It happened AGAIN!  An explosion the size of St. Helen’s, at least in the eyes of my kids.  Mommy has erupted, once again. And even as the words were pouring out of my mouth, my brain kept saying, ‘SHUT UP SHUT UP’, but I was on auto-pilot. I just couldn’t seem to grab ’em fast enough.  And the volume level, ugh.  I can out shout all three of my kids any day.  Oh, and the guilt, as I see there little faces contort, as I vented with words that cut down.  Why is it that the ones I love the most are so often the targets of my little tirades?  There was nothing edifying, nothing encouraging.  I was not building them up, by any stretch of the imagination.  I cut down, and did so with precision.

And what was the source of such an explosion?  Did one child throw the other down the stairs?  Did someone break a window?  Hurl a plate across the room?  No, the only one out of control one here was the adult.  How ironic is that?  And what was so horrible that cause such an eruption?  Inconvenience.

When I boil it down, when I remove all the excuses, peel through the layers of pride that want to justify, the big offense that led to a very ugly episode was being inconvenienced.  How sad is that?

I was sitting at my kitchen table, with my laptop, working on the budget and trying to figure out some new budgeting software. Work that was important.  Work that needed to be done.  At least (so I tried to tell myself, as if it makes any difference), I wasn’t playing snood, or visiting Facebook, or some other non-important activity, at least not this time.  No, I was doing essential work!  Making sure there is money in the bank to pay our rent at the end of the month is kinda important kids, can’t you see that momma is busy?

Well then, they must have been acting like little monsters.  I mean, surely they were climbing up the walls, throwing things across the room, something totally and utterly out of control, no?

But no, they were just being kids, and at that moment I didn’t want normal kids, I wanted mutant kids, who acquiesced to their Mama’s unreasonableness.  Who could read my mind, and see that I was already growing in frustration with the software, and just knew, by some amazing toddler intuition, to sit quietly, don’t move, don’t talk.  But, ah, they just wouldn’t comply.

So I did what any insane, outta control, depraved mother would do…I screamed.  Not only to them collectively as a group, but to each individually as well.

I wish  I could say that this has never happened before, but my kids would surely correct me.  Thankfully, they are the first to forgive me when I apologize and ask for forgiveness.  Thankfully they are quick to forgive, and do not keep count of wrongs.  Thankfully, my temper today is much subdued from 5 years ago, for my sake and theirs.  Thankfully, God is sanctifying me, even in this area, and uses some ugly episodes to remind me that I cannot do this ‘mom-thing’ in my own power, because today was a display of what my own power looks like.

Thankfully, today, I learned that sometimes I need to simply put it down and walk away.  The computer, the phone, even a book.  Yes, important work needs to get done, but does it need to get done RIGHT NOW?   Usually, the answer is no.  I may want it to get done now, but often it can wait.  It will be there later, or tomorrow.  self-sacrifice and truly loving these babes means not always doing just what I want, but doing what is best.  There will be a time when what is best does mean sending them off to play so that I can finish the task at hand.  But I suspect, after an honest evaluation, those are the rare exceptions.

Cleaning and scrubbing will wait ’till tomorrow, but children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs! Dust go to sleep! I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep. – Ruth Hamilton