Friday, April 18, 2014

It's Four O'clock and all is...well.. "-My Messy Beautiful"

 This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

Frustrated, aggravated, I’m struggling to accomplish something that I shouldn't bother trying to accomplish until my three are in bed for the night. I’m ignoring the pulverized Goldfish crackers on the rug under my feet, letting Bryce wander around freely with a third serving so I can try to finish an email for work. Sometimes working from home is for the birds! I check to see if it's 5:15 - time for backup to arrive - this is a two man job (at least) and Daddy seems to have fresh energy when they tackle him at the door. They’re just so glad someone’s not grouchy! I’m guilty already for not having anything at all in mind for dinner and even guiltier for the monstrous pile of laundry that seems never to shrink. The fact that the den looks like a bomb exploded, scattering toys, shoes and snacks just adds to the anxiety!

I’m trying not to yell at them, then I’m yelling at them, "HEY!! Please stop yelling!  I was ON THE PHONE!”  I know, right? Or in my angry voice with my angry face, teeth clenched, saying, "Will you please speak more KINDLY to your SISTER!"  I KNOW, right? And the not-so-magic-momma-mirror appears and I see the ugliness of my anger, and over what? Nothing, really. My own stresses that have nothing to do with them. And that little voice in my heart whispers the phrase I saw online somewhere and wrote on the notepad on the fridge, and on the post-it stuck to the computer screen, "The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice."

Then the real guilt crashes in as I think of another mother some 70 miles away in a hospital room watching her just-turned-three-year-old baby fight for his very life, praying for a transplant that will save him. 

And I think of my grandmother who lost her 62-year-old son. Even though he was a grown man with his own grandchildren, he never ceased being her baby.  And I think of my mother-in-law, who lost her 18-year-old son. Many years later, she continues to laugh and cry, live a happy life, breathing in and out, but never quite outruns the sorrow.

Then the tenderness and overwhelming realness get all tangled in sadness and an aching...ache I feel looking at my own nearly three-year-old, cherub-faced daughter. 

I gather them all up in my chair, even my growny six-year-old boy who still craves my hugs and kisses

And I look at their tiny noses and their long eyelashes and the baby's full-lipped pout, and I feel a pang of regret that I don't do this more often. That I say, “Just a minute, let me finish this and then I’ll hold you.”

And I tell them, through messy, snarfled tears, with words that can't even touch being enough that I love them so, so so much.

And I know I'll be aggravated and tired and cranky/hormonal again, probably in about 10 minutes. But in this moment, I’m just so thankful I have mind enough to be thankful for this moment.