just life.

The dear man who was tired from a stressful week at worked asked his wife (who was also tired from a stressful last six years of her job and constantly fights the urge to keep a running tab on who works harder) what was for dinner. She looked at him as though he had just asked her what time she was planning on embarking up the side of Mt. Everest. She said the best she could do this night was Macaroni and Cheese from a box with a side of ketchup. He saw from her expression that this was true and he wisely and simply uttered "that'll be great".
 
 
Five little children scampered to the dinner table where a blessing was given, while one monitored the rest for any who were still smuggling food before the "amen". They said a special prayer for one of their bunnies who was seemingly in the valley of the shadow of death. After the gourmet fare for which they were truly grateful, it was decided they would take an after dinner stroll. The man of the house instructed his pint-sized charges to walk quietly and in single-file behind him during the walk down the crooked sidewalks of the busy street. Overhearing this, the wife fought the urge to go in and retrieve him a shiny whistle and quickly whipping up play clothes for the children out of the living room curtains.
 
 
The evening air was blessedly cool, a sweet departure from the humidity that sunk in deep and held sway over September's first weeks. The family walked in a happy clump to the local elementary school playground. The tired man and his tired wife held hands as they watched their children frolic about, for nearly five entire minutes, until one got stuck on all fours above the monkey bars (not hanging), deciding it was as good as any place to relieve himself. The family walked home under a darkening sky, to the sound of crickets and the slightly smoky smell of fall. It was short and sweet.
 
 
As the mother watched her children walk back home on the crooked streets of their busy street, she thought of how grateful she was that the children are growing up, sensing little levels of maturity being achieved. Life isn't perfect, she thought, but it sure is good.
 
 
As she walked through the back door, her name was being called out in the laundry room bathroom. A little crack needed cleaning assistance. So she held her breath like she always does (because even after all these years, she still dry-heaves at the smell of grossness) and did her duty. Behind her she heard a voice in the shower asking for toilet paper as well. The mother told the child that she would give her toilet paper AFTER she had gone on the toilet. It was explained to her that the child had to go with such urgency, and that another sibling had been taking their good old time, that she went into the shower and did her business there. After all, there is a drain, the mother was reminded.
 
***
 
This is just another evening in our simple lives, one that offers touches of the Divine alongside the dirty, the sweet moments before and behind the exasperating ones.
 
 
 



Comments

SBA said…
This was awesome.

I laughed so hard I cried at this part:
"The mother told the child that she would give her toilet paper AFTER she had gone on the toilet. It was made clear to her then, that the child had to go with such urgency, and that another sibling had been taking their time, that she went into the shower and did her business there. After all, there is a drain, the mother was reminded"
I have 1 fewer kid than you and slightly further-apart spacing, but even still I can.so.relate...!

~Susan
Mandi B said…
This seems so simple, yet it had me tearing up. So nice to know I'm not alone in this motherhood adventure!
Sarah Gingrich said…
Ha ha! You know how there's those certain women, and if they showed up at your doorstep on the cereal-for-supper evening that was still sporting evidence of the cereal-for-breakfast morning all around the floor, you'd sort of do a forced smile for, while using your body as a sort of crumbed-floor-shield, while you over-anunciate brightly: "OH. HI!!!! We were just...uh....HI! (Insert awkward random comment like, 'How's your dog?' or 'I love your purse; so shiny!""? Well, I've never met you face to face, but I know already that you're not one of them ladies that would make me a bundle of nerves for not being perfect. Cheers!
debi said…
This is my favorite post of yours yet! I love your writing style and your humor...


Hugs!
Anna Urquhart said…
It's a relief to know someone else must hold her breath when cleaning cracks and smelling grossness :) great post, Jeane, as always.
Shelly said…
Yep, that "what's for dinner" question sure does feel like a Mt Everest climb far too often . . . and I feel better knowing I'm not the only one who holds her breath to do the wiping. :) But also, I love that we know we are blessed, and can see and appreciate the beauty in our crazy, noisy, imperfect families and lives that God has so graciously given! Thanks for writing!
Love the allusion to the Sound of Music ...! What a sweet peek into the mixed bag that is motherhood - from gratitude to gross and back again. :)
God over gifted you in the writing ability category. You had me laughing one moment and crying the next. I absolutely loved this post!

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