Today has been one of THOSE mama days. The kind that starts with screaming, is filled with screaming, and ends with- you guessed it- more screaming. My toddler is getting 4 teeth in right now and screaming is her go to. She follows me around all day moaning, yelling, and demanding snacks. At about 3pm I tell her, “Emmy girl- I have been hassled enough. You are no longer welcome to hassle me, that time has all run out.” She looks at me, totally offended, when I say this to her, eyes wide, brows furrowed.
I pour some left over coffee into a wine glass as I say this to her and then go outside to water all my plants. By myself. With my coffee. I also pick some ripe strawberries and don’t share them with anyone “BECAUSE I’M AN ADULT, DANGIT. I DO WHAT I WANT.” I say this in my head when I realize that my life is, in fact, run by tiny versions of myself that couldn’t care less about me or my feelings.
The day goes on like this: tons of screaming and somehow everything she walks past is spilled and/or destroyed.
I’ve been thinking about this hilarious interview I saw on facebook the other day. This comedian is on one of my fave TV shows (American Housewife) and I just couldn’t relate more with her sentiments here:
All day while I’ve been getting screamed at I keep thinking, “I HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH!” It helps me laugh it off a bit.
Anyway, around 3pm I start to feel overwhelmed. I can’t really handle a ton of noise all day- I need me some silence. But when Screams McGee is in her truest form, the silence is bleak. And friend, that is a recipe for a disaster in my thoughts- especially when I’m doing the dishes. I start spiraling FAST. Mid spiral, I hear this whisper from the Lord and it stops me in my tracks.
“There will be a day.”
I know exactly what it means- like the weight of it has been plopped in my chest and is somehow playing out before my eyes. I stand there- water pouring out of the kitchen faucet for minutes on end as I see moment after moment flash by in my mind:
There will be a day that my babies are babies no more. When my dishes are clean and my house is empty. When I will get too many minutes to myself and long for the days that all my time was soaked up by their little faces.
There will be a day when my bed will feel too big and my heart will feel too empty. When I will have time for all my projects and long to see tiny shoes strewn across the floor.
There will be a day when I will get a full night’s sleep but will have empty beds in my house. A time when all I have to do is make dinner for two instead of four.
There will be a day that is more full of silence than tiny giggles, echoing emptiness instead of teething screams.
There will be a day when their arms stop reaching for me when they are sleepy or grumpy or sad. A day when they may shut down and want nothing to do with me.
There will be a day when their owies can’t be kissed away and they will look to another to comfort them. A day when they leave our home, the safety we provide, and they will venture out into that big, scary world. Alone. (And it’s safe to say that this will be the last day of my life because when they leave my nest I WILL LITERALLY DIE. Like on the spot, die.)
There will be a day that I watch their daddy hand each one over to another man. A man that I already know will be too young and too eager to whisk her away from us.
There will be a day that everything is in it’s place and I have all the time in the world because my babies are gone.
But today is not that day.
Today I have mess on mess on mess around me. I am surrounded by tiny shoes and dirty socks and for some reason tons of fruit flies.
Today I am being relentlessly followed by a little girl who knows she needs her mama. She reaches her arms up to me, opening and shutting her hands over and over again. “Up, mama.” And I get to scoop her up in my arms. Her whole little self resting on my chest.
Today I am surrounded by so much noise. Screams and shouts and giggles upon giggles. Hearts pouring out to me through words and bursts of sound.
Today I am So. Freaking. Tired. Because I got to hold a little girl when she needed me. And I rocked her peacefully back to sleep.
Today I had to rally to keep my freaking cool. Because I am getting to shape the lives of two precious little girls who are watching my every move. Their eyes ever on me- it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had.
Today I had to be gentle when I really wanted to scream. My sweet girls are tender and we know that that’s a strength to nurture, not a weakness to break.
Today I am surrounded by broken appliances, broken furniture and, well actually like everything is broken in our house right now. But I hear Ella’s sweet voice whisper in my ear, “Mama, we are so rich.” “Rich in love,” I respond as I kiss her cheek. “I’m so glad I get to be your mama.” That makes her shoulder come up to her ear and spreads that smile across her face I Iove so much.
There will be a day when I long for the moments I wish away today. A day when I wish I would have soaked up every smile, every hug.
I turn off the kitchen faucet and scoop Emmy up in my arms. We sit on the couch together and she climbs onto my lap. Suddenly, I start to take her all in. Her light, whispy hair fluttering in the breeze of the fan. Her smooth, curvy cheeks growing with each smile. She looks up at me and giggles as we “quack” to the Sarah & Duck theme song. This moment hanging for eternity in my mama heart: my baby girl letting me hold her close- all smiles. I stare at her for at least twenty minutes straight- just soaking up every last detail I can find.
Suddenly the mess around me starts to fade. My tired-from-the-screams ears hear nothing but her sweet sighs. The weight of exhaustion in my bones seems faint and distant as she giggles, showing off her little underbite grin. “There will be a day” I think to myself. “But today is not that day.”
Sweet mama bear, how precious your work is. Your exhaustion and frustration- they’re justified. Your perseverance anyway- it’s noted and seen. Your sweet babes who watch your every move, it’s not forever. They will grow up and fly away someday because you are dang good at your job. And on that day, you will look back at this day. You will remember the tears and the screams, the exhaustion and the frenzy. And you will wish you could hold their two year old selves on your chest just one more time.
Until that day, I am with you. In the trenches and through the tears. Let’s close our eyes, together, and picture that day that is coming soon. The day that we both long for and dread. Take a breath. Open your eyes. Cheer yourself on. These moments you are living and making each day, they are so fleeting. They will not last forever. And when you feel like you JUST CAN’T EVEN anymore, picture that day.
What a gift Jesus has given us in parenting- a glimpse into His heart, so pure and so raw. The magic you see in your babes He sees in you, friend. And there will be a day when we see Him- face to face. We will tell Him that we loved the little gifts He gave us and that we led those little gifts right back to His heart. He’ll smile at us, taking us all in. And then He’ll embrace us with a hug that will hang for eternity in that Father heart of His. The hug our weary bones have reached for for so long. There will be a day that all of this is tangible reality. And until that day, let’s reach for our screaming babies and growing kids- taking them all in. One messy day at a time.