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!