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This mother's desperate plea

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: This mother's desperate plea

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This mother's desperate plea


A call rings out through the house at 5am... or was it 4? The kind of call that would come from a bad dream or a sick tummy. I rise quickly, careful to avoid the bassinet pulled up against my bed. Careful not to wake the finally sleeping baby. I grab my robe and make my way quickly down the hall in the cold. Reaching for the knob expecting stories of how a wolf is in his room. Or a moose is putting his head through the window. Or that baby deer can get into his bed because they don't have antlers. Inside I smile... outside I move mechanically in my stupor. Door knob turns quickly, heading off another yell.

"[Tornado]!" I bite off sharply. Too sharply. "Stop yelling."

That was the first time I yelled. It wouldn't be the last. My yell was quieter than his. Hushed. But still a yell. A yell comes from the heart.

It was only eight hours before that I had scolded for the same thing.

"Yelling will wake your sister." I explain, glancing toward the crib for movement, words only slightly gentler. "What is it?"

He needs his blanket spread out on the mattress. Warmth. He wants a warm, dry place to lay down.

"Are you wet?" I ask him, much gentler now. Yes.

Off to the bathroom he goes to remove wet diaper. Wet jammies. In quiet darkness now, lit only by the hall light, I strip fitted sheet from mattress and spread a blanket down to protect my boy from cold plastic. I click on a single light in the living room to dig through a ever growing pile of laundry on the couch for something... anything for my boy to wear the rest of the night. Moments later I cover him, clad in fleece pants and hooded sweatshirt, with a second blanket.

The words come from behind me.

"I need to potty Mommy."

I let out a sigh. "OK baby." I lift her over the rail and send her on her way.

All tucked in. "Please go back to sleep." I say, pleading within my heart. "Night night, Mommy loves you." Hushed tones, much softer now.

I pull the door closed. My Beloved passes me in the hall. "Did you give him medicine?" No. "He needs it."

I sigh. Turning on the living room light again, I rummage through my purse for the inhaler. Tornado's coughing. Of course I noticed... but it didn't occur to me to do anything about it. Back in the room we sit for six deep breaths, learning to hold them in for a moment before pushing them back out. Again, the admonition to go to sleep.

I lay my robe on the end of my bed for the next "emergency", then step to get in bed myself, kicking the bassinet. I hold my breath. Please stay asleep, I say in my head. Please please please.... All is quiet. Breath releases.


Then morning. A feeding, 45 minutes of crying, several sleep interruptions later. Morning.

Today morning is not defined by the height of the sun, but the willingness of this mommy to climb out of bed. It's late... and I'm already sorry for it.

Children sing and play from their beds, growing more wild by the second. It's my fault, I know, but can't they just wait quietly... patiently?

I snap at them as I pass to the bathroom. Gritted teeth. Threats. And deep down I know I'm failing. I leave them there. Brush my hair. Maybe if I'm ready for the day before they are up, I'll have a chance.

But I know I've already lost.

I knew it last night as I sat in quiet. Thinking. Praying.

Something would need to change. I need to change.

How can I demand patience of them when I lack the self control myself.


Everyone is up, staked closely to me. Breakfast is on the table. Daddy says good-bye. We're alone.

A thousand people would think my kids cute... rambunctious and wild. Not me. Not today. I'm a grouch. Not much is cute.

I try to turn the day around. My words are harsh around every turn.

We work together to fold laundry. I hear wheezing. My heart sinks. I'm failing again. I scoop him up, knowing he must be afraid he's done something wrong. I set him down on the washing machine. Shake the inhaler. Six more breaths. I smile. He smiles. Forgiveness... always forgiveness.

We return to the laundry. Each of them do their part... I the rest. Still my patience is thin, if it is there at all.

Then a prayer surfaces from the depths:

Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

That's all I dare ask for. Not because He couldn't give more, but because I can't be trusted to be on my own any longer than that. One of the children speaks. I pray it again.

Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

Tornado needs redirection, again. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

Time for lunch. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

Tornado won't sit still. I can hear the wheezing. Lunch will have to wait. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

Signing Time distracts us through a nebulizer treatment. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment. I snuggle with them on the couch... actually enjoying the moments.

Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment. Back to the table. We'll make our own quesadillas... because it's fun.

They go in the toaster oven. I sit to feed Little man, all of us at the table. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment. We sing. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment. We talk about our memory verse. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment. We laugh.

Lunch is winding down. It's time to do our lesson, Tornado and me. I think of skipping it, but he loves to do it. I remember yesterday. He's learning how to read... tiny step at a time. He has been asking for a long while. I decided to give it a try. He so enjoys the lessons. Tells everyone he's learning to read. It's me that may not be up to the task.

Teaching a three year old anything is frustrating. Teaching to read is in a whole other ball park.

Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

We settle onto the couch... the four of us.

Tornado and I do well... Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment. Moment by moment.

From the other side of me I hear, but don't compute. Then it registers. "I standing on [Little Man] Mommy!" I glance over... still trying to figure it out. Little man is laying up against my leg. Sweet Pea on the other side, foot squarely on his abdomen.

I snap. Harsh words. I forget to pray. The words keep coming. I can't stop them and I can't pull them back. They slow. Deep breath.

We finish the lesson. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.



And I will continue to pray...

Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

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4 Comments:

At November 11, 2010 at 9:03 AM , Blogger Kristin said...

I love this! Last night was one of those nights for me. It seemed as though I just could not hold my tongue. And today I have an extra child staying with us. That means I have 6 children under 10 in my care today. I will need HIS strength more than ever.

 
At November 11, 2010 at 3:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sweet girl....you area wonderful mom. I could not be prouder of you and all your efforts. Hang in there...you are seeking the best helper there is. Our sweet Lord is with you all the way....moment by moment!

 
At November 12, 2010 at 7:26 AM , Blogger Nikki said...

I've had days like that, too. I am so thankful that God gives us the patience we need for these times...when we ask. *Sigh* So often I forget to ask.

 
At November 13, 2010 at 3:28 AM , Blogger Irene said...

Thanks for sharing... so often my day looks like that although with less prayer, such a good reminder. Love you!

 

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