somedays.. I just want to give up. i want to throw a temper tantrum and stomp my feet and .. i want to scream NO!!!.. i didn’t plan for this..i didn’t want a passel of kids, i had two and i was good with that. i volunteered with other kids, i was good and wonderful in my realms of Girl Scouts and school and church.. i was really really looking forward to my time being my own. .. i had plans that included taking care of myself and being selfish, now all i want is to breathe in and out without having five hundred things to do at the same time. i’m just a little tired of it all.. tired of the whining and the arguing, and the bedwetting, and the bills and the mac-n-cheese… i want to go read a book without a million questions, i want to eat a meal that is healthy and yummy and stupid expensive all at the same time. i want to be a sloth and not have to set a good example. i want to skip church, wander through a book store and just enjoy the peace and quiet of a snow day without screaming, fighting, crying children. i want to have a day where i don’t have to worry that i’m being too mean, that my husband will give up on these boys with all their middle school angst. i want to snuggle with my son and not feel guilty about not snuggling with the three littles too.. i want to snuggle with one of the littles without feeling guilty about not snuggling with my son.. i want to be done …. i want to just take my ball and go home and not play this game anymore.
and then… i breathe and I stop.
and then. .. I look at Facebook and realize that I have it easier than a friend who has a pre-teen battling a rare genetic mutation that is slowly robbing her muscles of mass. I see a dear friend whose husband abandoned her because she is sick. I see the sad postings of friends and loved ones battling illness, death, divorce and I realize its not so hard. My life is chaos but my life is blessed.
And then I have a sleepover birthday party for my nine-year old granddaughter (and NINE of her closest friends), complete with American Girl dolls and crafts and GLITTER.. sooooo much glitter. and we miraculously had no fighting, and lots and lots of giggling and joy and happiness. And it renewed me. And it reminded me I would never have known all these little girls if it hadn’t been for grandgirl. I wouldn’t get to see my grandsons grow as young men and choose to attend a friend’s Eagle Scout ceremony rather than go earn three other merit badges they need for rank, because they said it was more important to show support for good work than to get ahead themselves. Maybe if it hadn’t been for these kids.. I wouldn’t force my son to come out of his room and interact and set a good example.. maybe I wouldn’t make sure I made time for him. (after all a 16 year old boy can be pretty reclusive) maybe as a family we would have grown apart without all the crazy activities to go to/go through.. Without the struggle to bring us closer, bond us as a family, the empty nest may have sent me into deep deep despair. .. God put me on a path for a reason. HE put the kids in my life for a reason.
and then …I remember how the children who came with diagnosis of PTSD, Anxiety, Depression and ADHD are now off meds and now stable. The children who saw unimaginable horror look at snow and squeal with joy. The children who bounced from school to school now are very close to honor-roll. How can I be grumpy and selfish when I have had it so easy. How can I be ugly to children who once slept in a van because their mother was too addicted to make a home? How can I be selfish when they thank me for every meal I provide (even Tuna Fish Surprise! ) These amazing creatures were a gift from GOD, they were given to me to show how deeply I can love, how much compassion He has given me and HE has shown me I can go for many nights without sleep. 🙂 Through these children, he has shown me how much I can love and learn.
So, I suck it up.. .throw my self a quick little pity party.. eat a box of Thin Mints and then go along my merry way. Being a parent is hard, parenting a child whose parents have either abandoned or been unable to care for them is REALLY HARD.. I never thought I would have to do it. I didn’t know I could do it.. and in the grand scheme of life I do ok. These kids are good kids. they may lie about stupid stuff and leave laundry on the floor, but they aren’t on drugs, the are in Scouts and sports and with a little nagging and a LOOOOT of parent/teacher communication they do alright in school. I have to admit that much of this is inherent.. I’m a decent role model, but I was really blessed with nice extra kids to raise. and a wonderfully strong community to support me. it could have been much much worse.
When all is said and done, sometimes, I still need a break, I will allow myself a breakdown or two (when the washer dies, or a bill comes up suddenly that takes the lovely little bit of savings that we tucked away after taxes were done) .. I can be gentler with myself after long nights, but above all, after I throw my temper tantrum and kick and scream about how UNFAIR MY SAAAAAAD LIFE ISSS… I am pretty damn blessed and I need to Thank God just as loudly for all the wonder and joy and beauty he has put into my life.