Monday, January 01, 2007

Sliding into Home

Ahhh, just five or six hours until Brian gets home! Poor guy, getting in so late. He's going to be exhausted tomorrow. Wait a minute! If he's exhausted tomorrow he's going to want to sleep all day and then it'll be just like he isn't here again. Poor me!!! Just kidding!

We had a very nice time at my grandmother's house last night. My brother and his clan creamed my kids and I in Family Fun Cranium, but we did have fun. And they only won because they rolled lots of high numbers and got around the board faster than us. Oh - am I making excuses? Oops! We enjoyed some of my grandma's yummy pie and spent time talking and laughing about things we did when we were kids - stories my kids enjoyed hearing. Everyone stayed up to watch the ball drop in Times Square and then I tucked the kids in and sang to them. As I was saying good night I thought about the many, many times I'd slept in those same beds as a little girl when I spent the night with Grandma. What fond memories!

Though I was planning to save grocery shopping for tomorrow, when I could go alone, somehow my kids managed to talk me into going today and taking them along. The truth is, they wanted to spend more of their Christmas money and I couldn't think of an unselfish reason for saying, "No." We made it through the store without much difficulty, except toward the end Matthew started getting lethargic and complained that his tummy was hurting. I put him in the seat of the grocery cart, figuring that would make him feel better and help us get finished quicker. Both things seemed to occur.
Matthew perked up on the ride home, but stayed in the van once we arrived. Joshua reported that he was playing with the toy gun he'd just bought, pretending to "protect" the van against invaders, and I figured all was well. Silly me. Just a few minutes later Joshua had a different report.
"Mom! Matthew just threw up!"
I went outside to see my sweet little boy straddling a puddle of, well, I can say it, we're all moms, right? It was a puddle of vomit. I stood with him and tried to comfort him as I made sure he was "finished" and then took him inside. After we removed all the soiled clothing, Matthew lay down on the couch and I went out to clean up. I'll tell you what - if kids have to get sick, outside is the place to do it. Two buckets full of water and a broom, and I was done!
So Matthew laid on the couch most of the afternoon, and Elizabeth and Joshua colored in and decorated a poster I had made for Brian that says, "Welcome Home!" When Matthew was up to it, he added his touch and now it's hanging in the dining room, surrounded by lots and lots of balloons. Sure to bring a smile to Brian's face when he stumbles in around 1:30 this morning.
Ahhh, that thought brings a smile to my face.

I received an e-mail from a friend today, who has been following my blog this week. The subject line read, "You made it!" Yes, we did make it. Honestly, the days leading up to this week often found me dreading the thought of Brian leaving. I didn't want to go through the things I knew I'd face as a "solo" parent. I didn't want to take on the extra pressure, listen to the fighting and whining with no one around to give me a break, serve as the sole judge and complaint receiver, or manage the household by myself.
But you know, it's times like this week that cause me to cling to God in ways, and with a frequency, I don't always practice. He uses times like this to remind me of my desperate need for Him. I called out to Him for help. I sang about turning my eyes upon Jesus. He was constantly on my mind as I sought to make it through this week.
And as I tried to remain calm with my children, God showed me things about myself of which He's working to rid me. I asked myself things like, "Why do I get uptight so quickly? Is the yelling and running around really something that needs to stop? Or am I just irritable? Why am I so quick to say, 'No'? Do I need to be more generous with my time?" Lord, sometimes I don't like what I'm going through - the hard times I face. Yet I believe You're using them to make me into the woman You want me to be. And so, I choose to trust You!

This leg of the journey is almost over. I'm glad you joined me for it. My prayer is that God would bless and encourage you, as He has done for me.

4 comments:

lu said...

Congratulations Karen - you made it thru the week! And you are such an encouragement to me as you relied on God's strength each day/moment!

BTW - this is Laura Granger, commenting to you. I've been reading your blog for a while. James had told me you were publishing a book a few months back and I look it up on the web and found your blog page. Thanks so much for sharing your journey of motherhood here for us to read.

Each summer James goes away to camp for a week or sometimes he goes twice in a summer - so I totally relate to your week of single-parenting. I am always so grateful for James' presence when he returns and very sympathetic to those who are single parents full time.

Again congrats and thanks! Happy New Year!

Irritable Mother said...

Hi, Laura. It's great to hear from you!!! Thanks for your kind words. I'm glad you find encouragement here.

Ahhh, yes, love that summer camp. Lucky for me Brian works with grad students now and they have an extended weekend rather than a whole week for camp during the summer...Not like the undergrad days!

Thanks for letting me know you're reading along!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and am enjoying it. I feel the same way when my husband leaves to even go to work. WOW, that sounds pathetic, huh? It is just more fun parenting WITH him. Glad you made it through. OH. And I was glad to read that the vomit didn't occur IN the car. THAT would have been a mess. Glad everything is better.

Irritable Mother said...

Hi, Nicole,
I'm glad you found me!
I remember the first time my husband went to work after my third child was born and I cried and thought, "You aren't leaving me alone with them, are you?" Pathetic!
Ditto on the vomit location!