I know I’ve been quiet. I’ve been very busy. We bought a really cute house with a ton of potential. The walls had been painted the color of dry wall. The house was covered carpet — even the bathroom. The lease on our current home ends on May 15th, and we just closed on the new place on April 30th. The last week has been a mad rush of ripping up floors, painting, spackling and sanding. My amazing mother in law watched our youngest boys all week so I was able to put in 10-12 hours days every day, while my faithful husband worked at his job and finished up this semester’s classes. It has been a whirlwind. You can imagine the conditions of (both) my houses right now. The freshly painted subfloors are drying in the new home, and our current house is a mess of boxes, take out containers and dirty laundry.
My in-laws brought the boys back this evening, “MOMMY!” my little men holler in delight when they see me. My husband kissed me as he left for work, you know, just your average hero leaving to do his part to save lives. My father in law took Mom C and I out for dinner. Our four-year-old son walks boldly into the restaurant and promptly orders “monkey.” My three-year-old son climbs into my lap after claiming several of my kisses. My father in law and I order the same cocktail without knowing it and my girls order their own food, clearly and politely. My mother in law catches me up on how my sweet sister in law and her family are. I convince my four-year-old that lamb burgers are monkey (I know, it’s a bold-faced lie and I don’t care).
I can see the mountains from our outside table at the restaurant. They are beautiful and the air smells like sunshine. All of my kids are enchanted by my clam entree. We sneak the empty shells into our take home boxes and I scrub a couple clean so they can play with them.
At home, my youngest has a meltdown. It is hours past his bedtime. We work on the problem, I pray with him and hold him until he is smiling. We try to read before I put the boys to bed, but they are too wound up so we get out some Duplos instead. I pray with them and say goodnight. The littlest man has another meltdown so I go through our routine again. I snuggle up with him and sing until he falls asleep in my arms. It’s been a long time since he has done this. As I stare at the Spiderman art on his bedroom wall, I remember when I was sick and on bed rest, with a doppler pressed to my stomach, listening to his unborn heart beat. When I’m sure he is asleep for the night, I pray again with my older son. It is a challenge to get his 4-year-old attention span to stay in one place. I have him repeat after me,
“The boy goes down, so the girls go free.” He doesn’t know what the heck I’m talking about yet, he will one day. I pray they will grow into men who sacrifice themselves, who are brave and wise and faithful. He kisses me goodnight. I grew up in a very non-touchy-feely family. I’ve grown to cherish the hugs and kisses I’m smothered in these days.
I go downstairs where my girls have made me a special Mother’s Day confection. My nine-year-old has written, “Enjoy!” in hesitant cursive. I let the dog out and water the lawn before the girls and I settle in for mom/daughter time, which is code for dessert and reality tv. Sometimes it is Cupcake Wars or Cutthroat Kitchen. Tonight it is My Fair Wedding. We pick the episodes with the least amount of drama. We talk about dresses and colors and food. My six-year-old tells me she wants a ninja themed wedding. My nine-year-old tells her she’ll need David Tutera to pull that off.
Exactly 10 years ago today, I found out that my body held two souls: mine and my daughter’s. Over the last decade, there have been lots of tears and a little heartache, but there has also been immeasurable laughter, overwhelming joy and untold satisfaction. I’m telling you all this, not because I think I’m a super mom, I don’t because I’m not. I’m telling you this to give you hope. I am just a mama who loves God, loves her family and does her best — life isn’t perfect, but it is good. This is my life and I love it!