Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mama's Done Lost It

I submitted my last paper of the semester with over twelve hours to go before the deadline.  Patting myself on the back for that one... but almost lost my mind in the process. And did slightly lose my temper.  Ok, more than slightly...

The law of motherhood goes like this: If you have something important to do, your child will inevitably want to do something else.  At the same time. Right then.

And will throw up in your face how you never want to do anything with them, and how they are just trying to get into the Christmas spirit, and you become so angry you might just explode, because you REALLY need to concentrate on a reference page because you are awful at APA...

At least that is how it is at my house. 

And every word he said was the truth.  He is just a kid.  He is in the Christmas spirit, and it was, in fact, a true tragedy to him that his Christmas tree lights were not working.  And yes, they needed to be fixed RIGHT THEN... because it is a law that Christmas tree lights have to work.  At least to an 11 year old. (And maybe to a 34 year old, who had the same.  exact. argument.  last Tuesday when her beloved red and blue lights no longer lit up.  Ah, the Christmas ornament doesn't fall far from the tree...) As important as getting that last paper finished.. well, that's how important that Christmas tree was to him.

Shame on you, Mommy, for not understanding that until after the fact.

I am far from the perfect mother.  I rely heavily on my in-laws and my  parents to help shuttle Caleb home from school and to events and for nearly everything else.  He is well loved by a core group of people, who I know would go to the end of the world and back to make sure he is well cared for as his Dad coaches and I work and go to school.  I'm not sure how I could ever repay them for all they do for  him, except just love them and thank them.  I hope that even though I don't say it enough, they know just  how much I appreciate them.

I also struggle with feeling guilty because I do spend so much time on this daggone computer.  However, I want Caleb to understand that nothing in life is free and that hard work and dedication does pay off. 

But how do you balance?  How do you somehow fit it all in?  I have examined my priorities and am really trying to do better... but it all comes down to patience, which I have little of.  And making time...

Which you can't really make. 

I think about each holiday that I spend with my grandparents, who are all in their eighties.  I cherish that time, and want Caleb to cherish it, as well... special days full of special memories.  But today, as I sit  here on this couch and ponder my bad attitude, as I watch the ice on the trees melt and the cold rain drizzle down, I realize this...

Today is my only today.  This hour, this minute... it's the last time I'll have it.  Yes, my grandparents aren't promised tomorrow, but neither am I.  Neither is Caleb.  None of us are... our lives are but vapors. 

So our job, our responsibility, our purpose, if you will, isn't about preparing for tomorrow or working toward some pie in the sky dream.  Yes, there is a time and place for that, and I really feel like this doctorate is something I'm supposed to be pursuing, and an example that I need to set for Caleb.

But it is also my purpose to make memories from the mundane, to demonstrate a teachable spirit... to linger in the moment.  Even if it is unscrewing each and every Christmas light.  (Which, by the way did not work.  Thank God for Wallace knowing where a spare set of Christmas lights was.  And the tragedy of MY Christmas tree lights is a whole other story... but that man, even in his impatience, puts up with a lot over Christmas lights.>) .........

So, for now, I'm going to relish in the quiet of this house as Caleb is off with my Dad, on a beaver dam adventure.  And when he gets back, we are going to bake cookies (yes, Caleb.  We will even eat cookies that your Mama bakes.) We may watch a  little TV, or maybe read a little, or perhaps I can get him to work on his speech for Wednesday. 

But I'm going to cherish it.  He won't be eleven forever, good Lord willin".  And twenty years down the road, I won't remember how to write a paper, but I sure will remember that smile.

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