This morning, in the midst of apologetics for kids, a customer stopped by the farm for some livestock feed. He jokingly asked about all the kids and they proudly informed him we had two more at preschool. His eyes widened and the kids laughed appreciatively. The shock value on visitors’ faces always cracks them up!
He told us about raising his five kids and how thankful he was for every moment, despite the challenging times. My heart melted and I thanked him for his encouraging words. It’s good to hear the other side of raising kids, the side that says, “We raised a passel of kids and thrived and you can too!”
As with most parents of grown children, he reminded us to savor each moment because they’re grown too quick. I glanced at my son, currently wrapped in a roll of blue painters tape he discovered in my desk and nodded. I will. I will savor and remember this moment because when he is a teenager, I want to remember these funny moments of him blue and mummified in the middle of schooling.
There are other moments I want to remember too, like the dry shampoo disaster the other night.
A scroll through Facebook turned up a friend’s recipe for dry shampoo. The cabinets held the necessary ingredients and I thought, why not? Let’s try it! It smelled yum but I wanted to try it on the kids’ hair first (because that’s why I had them–to be my testers! Lol). The twins were great sports, letting me work the cocoa and arrowroot powder mixture into their scalps. It worked great and I give the recipe a two-thumbs up!
The only thing I’d change is my decision to leave the filled mixing bowl on the counter. Who knew my exhausted husband would traipse through the back door, hungry, thirsty, and desiring a treat?
I guess he thought it was brownie mix because the next thing I knew, he’d pinched a generous helping of dry shampoo and discovered it wasn’t brownie mix. Lesson learned…never taste your wife’s experiments without permission.
I should’ve kept the mixture in a labeled container out of reach, instead of merely moving it to my bathroom counter. Now that the twins knew what it was, they proudly took care of a month’s worth of hair washing in one evening. In savoring that moment, I left the mess a little longer before cleaning it up. Because–why not?
Savoring all the moments
If your life is anything like ours, it’s filled with interruptions, chaos (but serene chaos, right?), and a never-ending pile of dirty laundry. In between those, throw in half a dozen imperfect kids and a set of trying parents, and you’ve got a savory stew for Sunday supper. It’s easy to grow frustrated with the crying toddler clinging to your legs while you’re preparing a meal. Or the endless drinks spilled across the counters and floors. Or the list goes on and on. Constant interruptions coupled with a demanding schedule leave plenty of opportunities to unload exasperation.
In all of these moments, we have the rare opportunity to choose joy and life. There are times, choosing to yell and give an outlet to our frustration feels better in the interim, but it’s not. Years ago, I watched my best friend’s mom, a mom of 14 kids, gather lunch ingredients to feed the masses. An eager, young helper grabbed the wrong end of an untied loaf of bread. The slices spilled out all over the red clay earth and my gaze flew to her face. I watched her facial expressions change from disbelief to aggravation to dismay before a smile reached her eyes. She stuffed the fallen slices back into the bag, mumbling to herself, “The boys will never know.”
I couldn’t help it. I burst into laughter, knowing her boys probably wouldn’t know the difference between a fresh or fallen piece of bread. Boys don’t care about those things. Her attitude impacted my own determination in those moments to model self-control and choose joy rather vent our frustrations.
So this week? Ignore the broken plate and spilled food. Look into those precious eyes gazing at you waiting for your response and remember that the plate is replaceable but the child is not. Ignore the mountain of laundry –at least while the kids are awake –and slip outside for a game of frisbee with them. The clothes can wait. Reach for the last bit of patience and reach for a stool to set your crying child on during supper and let them stir up a batch of cookies.
This life? It’s short. Make the most of all of the moments –good and bad –and choose joy this week, my friend.