Dear husband, please don’t take it personally. When you get home, later than you thought might I add, and I don’t- can’t- greet you in the way you might imagine your homecoming to be, it’s not because of you, really. When you are walking in the door, right as I yawn at the kitchen counter, trying to rally the energy to make dinner, please know it’s not about you.
Husband, when I had planned to make pork chops, baked potatoes and a salad for dinner and what we ended up with were chocolate chip pancakes, please know that I tried today, I really did. Pancakes were my capacity today, it was the best I could do. Please notice that I at least made them in the shape of Mickey Mouse.
When you walk in the door, and all three of us are in pajamas of some fashion and you ask “Is she in her pajamas because you got her ready for bed extra early or… was this from… earlier?” please, I ask you not to judge us for our state of affairs. I shower most days, I do. Today was just not one of those days.
Today was one of the days that holds All Of The Things. Every single one. We didn’t sleep last night and then they screamed at each other and then they screamed at me and I took deep breaths and walked out of the room to eat nutella by myself in the kitchen. And right after that they played chase and then they dressed up in princess dresses and then they twirled. And the littlest is perfecting the art of walking backwards and pride cascades down her body as she shows off her skill. And the oldest is learning how to draw and the fridge is covered with her art. And they hold hands and they spin and my heart is about to explode. And then they tackle and scream and I am a referee once again. Their moods and their emotions and their bodies fly around like a kite in a storm and it is my role to keep them grounded.
And so husband, when you walk in the door and my hair is in a top-knot and it looks like we had a day, it is because we did. If it looks like I don’t have anything more to give, it is because I don’t. Please know that I tried.
Because all day long I shifted into role after role after role and I am tired. I have learned that being a mama forces you into adaptability whether you like it or not, whether you are tired or not, whether you are ready for it or not. We’re not adaptable because we like to morph from referee to chef to preschool teacher to counselor to janitor to wife to consoler to round-the-clock nurse to midnight-back-rubber and monster-chaser to referee all over again. We adapt because it’s what is required of us and we grow into what the moment demands.
We’re adaptable because when faced with something difficult, you do what you have to do to survive the moment and be what you need to be to help train these little people how to live and how to love in this world.
And so I become what they need me to be in any given moment. I am like a bridge covering the canyon of our days, helping them make their way across, flexing and wobbling as we navigate this uncharted territory. Because really, that is what it is, right? Uncharted territory each and every day. I’m not ever sure I really know exactly what I’m doing and if I ever do it’s only because I’m faking it confidently.
But see, here’s the thing about a bridge. It can shift and flex and carry the weight that it needs to in any given moment. We might bend but we don’t break. We might be stretched but we don’t shatter. They walk on us as they learn their way through this world but that’s okay because we have a strength that they don’t have yet. They need to borrow ours until they discover their own.
So husband, I appreciate your look of concern, really I do. I thank you for wanting to make my days easier. But really, know that I am fine. These days, they shift and flex and so we shift and flex depending on the needs of the moment. Sometimes that involves chocolate and grace and reminding to do it better next time and sometimes that involves sheer delight and joy and it is light and easy. And so we do these moments and we are their bridge from one day to the next and one feeling to the next. They fly through the air and we keep them grounded and we feel all of the things.
One more thing about a bridge, though? In order for it to work, it must be anchored to something. Something stronger, something immovable, something unchanging.
We have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
2 Corinthians 4:7
So friends, as we do these heavy and busy and demanding and light days that contain all of the things, lets be their bridge and lets become what they need to cross through their unknown and sometimes scary days. But lets never become so sure of our own strength that we try to do these days on our own. Because that is when we will break, that is when we will shatter. So lets continually seek this great power that is not from ourselves and that is how we will adapt and be strong and become what our kiddos need us to be.