Yep it’s been a doozy
It’s my birthday today. I’ve been blessed with twenty nine years of wonderful life. And it’s been a great and wonderful and beautiful day.
Only it didn’t start that way. In fact, it started quite the opposite. Let me go back to this early (early early) this morning.
It’s 5am and I’m awakened by a piercing yell of my dear little Noah. At first I roll over and try to ignore. Wrapped up in a happy dream of beaches and waves on the shore. Maybe Nick will get up with him, I think. But then I realize that Nick’s not home. And not going to be home again for quite awhile. I feel sadness as the realization of his absence hits me. And even sadder as the yelling doesn’t stop for the room next door. And sadder still when I remember today is supposed to be a special day. It’s my birthday.
I stumble out of bed to check on Noah, soothe him back to sleep, and tip toe out of his room, just hoping that I’ll be able to catch a few more minutes of shut eye before my alarm goes off at 6.
But I can’t sleep. I want to, but I’m stuck in the tossing turning almost awake, but almost asleep state of unrestful rest. My one year old keeps squawking now and then too, so each time I drift off, I’m awoken again. Finally I just get up.
As Noah smacks away on his morning bottle, I pull out my bible and try to get a few moments of quiet devotion in before the other boys wake up. But I’m cranky now too. And struggling to be grateful and focused in my prayer and reading time. And before I really get anywhere with my reading, I hear the other two boys wake up and not two pleasant words were exchanged between them before the fighting began.
Sigh oh sigh sigh sigh.
It’s my birthday. Can’t we all just get along? And be happy all day?
Josh woke up on the wrong side of bed. He realized a toy wasn’t in his bed, and worse, he found it in Isaiah’s hands. Whining and fighting, followed by more fighting and whining. Josh cannot get it together. Every word from his mouth is filled with rebellion and contrariness. My sweet and tenderhearted boy struck with a case of Mr Grumpy’s. And the hardest part? Disciplining consistently and training kids to obey regardless of how they feel, to follow God’s commands whether we feel like it or not. Whether we miss daddy or not. Whether we got enough sleep or not. Whether we have the prized toy or not.
So while I’m dishing out discipline right and left, Noah is playing with my cell phone and calls far and distant friends in far and distant time zones, and I begin receiving worried phone calls from elderly friends and formers pastors, “I got 3 calls from your number early this morning, is every thing okay?? We’ve been worried”
Meanwhile, Isaiah dumps out several board games and all their pieces in his bed, and then while trying to recover a lost cherry from Hi-Ho-Cheerio, he rips a page of his favorite book and dissolved into traumatized tears.
And what do I do? Oh competent accomplished sophisticated mother that I am?
I just sit down on the floor and laugh. I laughed and laughed and laughed. The boys said, “Mom!?!?!? What are you laughing for?” and between guffaws and giggles, I say, “It’s either laughing or crying, Guys!!”
And it was. Cause oh boy, I could have cried up a storm. It’s my birthday and my husband just left. It’s my birthday and there’s no birthday greetings whispered in my ear first thing this morning. There are no birthday kisses left on my lips. And it’s Labor day, and there’s no special packages or cards or boxes waiting to be delivered by a mailman on a National holiday. No mail at all. No Fed Ex or UPS either. It’s my birthday, and my kids aren’t old enough to bake me a cake, or buy and wrap gifts. It’s my birthday. My 29th birthday. My last birthday in my 20’s. Oh boy, it really really was LAUGH. Or CRY.
But I was able to laugh. God gave me the grace, the joy, the love, the patience… to laugh. To laugh at my boys. And life. And my situation. Oh and a merry heart makes good like medicine.
It was just what I needed too, because as we headed to the breakfast table, the meltdowns continued. Josh had to be excused from the table 3 times because he couldn’t keep it together (literally crying over spilled milk). I found myself waiting and wishing for Nick to call, knowing that he would try so hard to call on my birthday. Only to go grab my phone and realize that he had called. Twice.
AND MY SILLY PHONE WAS ON VIBRATE so I didn’t hear it and didn’t get it and totally missed my one opportunity to talk with my hubby.
Sigh. Major big-time. I shed a few tears over this one, I admit. Nuts!!
We finish breakfast and devotions and I load the dishes into the dishwasher, with my trusty Noah helper (and dishwasher unloader) by my side. And then I hear it. Gail's of glee from the back of the house. I head back to check on my boys, who had literally been left alone for 5 minutes, and find my bedroom door closed. Sigh.
I open the door to see two little naked boys jumping on my bed. “Where are your clothes?,” I ask. “We took them off, and put them in a pile, and then peed on them!!!” is the cheerful response.
And I laugh. I laugh so hard, so long, so purely and blissfully, I almost had to add my clothes to the pile of peed on laundry.
Oh what a morning. Not the birthday morning, I’d anticipated, but as my mom suggested, a very very memorable birthday in birthday history.
The rest of the day went (relatively) smoothly from there, and was filled with phonecalls and texts and emails and Facebook posts that delighted my heart all day. And as I was going down the grocery store aisles this afternoon, I wished out loud that Nick would be able to call again. No sooner had the words left my lips, when my phone rang. And it was Nick. And were able to talk for a few minutes before we hurried off to soccer practice.
Then tonight, a handful of girlfriends came over and cheered my spirits so completely, I can’t even express. We fellowshipped long and freely and enjoyably. And we ate birthday cake like crazy. I was showered with love and gifts and made to feel so special.
And here at the end of the day, I’m truly able to look back on the days events and praise God for every moment of it. And even more so, to remember the past twenty nine years that I’ve enjoyed and to say, God is good. The ups and downs, the joys and trials, the good, the bad, the ugly. God is good.