This morning I was exhausted as soon as I woke up. Ben had a late night. He just would not be put down though he was ever so tired. Then there was one wake up with Sophie having to be resettled right as I was trying to go to bed. And another very early morning resettling of the girls right after Dom got up. Fortunately it was still dark and they were willing to be put back to bed.
When they finally got up all I could think of was trying to find a way to get back into my bed for few more minutes. But it was soon clear that they would not allow that. No, they needed food. And they needed mama to be in the room while they ate. Oh yeah. That kind of a day.
I was praying hard, begging for the grace to get through.
* * *
And then Ben woke up and started crying before I’d had a chance to get my breakfast. It’s a good thing he’s so cute. I wanted to scream.
And then as I was changing his diaper, I found myself burying my face in his little neck, breathing in that baby smell. It doesn’t even really smell; but it does somehow. I can’t explain it but there you have it. Suddenly I felt so calm. Breathing deep the essence of Ben. If you could bottle that….
* * *
At Target this morning I almost gave in and bought myself a latte at the in-store Starbucks. But restraint won.
And then remorse hit in the parking lot. I dialed my sister the barista, hoping she hadn’t left work yet. No answer. I assumed she was on her way home and didn’t bother to leave a message. Oh well. Maybe she’ll call back. Or maybe it will be one of those days when she brings home a treat just because.
* * *
Sophie fell asleep in the car on the way home and I couldn’t wake her when we got home. There went my chance for a nap. She woke up just as Bella was finishing her lunch. Although she wanted me to read books and sat in my lap with her blankies, she didn’t fall asleep.
I did though. Halfway through S is for Saints.
Bella whined, “Mama, keep reading.”
“Mama’s falling asleep.” But I tried to keep going.
I think I totally passed out at St Richard of Chichester.
Sophie let me sleep for a bit and then started crying to be put down. She wandered about in my bedroom and then sat herself down in the hall outside my door where she could see me. She pulled off her socks and thumped at the floor with her bare heels.
I dozed on and off until finally my sister woke me up pounding on the window above my head. She’d lost her house key.
* * *
But all was forgiven because get this she had half a latte left that one of her co-workers had insisted on making for her just as she was leaving and she’d accepted even though she didn’t really want it. Can you say THANK YOU, GUARDIAN ANGELS. Yeah I know there must have been some heavenly communication going on. I generally don’t drink coffee; but I downed that latte and boy did it taste amazing.
I still spent the remainder of the afternoon vegging on the couch with Ben and Sophie; but I felt a bit more human with some caffeine in me.
* * *
And when Dom came home. He made dinner.
Oh can I tell you how much I love my husband. Not only does he not complain that dinner isn’t started and I have not a single idea about what to make. He gets in there and makes a super yummy meal. Chinese beef with mushrooms and peas and fried rice noodles wrapped in lettuce leaves. Oh yeah.
And he did the dishes too.
* * *
I’ve been working on this prayer stuff. Praying not just the liturgy at prayer times but praying in the moment. Praying at the beginning of the day for the grace to get through it. And then allowing myself to ask for help when I feel I’m losing my patience and about to enter the red zone. Oh and I’m singing hymns and remembering that they are prayers too. A way to pray while I work.
And you know what…. it works. I can’t exactly put my finger on why now it’s different than it was before. But the past few days it has been.
Something clicked on Thanksgiving morning when I felt so totally at the end of my rope, sick and tired of being impatient and constantly falling and failing myself and my family with my terrible temper. I just can’t do this anymore, I cried and raged. I’m sorry, God; but I give up. I can’t try any longer. I can’t do this. If I’m ever going to be a saint it will take radical intervention. Because I’m stuck. I’m tired of trying and I can’t do it any more. I don’t want to change myself. It’s too hard and no matter what I do I never seem to have the time to think before I start raging. I only have time to regret it afterward. But I do want to be changed. You’re going to have to do something. Intervene, I dare you. I can’t keep failing and picking myself up. I need help.
And you know what. Somehow surrendering was what needed to happen. Acknowledging that there was no way I was ever going to conquer this fault of mine and that I was just going to give it to him.
And suddenly the burden that I couldn’t bear is somehow bearable. I’m tired and cranky but somehow getting through it anyway. And graces are falling at my feet like little love notes.