The mother muddle
While it would be wonderful to have each day present itself as a perfect one, that’s just not reality. No matter who you are or what you do. Even the best laid plans often fall to ruins at our feet. More days than I might care to admit, I don’t amaze myself at how nicely everything went and how well I did at my list of tasks. Instead I see roadblocks and obstacles stacked up one after another and somehow we all still made it through the day
This week it was me, really super sick for the first time since Christmas. So instead of diving into science and history in the calculated ways I’d planned, I let the kids catch bugs and line my kitchen counter with jars and bags of creatures. Instead of cleaning my kitchen, I found myself laying on the couch waiting for my ear to explode while the kids watched their little insects, drew pictures of them and talked up a storm about bug life.
Instead of making it to appointments and playdates, the kids helped an extra lot around the house. They emptied dishwasher loads, cleaned off eggs from the chickens, fed pets, cleaned up more than usual and served their sick mama who had spent the last two weeks caring for sick kids.
While we didn’t get to ‘science projects’ from our book, there are dissected bumble bees all over the counter right now. There is a friendly caterpillar who’s become my 2 year olds’ best buddy in three days.
With me coaching from the couch how to make the mac and cheese that Kyler was determined to fix, he watched as the boiling water, noodles and cheese sauce made an overflowing, orange mess. I rallied myself up and smiled at him as I dumped it out and started another pot for him. He got it all perfect the second time. And he received grace and a second chance, which was (and is) precisely what his tender heart needs more times that I give it.
What I could have deemed a disaster but instead labeled a ‘field trip’ to the doctor’s office became an adventure. The kids all squeezed into the little room and waited with me to have my ears checked for a half an hour. They donned gloves and pretended to care for sick people. They found the little doctor light and figured out how to raise and lower the table. They delighted in every minute and I was too sick to argue.
The thing I’m just beginning to learn and appreciate is that in this ‘muddle-through’ way that we often make it through days raising little kids is that much of it is more beautiful than I realized. And the plans that fall apart can, if I let them, lead to better things even more lovely than I expected.
Embracing the ways the days begin, unfold and finish is opening a door for me. One to less disappointment and more joy. If I could just keep going and walk on through, I’m quite certain we will all be better for it.
I love how you let your children do things most parents shy away from. You are an inspiration! They sound like they are experiencing and embracing real life with such interest and passion. Wait until I tell the boys about the possibility of dissecting bumble bees…
With my back not working so well again today I realized Aidan could unload the entire dishwasher!! Wow! I need to assign a few more chores around here…