Today was a good day.
This morning, I wouldn’t have thought it was going to turn out this well. The 4 year old has had a fever since yesterday, and wanted his feet rubbed, back rubbed, and all spare moments dedicated to his comfort….as is expected for a sick little boy….or maybe any sick boy/man….??
The 13 year old had to perform in a concert at school but waited until the last possible moment to start worrying about what time he needed to be there, and what time he needed me to come bring him home. Not to mention the clothes I’d been asking about all week, “do you know where your dress pants are, are they clean???” Of course, I found them in his closet today, clean and crumpled, and ironed them strictly to save my own reputation as a “good mom” with the other parents who would see him.
The 16 year old, who will be 17 in a matter of days, was full of attitude after waking up before 6am to play in two softball games. The two teens bickered like old women about who cleaned their bathroom last, and who should have to vacuum the basement for me.
16 month old was destined to be the favorite today. Even after painting herself with mandarin oranges and squishing them into her hair.
I was doing my usual weekend cleaning, yelling, cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, folding laundry, moving furniture, more cleaning and begging the oldest two to please stop insulting each other for the love of all things holy.
Then it happened.
It was like the stars suddenly aligned.
Somehow, we all ended up in each others company……not yelling, screaming, crying, fighting or causing damage of any kind.
They played together! Definitely, having the baby helped, as her amazing adorableness can soften the most jaded of teenage hearts. We laughed as Jen-Jen entertained us as only a toddler can, with her budding vocabulary and love of imitating everyone around her.
Dinner was enjoyable. What??!! How often do I get to say that? So often lately it’s broken up by the sports schedules of the two oldest, I end up cooking for the youngest two, and then hours later the others will wander in, dirty, tired and somehow not hungry for anything I’ve made. Lately, a meal with all kids together is rare. Even more rare is a meal with no arguments of any kind, no 4 year old turning his nose up at….EVERYTHING I make….. , and no baby deciding to chuck her cup, and often parts of her meal, at my head the moment she decides she’s full. No warning!
Tonight felt so special. Jenna didn’t spit anything out at me, bonus. Sammy was feeling better, and ate some sweet potato and fruit. the older two actually finished off all the grilled fish, and LIKED IT!! There was good natured talking at the table, no fighting, not even a little!
My oldest and her friend even went grocery shopping with me and the baby later, to TWO STORES! Nary a sigh was heard. I’m sure the chocolate I bought them didn’t hurt. The girls even made dessert.
We laughed more later at the antics of the baby, crawling after a tiny ant in the kitchen, and blowing on her toes to imitate me after I’d painted them. My 13 year old made me two cups of iced tea. Count them, two…..and I didn’t even ask, well not for the second one. There was a point we were all laughing and joking in the kitchen together. I thought about how happy I was, how nice this felt, briefly wondered if we were somehow all high…quickly dismissed it….
It was a night just made to enjoy. One of those nights you don’t want to end, you just want to keep it going.
A perfect night to savor being a mom. I felt like all four kids liked me, at the same time. And I liked them all too! No one screaming for me to pick them up, no one tattling or arguing. I didn’t feel worn out, as I tend to do by the end of a long day…but instead energized, and grateful.
I have had a day with my four, and I felt loved, enjoyed, happy. I didn’t have to force any of them to share my company, I didn’t even have to battle wits or make empty threats for it happen.
Tomorrow we will celebrate our traditional mothers day, but it may not be magical. I doubt the greatness of today can stretch that far, surely someone will remember how annoying everyone else is by then!
But these days, when they happen, are the most special. They remind me of what to tell people who want to know why on earth I chose to have all these kids. Because I don’t think anything comes close to the happiness these kids can bring. It reminds me on other, less perfect days….what our potential is. Even if we don’t quite reach it all the time. Just makes it all the more amazing when we do.