Saturday, August 11, 2007

More On Perspective

We are in the midst of a scorching heat wave. The temperatures have exceeded 100 for days and the forecast calls for triple digits until at least next Thursday. By 10am it is simply too hot to play outside anymore. Because P has stitches we have been unable to swim this week. This leaves 10 hours of indoor play with three-year-olds who are quite literally bouncing off the walls (and furniture, unfortunately) with an overabundance of energy.

My hubby is working most of the day today, so I have to admit I was feeling a moderate amount of dread this morning when by 7am we had already started the cycle of behavior that defines our days lately:

R (The Boss Man) has a plan on exactly what he wants the children to do and how it wants it done. EXACTLY.

P is uncooperative because he is his own little man and tends to do what he wants to do, spending 70% of his time playing independently.

K refuses to do what R wants because that is her favorite game: thwarting his plans with a slight grin on her face and twinkle in her eye as R PITCHES A FIT that she will not do as he wishes.

Mommy tries to let them work it out, but finds herself intervening frequently to speak to R about his temper and tone of voice, K about deliberately goading her brother and trying to keep P from killing himself with whatever new trick he is quietly working on somewhere as the drama unfolds between the other two.

This is what we do All Day Long.

So, this morning I was tired before I had gotten out of bed simply from the anticipation of what was to come.

We set off for our Saturday morning tradition of the breakfast buffet at a local restaurant. As we were eating, a man in his 60s who we've spoken to a couple of other times approached our table. He is always eating alone. As he walked over and asked, "How are the triplets this morning?" I remembered that he revealed last time that he is the father of 28 year old triplet boys.

We chatted for a few minutes. Mainly he just stood at the table and took it all in. I almost cried as I sensed his nostalgia. I felt a wave of guilt that as he sits eating breakfast alone, he must think about those days of old with fondness. He told us about their own breakfast traditions when his family was young. He probably barely remembers the reality of the day-to-day (minute-by-minute) challenges to his patience and selfish nature.

I am so conflicted. I KNOW I will long for these days when they are gone. I try to steal moments with each of the children where I can quietly "take it all in" and file it in a deep place in my heart: how it feels to hold them, the impression their growing hands make in mine as we walk together, the sound of their voices right now. I regret that I am tired and too often frustrated as I walk through the midst of these days.

Lord, please help me keep the right perspective. Twenty-five years from now when I sit at that table alone, I want to know I ran the race of motherhood with strength and excellence, displaying fruit of the Spirit as a result of You (not me) leading the way!


Jenny said...

I can really relate to what you are saying. I'm afraid that I'm often so blinded by the day-to-day challenges, that I miss out on the sweetness of those same days. I echo your prayer at the end! Thanks for sharing.

Mama-rama said...

The do grow up and change so incredibly fast. Just when you get to a place that is easier, you miss the special joy and excitement of their smallness. Your heart is in the right place - with God. Thanks for your reminding us to be present in the moment.

Xpress Assistant said...

Thank you for that reminder. God's blessings to you and yours.

My Journey Home

HW said...

I wonder if he would like to join you for breakfast one Saturday....

I had a macaroni tub for the days we were stuck inside. I filled a rubbermaid tub with dry macaroni and let the kids play with scoops and spoons and dump trucks on the kitchen floor. They loved it. I kept it stored away and only brought it out occasionally.

You are right, that you will miss these days. I know I do. But I also remember the fatigue and monotony. I can tell you are trying to enjoy and appreciate every moment.

Erickson 5 said...

Love this post. I am amazed at the amount of guilt that comes with being a mother. I too fear that will look back on these days and wish that I had "slowed down more" and just appreciated the moment. However, with triplets sometimes that is hard. I already regret not soaking in enough of the baby years. However, I feel that I am doing the best I can and since my kids are such wonderful, happy,little people that is a good indidcation of how I am doing as a mother. My husband tells me all the time what a great mother I am because our kids are so great! I too pray to God for the right perspective! Thanks for this post.

keri said...

i SOOO need this perspective right now!!
it's so cool how God used that older man to remind you these things!!

ivegot5 said...

I'm right there with you. Mine are 2 1/2 and a set of 15 month old twins. It is such a challenge to find the joy in it all sometimes. You have been such an inspiration to me. Thank you so much for sharing your mother's heart with us. It really is helping those of us out here in the trenches with you.

Kim said...

Praying for you as you *find* the balance in this step of your journey.

I know ALL to well...just how fast time goes!!! Hold them a little tighter....giggle a little more....and enjoy EACH day, as soon you will turn around and they'll be gone.

I enjoy your blog as it brings back MANY memories of when my children were small....and are running the race of motherhood with strength and exellence, displaying fruit of the spirit!!

Embracing my cup said...

I am with you 100%!! I understand the conflict too well. I, too, am praying and making every attempt to relish each of these sweet moments. These are sweet, sweet years - even if they are quite trying at times.

Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

You are saying what every mother feels--these are really hard years, with little ones, but they are also incredibly sweet and worth savoring. There is a lot of inner conflict between wanting to have just five minutes of peace, for Pete's sake!! and relishing each little thing they do.

Good for you for being honest enough to see that, and for knowing that some days are easier to savor than others!