Going Through the Motions
I had an activity booked every morning of last week, which meant that I was racing to get myself ready along with the kids each morning before we left to drop the first one at kindergarten at 7:45am. Now, that is no small feat, my friends. This means that I was not only getting three children fed, dressed, and convinced to brush their hair and teeth, I was also getting myself showered and looking presentable most of those mornings. Yeah, yeah, we all have to do it, and maybe I'm just not as good at it as some of you all are, but, whoa, my mornings certainly did not start out with calmness, prayer, and quiet last week.
I committed myself to making some food to show appreciation for our teachers...I did this partly because I think that teachers have the hardest job in the entire world, but I also did this because I thought that people probably expected me to sign up for something. Here's the problem...I wrote it down for the wrong day, so rather than planning something super special for the teachers, I found myself scurrying around at the last minute to find something in my pantry to get together for these awesome folks. I landed on Deviled Eggs. I LOVE deviled eggs, so I'm not upset at my choice, but I am upset that I was not prepared and that my heart was not in the right place while preparing these eggs for some of the most important people my kids see everyday.
Moving on to the kindergarten musical...we ended up racing home from swim practice and throwing the kids in their clothes and tossing the baby off to the babysitter before racing to the PTA meeting that would be followed by the musical. I honestly couldn't tell you one thing that happened at that PTA meeting. It probably wouldn't have mattered what they asked me to vote for or against because I was distracted by my four year old who was hungry, squirmy, and trying to sit still for the half hour meeting before watching his brother perform. The musical was adorable and totally worth sitting through the meeting for; but, again, my heart and my head were removed from where they needed to be, which was listening to the PTA leaders speak about our school's future.
Then there was the preschool Easter egg hunt. The kids had so much fun...well, at least the older two had fun...the baby was too busy pulling her straw out of her juicebox and screaming when she tried to put it back in to hunt any eggs. Honestly, the whole event was not fun for me because the "screamer" just makes things difficult when she starts one of her tantrums (she's 18 months old, so it's fine, and it will end, but it's really ear piercing and brutal). Egg hunts never last long, so the effort to get kids there and make sure they get their correct number of eggs, are good sports during the hunt, and put their eggs back together at the end is just a lot. I know, I sound like a spoilsport, and I truly wish that I could've seen this afternoon through my children's eyes; unfortunately, this tired mama couldn't get my head there that day.
Also, my hubby left for the Boston Marathon to cheer on his dad (who finished in 3:53 at 65 years old BTW!!)...his second marathon ever (for those of y'all who don't know, that means he qualified for Boston during his first attempt which is just amazing). Day one flying solo was good. The kids were little angels all day, which was key since I had a lot of cooking/baking to do for Easter brunch. They played sweetly together, they were kind, they were polite, and they were blowing me away with how easy they were all being. I was able to finish a Squash Casserole, some Peanut Butter Chocolate Bites, and some Mini Lemon Tarts all in one swoop. This day qualifies as the great success of the week. We were set for an awesome Easter filled with church, friends, more egg hunts, and family.
Easter morning approached. I was a disaster, my kids were a disaster, and I was by myself trying to get us all to church and in our seats by 9am. One child didn't want to wear the coat that went to his seersucker suit, my daughter's dress needed the hem let out and needed to be pressed, one child got peanut butter on his shirt, and my zipper got stuck on my dress all before 8:30am. We got to church, got the baby settled in the nursery, and I took my older two to the contemporary service. I sincerely tried to get my heart in the right place and to pay attention amidst the wiggling, the "I'm THIRSTY"'s, and the "Can I have a blue crayon?" during the prayer, but alas my mind was focused on my two little boys. I left feeling accomplished in having gotten my kids all dressed, looking cute, and to church on time, but I also left feeling sad that I completely missed the message of Easter amidst my own distractions.
Soccer practice/game on the last night my hubby was away was the icing on the cake. It consisted of one child crying at the end because he missed his last goal...he was inconsolable when we got home. My other child was dog piling his other 4 year old teammates on the sidelines while they were waiting to be called in...he may or may not have jumped on another child with his cleats. And the "screamer" was all over the place and OVER IT...soccer practice ends 15 minutes after her bedtime. Another early night for us at the Lawson house. I did actually make a reasonable, delicious dinner that night (Chipotle Lime Chicken Tacos). This was not me trying to be super mom. This was simply me being selfish. I just didn't want to eat another sandwich or cheese and crackers. I certainly wasn't pouring my love for my children and my heart and soul into this meal like I do every other night. ;)
All of that to say, I went through the motions last week. I went through the motions everywhere I needed to be. I was dressed appropriately, but not perfectly; I had a smile on my face, but probably not as often as I usually do; I had my three precious kiddos dressed (sometimes with food all down their shirts) with teeth and hair brushed (not coiffed the way it normally is) and always in tow. I went through the motions. That is it. I didn't change the world or make anyone else's day better. I didn't strengthen my faith or minister to the hearts of my three little ones the way that I had planned to. I didn't have my laundry done or my house picked up. I didn't post five dinners on this blog. I didn't offer to host Easter brunch. I went through the motions. That was all I could muster last week. And, you know what? That was fine. We can't all be "on" all of the time. We would wear ourselves ragged. We can't all be perfect and polished and pouring out goodness at all times. We shouldn't try to be. Sometimes, we just survive. We go through the motions for our kids. We go through the motions for our families. We go through the motions for ourselves because what else are we going to do?
This week, I am back. My husband is back. My attitude is back. This week can be my Holy Week. This week can be my re-do. This week I can work on being my best rather than just getting through the day. This time it took me a week to get back on track, but that's not always the case. Sometimes, real "life" gets to you. You lose someone, you lose a job, you lose control, you lose yourself. Your children get sick, your parents get sick, you just get sick and tired. You can't seem to get it together. All you can do is go through the motions. The thing about going through the motions though is that, eventually, maybe a ways down the road, you'll get back on track. You'll be okay. We will all be okay. We don't have to be perfect, but we can't run away and hide. We have to go through the motions, make it through the day, through the week, through life. Some days are harder than others, but, through it all, we have to be true to ourselves, we have to show up for ourselves and the people we love, and we have to get through this crazy life together.