Today was a stressful day. Not the first and certainly not the last, but so obviously frustrating for us all, that it needed a moment in space to be acknowledged and respected. Today it was hard to be 4, hard to be 2, and certainly hard to be new! Today, being 34 didn’t seem nearly old enough to be in charge of all that was occurring. It was the kind of day where everyone talked and nobody listened. The kind where meeting everyone’s needs and desires seemed next to impossible. Where requests were abundant and help was scarce. The kind of day where speaking nicely achieved little and despite my most sincere efforts my negotiations became loud commands. It was the kind of day that felt as though it was running its own course with no regard for us. And all of a sudden, in the peak of my frustration, there was a pause.

I remembered. I remembered that despite the overwhelming emotions that I was feeling in response to the chaos that was ensuing, that this was not going to last. This was a moment in time in itself. And in this instant acknowledgement I knew that I was not going to forever be covered in spit-up. That I would not always sport a sweatpants uniform (covered in other people’s food) decorated by the dark circles under my sleepless eyes. The sink would not always be full of dishes I couldn’t wash, and the laundry wouldn’t be forever beckoning me. I knew that glitter would not always grace the carpet and that small plastic jewels would not be embedded in the couch. There will be a time when I won’t step on shards of crayons or have to peel stickers off of walls and appliances. There will come a day when I will have time to eat time accurate meals, sitting, maybe even at a table. When I won’t be someone’s direct source of nourishment. One day I won’t have to spell words or sensor the television. Some day I will be able to talk on the phone. One day, I won’t have to rock someone to sleep (except perhaps myself). And when that day comes, I suspect that despite the relief from those stressors, I will feel a mix of emotions, among them great sadness knowing that my darlings are grown. I imagine that I will not look back with regret on the sacrifices, and if asked, like so many other moms I’ve heard say, I’ll tearfully reply along the lines of, “I’d do it all over in a heartbeat.”

I have my own memory of an exchange with my mom at some point during my teens. In response to her asking me to complete some domestic task which in my angst I did not desire to do, I remember telling her that one day, the house will be clean and everything will be put away because we won’t be there. I didn’t say it to be hurtful or in a dismayed tone, just stated a fact. Both my mother and I remember that conversation vividly because of the truth that it held. It seems that those ‘messes’ which most frustrate and stress us are the blueprints of our lives and the essence of those who share that life with us.

It’s near impossible to think of the grand scheme in the moment. To remember that everything passes, and that time doesn’t stop, not during the hardest moments or the grandest. But some days, in the peak of our frustration, we get this gift, and there is a pause. I recommend breathing…and remembering…that everything other than your darlings…can just wait.

{note to self}