Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Season

I just finished doing Simon’s homework. (Gasp)

Before you judge me, Simon is only five and in preschool. And, in my defense, after a busy day of two doctor’s appointments with five kids, entertaining small children on a rainy day, babysitting a friend’s two kids in the afternoon, supervising Clare’s homework (which is an exercise in patience), doing dinner and bedtime solo while Shawn helped out at Jamie’s dress rehearsal, reviewing Jamie’s long-division homework once he returned home, and finally getting ready to end my “work day" by checking the calendar for what was on schedule for tomorrow, I saw that Simon (who had long since been put to bed) had homework as well… homework due yesterday. Homework that involved searching through magazines for pictures that began with the letter Z and cutting out said pictures. Homework that we had already done 25 times for 25 other letters (sitting at the table, diligently going page by page, sounding out words, then painstakingly practicing our fine-motor cutting skills). I figured Simon had already gotten out of the assignment what he was supposed to get out of the assignment. The kid knew all his letters at the age of two anyway. I decided to cut myself some slack in the Teaching Moments department (Mommy does not do your homework) and not insist Simon collect his letter Z pictures in the morning himself and instead turn this into one of Life’s Lessons – sometimes Mommy will do your homework if the stars line up in exactly the right way. And that is why I just finished thumbing through my recent parenting magazine and now have a little baggie on the kitchen counter with pictures of a zipper, zigzag, zoo, and zzzz’s (why is there never an article about zebras when you need one?).

Late spring is always a chaotic season in our house. It is crowded with end-of-the-year school projects and events, Jamie’s play opens tomorrow night, IEP planning and meetings, spring soccer ramps up, the ballet recital is in a couple weeks, and Jamie always seems to be hit hard during this time of year with allergies, headaches, and migraines (which on any day can send us revising our schedule depending on whether Jamie is in bed with a migraine).  At least this year, I am not dealing with swollen ankles and feet and backaches while waiting for a baby to be born. (The 11-month old baby who still has not even started crawling yet, which I know is very fortunate in a makes-my-life-easier kind of way. Mobile baby is not on my radar yet. Looks like Eliza is following in her brothers’ footsteps – no pun intended – in the slow-to-move area.)

On those days when I feel as if I am treading water and completing one load of laundry is an accomplishment, I’ve really been trying to find the quiet moments to reflect upon where I am in life and, more importantly, why. I think back to my life six years ago to another season when I felt like we were barely surviving day to day. But not because we had five active children and the packed life that comes with that. Because we had a baby who was critically ill. Who underwent five cardiac procedures in her first 11 months of life. Whose future seemed full of huge, scary unknowns.  A baby whose bedside I stood by helpless in the CICU on the most horrible night of my life while cardiologists, nurses, respiratory therapists, and surgeons threw around frightening words about codes and plummeting heart rates and external pacemakers and there was so much commotion and chaos in one shrinking room. A baby who I literally had to walk away from because I was only in the way, not knowing if she was going to live or die that night.

There are many days when I am at my wit’s end (and just want the Legos picked up off the floor before I scream), and I wonder if God did give me more than I can handle. But I remember that mother six years ago on that terrifying November night who, after two hours of unceasing crying and praying, realized that her prayers had changed from “Please, God, don’t let her die” to “Please, God, give me the grace to know Your love, the faith to trust Your plan, and the strength to do Your will.” And, although this season is chaotic for a different, much happier reason, my prayers today are the same.


Justice For DJ Henry said...

I love this post !!! I totally get it!!

Aunt Joan said...

The end of the school year was always bittersweet! Too much to think about, the end of schoolwork but the beginning of chaos!! God bless you in all you accomplish!!! Love and miss you all<3