There are those moments in motherhood when you feel like you are standing in the middle of the river, the water is just over your head and you have to stand on your tip-toes to get air. Not only that, but the water is running swiftly and the ground below you is soft and slick. It is a constant struggle not to panic. Not to lose it.
I’ve felt that way the last weeks and yesterday topped it off. I had been thinking of Ro’s comment. “Mommy, you’re talking nice to me.” I’ve felt broken by that and have tried so hard to check myself and my level of stress. Patience is my weakest area. Young children need more patience than I’m used to giving. That is why when I taught for four years and got my Master’s Degree I chose middle school. There is more opportunity to talk things out at that age.
So, yesterday I decided to take Ro to the library as a treat and a break from the monotony of our recent day to day routine. I prepare to load the girls up, and my man asks me to pick up our taxes and take them to the insurance office to make copies. It was on my way, and eventhough I find it difficult to do multiple activities with both girls at this stage, I agree as it is on my way. I get the girls in the truck, cross the creek, stop at the post office, get to the library and get Ro and I some awesome books. This all goes smoothly.
Then, we struggle to get back to the truck at the far end of the parking lot with our full hands. I set Ro’s books on top of the truck and put mine in the floorboard. I set Plo in her carseat and she immediately begins to scream like a wild banshee. I quickly get her strapped in and the seat buckled down. I turn around to get Ro in the truck and she is gone. I look out across the field next to the library and she has ran to the other end about a football field’s length away and is still running. My heart starts racing. I think about how we have to hurry to get back in time to cook my husband’s dinner before he has to go teach. I yell for her to come back. I’m upset, but I get her in the truck and take off toward the CPA’s office.
Now, can you guess what I forgot to do? I left Ro’s books on top of the truck. I didn’t realize this myself until I’m waiting in the CPA’s office. By this time not only is my heart racing, but so is my mind, and I’m starting to get a headache. I get the taxes, take them to the insurance office where the lady asks me about my man’s business being separate entities and having two Schedule Cs. I’m thinking, it’s not my business, I didn’t do the taxes, and I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about because it’s numbers. I do words, not numbers.
We get it straightened out only after I notice Ro has taken a pencil and marked all over the lady’s paperwork in her inbox tray. This while Plo has started crying again. I load the girls back up and get on the road driving slowly, looking for the books. I make it back to the library without finding them. I get the girls back out, go in, and ask the librarian. She says, “Aren’t they in the parking lot? Stranger things have happened?” The books weren’t in the parking lot. The girls and I set out on foot next to the busy two lane road. We find one of the books, but I got totally uncomfortable walking the roadside with no curb and gave up finding the other two on foot. I look again in the truck and don’t see them. I resign myself to the fact that I may no longer be allowed to check books out after I turn this set in, and drive home. I turn over and over in my head the fact that I’ve likely wasted money as well. I’m thinking all this while Ro has started crying for crackers and honey.
I get home and my head is throbbing. I’ve grouched at Ro. I’ve stressed myself completely out and I’m on the verge of tears. Something that I expected to be a fun trip with my girls turned into a trip in a house of mirrors. I’m not giving my girls a good example of how to handle bad days. I’m resorting too much to quarreling. All around, I’m not handling things that go outside of my comfort zone well. I want to do better. I want to be able to take things in stride. To realize that everything I want to get done, won’t get done, and that’s okay. At some point the girls will be bigger and things will get done. I’ll, then, be wondering where my babies went.
I want to be able to teach Ro about her misbehaviors instead of just grouching at her. I’m not sure how to do this when I can’t even stop my reactions long enough to count to ten. How do you explain much to a three year old anyway? Today, is going better. At church some verses were given to us. Matthew 6:32-33 “For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Is that where I’m going wrong? Are my priorities out of line and it is creating unnecessary stress?
I’m in the river, fighting the current, and thinking of the hymn. On Christ the solid rock I stand… all other ground is sinking sand… all other ground is sinking sand.