It’s mid-November and every vision of our school year, every high standard I held myself to as a mother, as their teacher – they are the piles of rubble and dust that I am now climbing over and brushing from the bottom of my bare feet.
I sat down this morning to write out a list. People like lists. I like lists. They are those neat little bullet points that tie us all together. Oh,look, number twelve! She secretly throws away her chidlrens artwork after they go to sleep. I do that too!
In the midst of the busyness of my life, lists are an easy way for me to process things. After this particularly stellar week, I sat down and typed out: The Ten Ways I Am Failing. (It could actually become a weekly top 10, come to think it.)
But, really, most of you know by now that I am admittedly far from perfect (as described in detail here, here, here and how could I ever forget, here) and that the best I even strive for nowadays is perfectly imperfect.
And so I deleted it.
Yelled so hard that I shook my very soul. – Delete.
Let Evie eat candy (from her brother’s Halloween stash) because it kept her occupied long enough for me to get things done. - Delete.
Left co-op project until very last minute and had husband do it with the kids because I had no time or energy. – Delete.
Shopped for and packed about a dozen Operation Shoe Box boxes, and left them where Evie could reach (re: destroy) them. - Delete
School consisted primarily of episodes of Popular Mechanics for Kids, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Liberty’s Kids. - Delete.
The state of my house… - Delete
Just… – Delete
Ugh. – Delete
Delete. Delete. Delete.
What I am left with is this – it’s Friday and we are all still here.
My children chose special toys and notebooks and gifts to give for those shoe boxes – Keep.
My husband, who loves me, washed every single piece of laundry in our house - Keep.
Alex made eggs for his siblings for breakfast this morning. – Keep.
Asher learned 5+4=9 and wrote out the word L I S T on his own, on the top of my grocery list. - Keep (and never mind that the grocery list got lost in the backseat of the minivan and did not get used or adhered to upon shopping.)
I had a phone call on my way home from Alex’s drama class last night. It was from a friend who has no children, but a job in which she works with particularly troubled families.
She just called after a hard day for her at work, to tell me I’m doing a good job. She has no idea the week that we’ve had here, the way I actually felt my teeth shake with that one wretched bellow (over lost school projects) or that my daughter has eaten more sugar in two days than she has the whole rest of the year combined.
You are doing a good job.
(And thank you, times a million.)