For the mornings we wake up determined to make it a better day, and then we don’t -
For the times we promise to soak up the sweetness of these fleeting years, and then we wish them away -
For the days we want to fill with laughter and song, and then they’re darkened by bad moods and cross words -
For the meals we make with love and hope that they’ll be enjoyed, and then we grit our teeth as they’re gagged while chewed -
For the playdates we plan to share the long days with good friends, and then we’re annoyed that a sick child screws up our schedule -
For the glossy parenting magazines whose advice we dog-ear with good intention, and then we shove the stack in the recycling bin instead -
For the calm, cool, collected moms we envy when we wrangle our whiny bunch into the grocery cart, and then we glower over how we’re doing worse at this job than everyone else we know -
For the naptimes when we catch up on the world’s news and resolve again to treasure the rare gift of healthy, safe, sheltered children, and then we’re screaming at them by suppertime -
For the eyes that want to look with love and capture how quickly our kids will be grown and gone, and then they narrow with frustration at messes and mistakes and missing shoes -
For the hands that hope to hold and hug and help, and then they clench into angry balls that bang on the kitchen counter when no one listens to us -
For the boiling-over moments when we try to breathe and breathe and not lose it completely, and then we do -
For the nights we try to treasure bedtime instead of tick off the minutes till we’re done, and then we’re flooded with guilt when closing the bedroom door behind us feels like the best part of the day.
For remembering we’re humans raising humans,
for knowing if we teach our children nothing else, we’ll teach them how to bend down and open arms and say I’m sorry because we have to do it daily ourselves,
for the chance to keep screwing up because it means we keep going,
for forgiving ourselves,
and learning slowly how forgiveness takes the shape of a cross – pulled down in love, stretched out in embrace.
For trying again.
For today. For you.
. . .
Today was supposed to be the last in the series, my part to add to the wise women who shared their stories of how they nurture their mothering spirits, how they find peace in the midst of parenting.
But inspired by this dad’s truth spoken here, and a morning that called for this instead of that, I’m waiting till tomorrow to write about calm. Because today I needed to write about chaos.
Because I thought I might not be the only one who needs to hear it.
And maybe you can share it with another mom who needs it, too.