08 December 2010

A messy life, but... a good life.

Yesterday was a rough day. I mean a real doozy. My kids were fighting and crying and hitting off and on throughout the afternoon. No one wanted to play a game, do an art project or bake with me; they were content (or not - who knows?) to sit and watch PBS shows and wrestle and complain and tattle..... Late day, one slid into the Christmas tree (hmmmmm.... wonder who that was ;-) - two tried to break into the bathroom while big sis was showering - just to torment her (I remember those days from my own teen years) - no one wanted to sit and eat dinner - everyone was accusing me of favoring the other (oh - and I just love that - heavy on the sarcasm). I quickly reached the end of my rope - hands shaking, tears in my eyes, feeling sorry for myself, and yelling and acting short and nasty with everyone. Of course, late night, I felt guilty for not giving more attention to the individual "situations" and for not trying harder to engage them all in something more productive. After all, that is my job, so to speak (CEO of the home - with no executive staff).

This morning, bleary-eyed and queasy from lack of sleep (when they are that keyed up, they do not sleep well so I am up and down aaaalllll night quieting everyone - moving one from one bed to another if necessary - accompanying them to the bathroom - fetching water - I'm sure you all know the drill...), I was still feeling low. Olivia missed the bus, Milo had a pre-7am tantrum, Lil wet the bed, and Enzo was starting to get anxious about it all though reluctant to put on his own sweatshirt or shoes, so.... I had to for him (amidst all the lunch-making, school form gathering and more). Once I shook off the doom and gloom, however, I made a valiant attempt to refocus, and I think I've succeeded in doing so.

Now, I am reminded of how lucky I am. And I know I harp on this a lot, but... today, I FEEL it. I watched the sad story of brave Elizabeth Edwards and how she lost her battle with cancer yesterday. I listened to the story of her life - saw photos of the beautiful boy she lost in a car accident when he was only 16, hugging his mom - happy, freckled - sweet grade schooler - attentive teen. I remembered all the pain she has had to endure recently, and I started to think of others - friends, family - anyone remembering beloved members of the family this season, losing fathers or grandmothers or children. I thought about how we're all so desensitized these days that we get embroiled in these odd awkward "battles" with difficult family members or we pass the Salvation Army bell ringers and ignore the Community Food Bank's requests for food. We can't find it in our hearts to donate even $1 to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital or the Make a Wish Foundation when we're buying $100 worth of merchandise at the grocery store or Williams Sonoma.

OK - off the soapbox... I think I just want to enjoy my season - my family - my life. I desperately want to give back to others (I mean that coat drive in the mall isn't just the box of coats you see every year, it is coats for kids who do NOT HAVE ANY - remember that), and I want to honor the memory of those no longer with us or help those who do not have as much by appreciating what I have and sharing what I can. I think we all want that - really. Sometimes, it is hard to refocus for that intent, but I think we're all capable.


AngryBaker said...

Oh man, I should have called you to come with me Tuesday night - just figured you would be busy. Had a ladies' Christmas party with appetizers and desserts, no kids. And some violinists and some caroling. I'm kicking myself now....there's book group next Tuesday!

Sherri said...

So nice to think of me :-) - really. It is just so busy this time of year. REALLY good days, but... tricky days too. Hope you had fun at the party. I would say "yes" to book group, but... who knows if I'm free with all these Christmas performances and other obligations.... All good - all fun.