Some days are so upside down it’s hard to breathe. Last week Wednesday I was doing laundry and digging down at the bottom of the basket for a nasty pair of little boy underoos and bent so hard and fast at the waist that I slammed my forehead into the edge of the metal utility sink. Pete had been out of town for two days and there was still one to go.
On Friday in the span of two short hours Zoe puked on me, ruined two pairs of shoes in a mud patch in the back yard, dumped an entire bottle of purple Motrin on the light living room carpet, peed in the hallway and escaped the back yard with her brothers and was half way down the driveway when I caught up to her.
This morning she emptied out a full bottle of sunscreen all over the ottoman and was lovingly rubbing it into the green fabric by the time I discovered her.
Those days will happen.
Those days will make you question if motherhood is really for you. And if you’re like me you might look at your tired reflection, pull your hair into a pony tail and call your husband and tell him the second he sets foot in the house you’re out of there. And you may shock your neighbor, Bob, when he walks by with his dog and jokingly asks if you’re running away from home by saying, “Absolutely!”
Those days are hard. There are no pretty words to make them especially deep or meaningful. Those nights just making it to bedtime without doing each other injury is an accomplishment.
But today I stopped by the Swedish bakery for a few hours of writing and pastry (and pastry) and there was this older married couple at the table next to me. They had their newspapers spread out in front of them. Him with a cup of coffee and her with tea and croissant. She had lovely straight brown shoulder length hair and tortoise shell glasses. His hair was gray and he sat up straight, comfortable in his skin. Every now and again she’d lean her head over toward him and he’d smile, put down his paper and kiss her. And they’d both grin and go back to their reading.
I don’t know exactly why, but watching them gave me hope and a peace that transcends carpet stains.
There is so much beauty in the days that you’re living through. But sometime it takes distance to appreciate it. And watching that couple this morning gave me a glimpse. A glimpse of Zoe calling from college and the boys home in South Africa for the summer, working on a game farm. And I’m sure I’ll miss them and wish these days back again blah blah blah. But for right now, it gives me hope to think about the day when Pete and I will have hours of conversation instead of stolen seconds.
That we might have mornings lingering over each other instead of a ripe diaper. That I will have time to style my hair and sip my tea hot. That I will be his love, his sticky kiss over a late morning breakfast a decade from now still. That, right there? That’s beauty.
I needed the reminder this morning. That this season of chaos is only a season.
And there’s a reason we feel exhausted. Well, in my case, three of them actually.
Love to you all on this Monday.