As usual, this morning my ears awoke before the rest of my body. That’s how we moms roll, right?
“Mooooooooooom!!!!” my three-year-old bellowed up the stairwell.
My body was concrete, my head was mush. Yesterday, I drove round-trip to D.C. again and pulled in way past their bedtime.
“Mom! Mama! Mom-Mommy-Mamamamama-Mommmmy!”
Eyelids … come on eyelids …
Then sounds of a minor struggle and big brother whispering, “No, I will not let you wake her up!” Bless that child.
“UGH! NO! I’m so hungry!!! I’m starving. MOOOOOOOOM!”
“It’s okay! It’s alright, honey, he can come up,” I croaked.
“Come on up.”
My heart lightened as I heard his little lumbering bear-crawl up the stairs, and then there he was, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at my bedside, but wearing a little pout. “Good morning, cute angel boy. What’s that smell?”
“I need you to change my poopy diaper.” Little turkey. If you are big enough to articulate that, then why am I still changing your diapers?! The past 6 months of ‘potty-training’ still haven’t done the trick, huh? *Sigh.*
Sitting up slowly and reluctantly, I swung my feet over the side of the bed while making a silly face at my little boy.
Let it begin.
After the usual morning scramble, a flurry of activity to replace a missing backpack (“I left it at Granmy’s!”) and a jog to the bus stop, I found myself sitting on the floor with my little one. While he spilled, bulldozed and dumped his blocks, I sat sorting the older one’s overflowing school basket. Ten tons of paper. Poor trees.
We sat there scooping, sorting, and chattering about trash trucks, and all the while my endless ‘To-Do’ list buzzed through my brain. Multi-tasking is the name of the game on my turf.
What’s today? Thursday. Playgroup? So exhausted. Talking to other moms? Panic. My poor little boy. How many playgroups have we missed? Ninety-nine percent?
The house needs to be cleaned. Again. Brother is expecting us for lunch. Not sure what time. Need to check his class website. Have I paid the health insurance bill? How long has it been since my children have been to the pediatrician for well checks? Dentist appointments. Have to schedule those. Didn’t the older one already have his dentist appointment? No, that was the day he threw a tantrum in the lobby that ended with torn newspapers, shoes hurled at the windows, and the entire vestibule flooded by way of the water fountain. Have to reschedule. Prepare Sunday School lesson. Grocery shopping. Grandparents are expecting us today. Brother is falling behind in music lessons. Feed the fish. Gross! Why is the water so nasty? Clean the fish tank. Note to self: both my piano students are coming after school today. Summer visitation with the boys’ dad is coming up. Need to book those flights! Only four weeks until the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Summit. I should really spend some time working on the Coalition website today. And don’t forget the upcoming trial. I have to face my childhood abuser in court in a few weeks.
As I sat there leafing through four months of schoolwork, homework, artwork, and random bottle-tops from my son’s collection, thoughts whirled and tears welled up in my eyes. The papers just kept coming. Notes and notes and notes from the teacher that I haven’t read until now. How had I missed all this? Where has all the time gone? Wasn’t it just Christmas vacation last week?
Guilt flowed through my heart and soul, so thick I could taste it. I’m missing this. I miss my boy. Why don’t I spend more time with him while he’s home?
Suddenly I felt a mini construction truck drive over my lower back. “Beep! Beep! Beep! He’s all out of trash, Mom!” Maybe it was a steamroller. And I was underneath it.
And that’s when it happened. Something clicked in my mind.
Screw it! I thought. Screw it all!
I finished sorting the papers, put everything away, and scooped up my munchkin. “Let’s go get dressed, little man!”
“No! No! No! Never!” (He is such a typical ‘threenager.’)
I can’t go back four months and look through my little boy’s backpack every single day like a responsible mommy should. And I can’t schedule all the appointments and airline tickets right now. But right this minute I can get dressed and have a picnic with my little boys in the school cafeteria, I told myself.
Nothing has changed. My ‘To-Do’ list is still the same length. It’s still Thursday. I’m still running around with a blasting headache and a scratchy throat. But you know what? I’m feeling better. I feel lighter.
GUESS WHAT?! We can’t live all 365 days of the year at the same time. But we can focus on today.
After my epiphany, I sat in the middle of the kitchen floor and ate breakfast with my littlest on a TV tray. I listened to my baby tell me made-up stories about “Hearty Dog” and “a little girl named Mommy.” I ate lunch at the elementary school. On the way to my parents’ house, we stopped at the park and played in the sandbox for an hour. Why not?
You know, sometimes my priorities are freaked out. A lot of the time, I want to do everything … all at the same time … right now! However, once in a while–like this morning–I have a moment of sanity and I realize … What about today?
I can’t change all the yesterdays, and I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but I can re-prioritize today.