Beauty Amidst Tribulation
I am an extrovert. I know right now it seems to be cool and hip to be an introvert, but I love life in all the possible extroverted ways. One of those ways is dropping everything to go play. When I was in college a boy I really liked asked me to go see a movie with him. I had a temperature of 105 and I told him yes. Being sick doesn't stop me or even slow me down when it comes to playing. Because being out with people is what gives me energy.
Today, true to form, I got a text from a friend asking if I wanted to meet up to go for a walk. I was dizzy tired again as I had been up since 4:30 (taking my parents to the airport) and wanted nothing more but to rest. If there is one thing I have learned, however, it is babies don't let you sleep. If you think about it, right when your head hits the pillow is when the baby wakes up. From the dawn of time, that is how it has always been, and that is how it will continue. Babies are the supreme rulers, or so it seems. Knowing this little tidbit about babies, I happily agreed to the walk.
It was beautiful. I am so glad I went!
And then my friend came over and watched the kids so I could shower. Who knew showering was such a luxury?!
By the time she left, I didn't feel so tired and was able to get some things done. Because I will nearly always have more energy after people come to play than I ever will before. This is why it is easy for me to stay up talking with a friend until 2-3 and not even notice the time, but if it is just us, I get tired and typically want to be asleep by 9:00.
I played with the baby and got some things taken care of until it was time to get dinner started.
Jeffrey got a new grill. A sleek cheeky red grill which can barbecue his steak to mouth watering perfection. I like to pull the meat out and have something tantalizing cooking when he gets home from having a hard day at work. The smell somehow extracts the bad day bits leaving a happy Jeffrey with very little need for transition from work to home. I love that. Today was just such a day. While I was grilling the meat, I noticed the shed door was ajar. Keith and Faye also noticed and ran to investigate. It was my brother who is using my shed as he is getting ready to move away to dental school. The enticing smell of marinated steak and I invited him to stay for dinner and he joined us on the deck.
While I basted the meat I listened to Jeffrey and him discuss physics, philosophy, psychology and many other things. Keith sat quietly in his chair listening intently while Faye swung like a possessed monkey from the trees, demanding everyone look at her. It was quite the circus. We sat there visiting and eating steak and ice cream (my brother's favorite combo!) until dusk began to creep in around our ankles and little heads were beginning to loll.
And then bath time.
I am not one of those mothers who gives their kids a bath every night. It isn't worth the fight for me. Faye never wants to get out and Keith never wants to get in. Tonight they were all very dirty, and they all wanted a bath. Summertime miracle! The three of them splashed happily in the tub while I read Fablehaven to them until they were all pruny the water began to cool off. I left the big kids in the tub while I lotioned up Beth, and they sang their lullabies to her. It was the sweetest thing ever.
Soon after, all the clean wet bodies were draped in Daddy's old t-shirts and their heavy heads were making their pillows nice and damp. Not a pleasant feeling, but I am so happy that they are all clean and sleeping soundly.
I look back and see my super messy kitchen. I see my shortness of temper and my extreme tiredness. But it is funny how I have to actually look to see those bumps in the road. At the end of the day I remember the cuddles and the sweet smell of lavender lotion, and the happiness burning brightly in their innocent eyes. Much like the flower I saw this morning.
It was in a shallow stream, growing determinedly despite the current and the rocks that kept bumping into it. It was beautiful and that is what stood out the most. Beauty amidst the trials. A lesson for life, I think. To focus on the good despite the bumps and the current pushing past. I need to ignore the menacing looking to do list glaring severely and full with nothing crossed off and remember the best parts of the day.
And I call it a good day.