Monday, January 6, 2014

Faith and Parenting

Life is Good: even too early in the morning

I am not a morning person. Excuse me. To be clear, I.AM.NOT.A.MORNING.PERSON.  However, since the big kid started school, I have had to pull up my big girl panties and wake up before the crack of dawn. Monday through Friday, my alarm is set for 5:40 AM. When I tell my friends that, they shudder. (And I throw up a little bit in my mouth.)

Truth be told, it is my choice to get up at that hour. I wake the big kid at 6:15. But I have discovered that I need that time to myself to get myself in order so that I can cheerfully greet the big kid, his daddy, and eventually the little one each morning.

Since we have been on winter break, I have fully taken advantage of slightly later, slower mornings. It has been heavenly. But it comes at a price. It means that I haven’t had that time to myself to get myself in order so that I can cheerfully greet our little family each morning.

Case in point: this morning in the shower. Today, our last day of holiday break. Oh, how I enjoy a piping hot shower. I do declare that showers are the answer to all of life’s questions. I use shower time to think. I go through the day’s schedule and anticipate or tweak. I think about things that are on my mind or heart. If I have a freelance project, I sometimes get my conceptual ideas in the shower. And I always take some shower time to pray. It is an excellent time to talk to God.

Except for this morning. I slept in a little, knowing that the big kid might wake up soon. And he did. As I am getting shampoo out of the bottle, I hear a knock. The big kid whisper hollers that he needs to tell me something. Okay. Come in.

Unfortunately, we obviously took a penny from Grandma and Granddad’s house by accident, I’m sorry to say. Therefore, it is not at their house anymore.”
“That’s okay. I am sure Grandma and Granddad are okay with us having one penny."
(However, if he had “otherwise and literally said “amazing” I would now know all of the words that I didn’t know that I say too much.)
He leaves the bathroom and forgets to shut the door, so I remind him, whispering as loudly as I can while still whispering.
The door shuts LOUDLY.

Back to that shower.
And another knock. And whisper yelling, “Mommmmmmmmeeeeeeeee.”
So I whisper loudly to come in.
“I need to go to the bathroom.”
“Go ahead.”
(Surprised, for some reason.) “Okay!”
He goes to the bathroom.
The toilet flushes. The water runs. I hear footsteps.
“Shut the door, please. Quietly. Your brother is still sleeping.”
The door shuts as quietly as a 100+ year old door can.

And now back to our previously scheduled shower…
Or not. A door opens.
Whisper shouting, “Mommmeeeeee!”
“I need to go number two now.”
(In my mind, “Since when do you need permission?”) “Go right ahead.”
He uses the bathroom.
I hear footsteps.
“Remember to flush and wash your hands.”
“But the flush and water is loud.”
“Flush and wash your hands, please.”
He does.
“And shut the door, please.”
Boom. It shuts.

And now, conditioner.…
But a door opens. “Mommy?”
“Do you know where Chewbacca is? Not my Pez Chewbacca. My new little Chewbacca.”
“Where was it the last time you saw it?”
“My bedroom.”
“Well, why don’t you look in there then.”
“Shut the door, please.”
Boom goes the door.

Where was I? Oh, yes. Conditioner.
The door opens with enthusiasm and bangs into the wall. “Mommy! I found Chewbacca!”
Whispering with intention, “That is great. Do you think you could please play in your room until I am done with my shower? And let’s try to be quiet so that your brother can sleep. He needs his rest.”
Footsteps run out.
Footsteps run back in.
Loudly with pride, “I forgot to shut the door!”
Swing and bang! It shuts.

I rinse the conditioner out of my hair and I begin to say a prayer. “Dear Lord, thank you for my many blessings. Including that little boy who…”
The door swings open and bangs into the wall again.
“Yes, darling.”
Unfortunately, my brover is awake now.”

Sigh. Of course he is.

Well, this morning I didn’t take time with my thoughts. I didn’t take time to coif my hair as much as I would have liked to. I didn’t take time to look at myself in the mirror after I dressed. But I did take time to finish that prayer.

Dear Lord, thank you for that sweet little boy who interrupted me over and over in the shower. Thank you for the boy and the interruptions, too. The little boy who fills us up with laughter and smiles and wonder and curiosity. Who fills our days with joy and love like they never were before. Thank you for interruptions and tests and disruptions that give me the opportunity to teach and show patience, kindness, and grace. And thank you for that other little boy who woke up and kept me from spending too much time on myself outward appearance so that I could spend that much more time on what counts…what is inside our hearts.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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