Some days threaten to ambush you before you have time to rub the crust out of your eyelids. Even if you sneak out of bed, fueled by good intentions to “start this one off right” with prayer and silence and meditation, the floorboards or cooling sheets betray you to the baby and next thing you know, the toddlers are begging for a pre-breakfast snack and the teenager needs help on a science project.
The sun hasn’t even risen yet but Day swaggers toward you like a bully ready to steal your peace of mind that you so carefully packed in a bright yellow lunchbox. So putting on courage and self-sacrifice like an oversized, ill-fitting shirt, you face him. Unprepared and maybe even holding a bottle of bitterness that you know to be contraband, you face him. But you face him.
And you have to magnify the tiniest of good things to keep your feet forward and your cowardice and self-pity from lording your instincts. Look there: two juncos flirting on bare February tree branches, flitter, hop— Day brings nothing but a new beginning for them. And here, a four-year old who braved the threat of a mother’s unfair rebuke and tentatively snuck under the corner of her lap blanket to read “The Human Body Encyclopedia” oh so quietly while she types this.
The low fog distilling the buzz of the city.
The hint of coffee in the kitchen air.
The sciatica that surrendered overnight.
A clean counter.
The opposite of so many’s emptiness that hangs like a noose around their neck. A fullness so full, it’s only my heart that is still learning how to stretch enough to contain it, to love it, to live it.
An abundance of love and mercy that will defend me against the enemy, even if my eyes are still too crusted over to recognize it.
Beautiful! Thank you!
This was a beautiful salve after a very long and hard day. Your writing is incredibly poignant and wonderful to read. I discovered your blog when either Catholic All Year or Mama Loves Coffee shared your Large Family Manifesto post. Beautifully written. We only have four and hear no end of how it’s too many, even though none of our siblings have children. Your post When your child isn’t typical is what’s kept me coming back. My eldest has Tourette’s and ADHD. Days are long and noisy, and most end with me feeling utterly defeated. Although most of it is probably due to my stamping my feet and saying no! This isn’t the path I want to walk. Yet, always forgetting that this is the path I’m called to walk.
Thank you for this comment. So many of us mothers are battling that feeling of utter defeat; it’s so important to not let that define us. Each day is new. And I for one, am so thankful that I KNOW the reality of God’s mercy and love even (and especially) when I don’t FEEL it. Keep your hand to the plow sister… saying a prayer for you today!
This was beautiful, Ellie.