A random collection of thoughts after missing two days in a row of writing. Tsk, tsk.
Has anybody ever died from playing saxophone? If not, my son thinks he will be the first. Saxophone during virtual learning, and beyond that into Christmas Break, is enough to deliver him over the river apparently.
Kal made meat like a man yesterday using his own blend of seasonings. It was another instance that I had to step back and just let him do it. The end result was fabulous, and the meat was so tender! I think he did a better job than I would have.
Today, I felt like a pinball. Clean this, go put away that, wipe up the shelf while I'm there, grab junk to put away elsewhere, put on some coffee, bag the trash, dust the mirror, make the bed, remember the coffee, check to see if kids are following instructions, chide kids for not following instructions, redirect children, straighten the living room, remember the coffee again, put away food, pet the bunny, drink the coffee, check the kids again, replay that routine, finish cold coffee...
Some days feel like a long way around to get nowhere. I was busy all day. I checked things off the mental list I had. This was a mental list day instead of a real list. Maybe that's why I felt like a pinball. To be fair, I woke up feeling blah and icky, and since we're on Christmas Break, I let the kids watch screens (yes, I actually did) all (yes, ALL) morning. I don't want to repeat that tomorrow morning, so I'll have to get up cracking the whip, on myself first, then the kids. Make a productive day happen.
I talk a big game, but my goodness, it's hard to follow through with my home & child-rearing goals and all the lovely lists I make. My children are variables I can't control. I can't just put them in a spot and expect them to stay put silently. They move. They fight. They fight me. They start projects. They go outside, then bring the outside back inside with them. They are individuals. They have opinions, very loudly at times. They eat--all the time, it seems. They need to show me something. They create things. They have ideas. They have their own dreams, goals, and plans. In the end, whatever plans I have are just a vague outline of what I wish to accomplish, and I have to factor in a wide margin for the variables of the day that only God knows ahead of time.
Being a mom feels like playing dodgeball in perpetuity. A hundred balls are flying at me at one time, I catch some and throw them back, I get hit with others, yet I never get to go out of the game. I have to stay in no matter how many times I'm hit.
All that dodgeball is worth is by nighttime, though, when Kal and Kara are finally in bed, tempers are calm, and I'm reading through a book to them. They have the most heart-warming hugs and kisses at night, and they never fail to apologize for any of the daytime fuss, if an apology is warranted. The apologies go both ways. I'm no perfect angel mom.
During the calm of the night, it's almost hard to remember the fuss of the day. Even the bunny is where she belongs, not chewing on baskets and pumpkins. (Still need to roast and puree those.) Happy lights from the Christmas tree and the candle on the table, combined with the quiet hum of the dishwasher, refresh me as nothing else can.
Can you believe this? There was a time, lasting for decades of my life, that I turned up my nose at the thought of a dishwasher. I didn't see any reason for that piece of nonsense in my kitchen, so I didn't use it. Besides, the old one I had at first just didn't do a good job. Enter: life, children, mess, exhaustion, and finally, a new dishwasher. Oh, have I ever eaten my words! Since that first new dishwasher (at our old house), I have thanked the Lord daily for such a delightful machine to wash my dishes.
We have most of our Christmas to-do list done. That's because we just chopped off most of what we would normally do and lowered our expectations on the rest. What's left is a pleasing feeling of being close enough to caught up that we can smell it. Smells good, too. It helps, too, to have children who love Christmas and help with all the normal Christmas fun. It doesn't all fall on me anymore. Besides, I've stopped trying to recreate Christmas wonderland for everyone. We do what we can realistically, and just enjoy the time.
Kara has a new stuffed dog that is as big as she is. She'd love the real-life version, but we'll stick with fake for now. It has become her screen buddy when she's watching something. She'll also sit on him for reading.
Kal and Kara both had such sweetness toward each other tonight. When they're both in the right mood, they can be so loving, kind, and considerate. It's easy to see at those times how much they really do love each other.