Tuesday, February 11, 2014

For Messy Lives

The fish died today. Savannah took it upon herself to change the water and somehow he was dropped in the sink. After she placed him back in water, he fought it for a few hours. We cheered him on. Then, he died.

A tablet was dropped and does not work. I am behind for the week in school. I had to change supper plans at the last minute because there was not enough time. I keep walking around the pile of laundry and suitcases waiting to be unpacked since a week and a half ago.

I start a schedule one week, I forget it the next. I don't always pay my kids for their extra chores... and they often forget to do them. Well thought out ideas are too difficult to maintain. I should fix my tire, but who has time?

And I think, "When will survival mode end?"

When will it get easier?  When will the kids stop fighting? When will I be able to put together more than one thought in a row? When can we all just get along?

Messes get in the way of our plans. They make life difficult. We hate them.

As I get further along in life, this is what I notice:

Life is a mess- that is the normal state of life. Most everything is messy; relationships, circumstances, kitchen sinks, bank accounts, and politics. A lot of people think they have the perfect solution, only to end up making it messier.

So what if we stopped seeing messes as a roadblock to our perfect plan but acknowledging that they are a very normal, everyday occurrence, and what if we didn't mind the messes so much but really valued- celebrated- the times when something goes right?

Maybe then we would stop seeing the messes altogether.

His name was King Lewis Pip Nebuchadnezzar  because no one could agree on a name. We sang "Amazing Grace" with some intense vibratos, Savannah read a poem about his fish life- you know, eating, sleeping, and swimming, and we made a procession into the bathroom, kicking the dirty underwear aside as we marched. Brooke did the ceremonial toilet flush as we said our last good-byes.

We had a good laugh.

Maybe, when we choose contentment, God shows His goodness right through the messes. I tend to think that is exactly the way He likes it.

Accept no shame for the mess. Be content, but strive for goodness and try to have a grand
time while you're at it. Really, it's okay to have fun in the mess. The kids will thank you for it someday.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Right Here- On Snow Days


It was a pajama type of day.

Quite normal, really. Max insisted on obeying my command to color only if he could do it while sitting in a box.

We only had one big spill when Brooke was running non-stop around the coffee table while listening to Homer. She knocked over her glass of lemonade. There was none left for a refill, and the towel used to dry remains on the table until now.

Brooke did stop running- in fact, she froze. She watched liquid spreading across the surface of the table and eventually spilling on the floor. Summer began to yell questions like, "What were you thinking?". Savannah stared at her tablet. Mom suggests that it might be a nice idea to clean it up... in a sharp, snarky tone.

It had snowed nearly a foot, so they thought it would be great to go play outside. It took about 15 minutes for everyone to put on their boots, yell, "Mom! where is my snowsuit?",  for me to walk over and point to it four feet from their feet where they left it yesterday, take off their boots (because you can't put on a snowsuit with your boots already on), for me to ask them why they think it is a good idea to go play in a foot of snow without bothering to put socks on, find socks, argue over if it is really that important that they match, and fully get dressed....

They played for five minutes until they decided it was too cold. Came in, undressed....

Summer asked, "Savannah, are you ready to play with me?"

"I need to thaw for a minute."

"I didn't realize you were poultry."


Max built a spaceship. He was very proud of it, and said he'd painted it. It was blue, red, brown, and gray. I asked what he would do in space and he replied, "I'm cleaning the planets".

Then he boarded his pirate ship. He said he might get scared (whispering) if he finds the gorillas.

Final mission: find some couch pillows. Couch pillows are used for almost anything around here, so who knows where you will find them. He wants one. Brooke gives him one even though she had a very important use for them. One is on my bed. He runs down to get it. Brooke takes back the one she gave because he'd said he only needed one. But really he wanted both. She gives it back. Max carefully places both pillows on the couch, neatly lays a throw on as well, climbs in and sighs, "Mom, now I am going to be a daddy."

In their perpetual fantasy they live in, Summer sliped Savannah a small note that says, "You're guilty!".

Savannah did not want anyone else to see the note, so she ate it. Yes, really.

Bedtime came only after rehearsing handstands by the girls and Max, his bed summersaults. He stands at the foot of the bed, hands up in perfect form, and takes off round and round until he stops and laughs waaay too loud.

After "one last drink" three times and "one last hug" five times and I wait five minutes just to make sure no more "emergencies" come up, I sit and relax. I love that time of day. I survey the damages left for me to clean and soak in the memories of the places we went; the time travel, the space exploration, the elaborate artwork created, and the mythical creatures we conquered. All right here.