During the week my days start at 6 am. The alarm on my cellphone goes off three times, and I eventually force myself out of my warm bed. Then, I wake my 9th grader up to get ready for school. For the hour she is here in the morning we chat, I nag her about applying too much mascara and not wearing enough clothing, and then she is out the door by 7 am.
Round two begins at 7 am. I wake up my 8th grader, and then my 2nd grader. The younger one usually needs coercing before she finally makes it to the breakfast table. These two are dressed, fed, and out the door by 8 am.
Then, the real fun begins. My 4-year-old is still home with me during the day. He is a ball of energy and loves to talk. Sometimes, more often than I’d like to admit, I get caught up in “getting things done”. I have housework to do, laundry to wash, food to cook, and the list goes on. But this little boy requires his mom’s attention, and he demands it in the form of mid-morning snacks and a five course lunch.
Most of the day is scheduled. We rush around, trying to complete our tasks. I try to get through the grocery store and not forget the one thing that I went in for, all while listening to my little boy tell me the most detailed story about something he watched on Youtube and only half listening to him rambling on and on. And then suddenly, like someone stuck a pin in my thought bubble, I am brought back to the present. The cashier reaches over the counter with a strip of stickers she tore off of her huge roll and smiles at my boy.
“He is such a happy boy, and so well-behaved!”
This person is only encountering a snippet of our day, of our lives. But those words mean so much to me. He is a great child, and it is these exact moments, when we receive compliments from complete strangers, that brings me to peace. It is then that I realize how grateful I am to have such wonderful children.
Of course, earlier in the day I was losing my mind. Begging my child to wait a moment between breakfast and lunch before he ate again. Cursing him when he sharts in his underwear for the 3rd time that day, and has no more clean pairs in his drawer. Scrubbing him down after he decided to get artistic with his sister’s makeup.
There really are so many challenges we face day-to-day in parenthood. Constantly trying to keep our patience while juggling so many other things. But sometimes, it is necessary to take a step back and just appreciate it for what it is. He won’t be four forever. I will miss his little voice calling me mama every five seconds. Because his childhood is just a small snippet of who he will grow up to be.