Whoa … it’s been at least a week. Sorry for that, but we were on vacation from school last week, and I took that as an opportunity to just … do nothing except be with the kids and the Husband. We went camping, we went to swim practice, I went to Athens to see Lucy, Husband and I went to Charlotte for a day (yes, just a day, it was a trek!). Everything was fun or rewarding, but very, very busy.
School began again today, and thus the regular ridiculous schedule. Drama always seems to strike at that moment. You know the one, the moment you have everything back on track and humming along nicely, if a bit slowly because you’ve been off for a week.
The drama was kid drama. I say that not to discount it or play it down, because it can be extremely disrupting, but I am a firm believer that if it “Isn’t World Peace,” it needs to be kept on the appropriate level and given the appropriate amount of attention. Nonetheless, it was disruptive and agonizing for those involved, and the bystanders who got an earful (and an eyeful) from one of their siblings learning one or two of the hard lessons in life. The main one being that the expensive iPhone she carries around belongs to me, is paid for by me, and therefore everything on it belongs to me and represents my family. If there is ever anything on it that reflects badly … well, consequences are swift and just.
How do we regroup though? That is the main question. When everything is normal (and by that I mean the usual chaos normal), and there has been a major shift and break in the brittle calm, how do we pick up the pieces and go forward? Seriously, when it was all over and she was safely at school, I just wanted to go home, take a shower, crawl into bed and start over. But alas, that isn’t how it works.
Candice told me about this story she’s reading by a missionary’s wife. The husband was kidnapped and beheaded by cannibals … I mean, seriously, can you imagine? Makes our problems look like dust mites. I can’t imagine. Not at all. That is a good thing that I can’t imagine, I’d say, but it does help to put things in perspective. The wife found her solace in making the beds. Controlling what she could control because the other options were unthinkable.
She shared that story with me and I was reminded of our Mother Mary. What did Mary do when Jesus was flogged in the town square and carried away to be crucified? She cleaned the floor. Why? Because she could and she knew it was important. I would also imagine it brought her a certain amount of calm. A way to regroup her thoughts and still her shattered senses.
We mothers are lucky really, as we have an endless amount of things that need to be done. Boring, tedious, jaw-achingly mundane things that we must do. Drive. Cook. Do laundry. Wait for the refrigerator repairman. Pay bills. Shop for groceries. Plan meals. But they are all, in their own way, extremely important as these things keep our families strong and healthy and moving forward despite the hiccups of life. Their very stodginess is what provides the tranquility in the midst of the whirlwind of drama that slams open the front door and leaves a mark on the wall of our hearts.
So, this morning the drama petered out, and she got out of the car with a terse goodbye. I didn’t really take it to heart because I knew it was mainly her fragile fears showing … that and the fact that I’d poked the bruise of her ego a little because, I’m her mom, that’s my job. When they don’t live up to the expectations, it is our job to point it out, as not-fun as that is. If we don’t show them where the bar is, how will they ever reach it?
As I drove away, my morning fractured with emotion, I did what all mom’s do to thread back together the frayed edges of my family … I did the errands. Shopped for vegetables. Took the stuff back to Lowes. Dropped off the Comcast box at UPS. Waited for the repairman. Hung the sheets on the line. Folded the laundry.
Because this is what we do.