really make me hide and I need people who will make sure that I’m not hiding.” (You know who you are and I love you)
It’s saying…”Here I am. I’m not perfect. I’m not going to even try to make you think I’m perfect. Except on the days where I totally overcompensate. And then I’ll be obnoxious. But I’ll smile at you and maybe you’ll smile back and be kind.”
Those are just three of my true stories.
We need each other. Because the whole goal is giving these little ones the light that we possess so they can run out and share their own flame.
I wish there was more time in the day to really get to spend together, to know if, like me, you feel one day your flame might accidentally burn out too. I can’t promise I won’t be in between ballet and gymnastics, but leave me a message and I promise, I’ll do the same too. Even if it’s a silent hurried emoticon. I’ll listen. I’ll laugh. I’ll might give overly specific or possibly indulgent advice. But I’ll respect you, try to encourage you and as soon as we’re done, I’ll pray for you.
Now, off to make that app so we can all do it together. Whatever, I’m just going to sleep – tomorrow I’ve got to clean that damn van.