Thursday, February 14, 2013

sometimes a valentine looks like...

My day began with a visit from our family therapist who patiently processes with me my emotions and parenting strategies while bearing with interruptions from Princess Firecracker regarding laptop concerns, Absent Minded Professor complaining about redundant comma worksheets, and Shu having a giant poop.

At the last minute I decided to send the Professor along with Shu to his grandparents for the day.  I thought it would be nice to spend some quality time with Princess Firecracker (whose middle-child-acting-out-ness I'd been discussing with the therapist).

Mid-morning I got a call from Hummus Girl's school; her ear hurt pretty bad and she couldn't decide whether or not to come home, knowing she'd miss the Valentine's Day party.  I let her stay a while, but got called again 30 minutes later to come pick her up.  Poor girl was crying in the office when I arrived.

We went straight to one of those walk-in clinics...and waited...and waited...and waited for over an hour.  Imagine if I'd had one or two more kids with me!!!  Sheesh.  (Giant thanks and love to my in-laws for caring for both boys today.) She was prescribed antibiotics for an ear infection, and then we waited some more for them to fill it.  We passed through a drive-thru on the way home, finally eating lunch at 1:30 p.m.

No.  No, I did not. 

The girls and I played a few games, baked some pre-packaged cookies. I put salmon on the grill for dinner (Dr. Husband's favorite), and just as it was due to come off, Sweet Tea had a massive poop blowout requiring a bath AND my in-laws arrived home with the boys.


Did I mention all four of the other kids are sick too?  Oh yeah.  Like, hacking their lungs out, using up all the tissue, medicinal paraphernalia covering the countertop sick.


It's been about two weeks of this nonsense at my house.  Diarrhea, tantrums, vomit, snot, spelling lists, make up work, staying up too late, waking up too early, baby Zantac, trying to home school, too much need, and not enough of me.

Today, especially, love is on my mind.  The kind of love that wants to quit but doesn't.  The kind of love that lays its life down just like Jesus did.  He did it without his own temper tantrums and pity parties, mind you, but He keeps showing me the way and filling up my love tank so I can empty it again.  Sometimes I feel I am stretched beyond capacity, and it sucks, and I long for the easy, unencumbered life I can barely remember.  Except that life is no more.  I chose a different life.  I know that.

Today love looks like wiping a nose 67 times, bathing a poo-coated baby, waiting for two hours at the "doctor" so my girlie can get back to feeling good, grilling salmon for my husband, slathering said salmon in ketchup (gross) so Hummus Girl will eat it,  investing in my own emotional health for the sake of all of us, reading that &@#* Dora book.  Again.  Breastfeeding.  Making my voice gentle when I'm close to snapping on the inside.  Finding joy so that Dr. Husband is glad to see me when he arrives home.  And a hundred and twelve other choices and self-denials.

From my love.
So that's my valentine...to my family...and to Jesus.  It's not pink and frilly.  There's no lace or frosting or glitter (no. more. glitter!).  It's just me.  Imperfectly loving, serving, not giving up.  Me.




5 comments:

Amy said...

Some days, it's all we can do to just get through. And there's no shame in that. No one can be "on" every single day, day in & day out. We can strive to be, but there will inevitably be "off" days.

You're a good mama- you love them enough to be worried about your parenting abilities (there are some parents who really don't care that much). That's really saying a lot! I hope everyone feels better soon!! And I hope you get back to having some more "on" days! :)

PS. We don't have those minute-clinics in our area :( So, even with your wait (which sucks), I'm still jealous!

themorellis said...

Beautifully put Jerusha. Bless you my sweet friend. Your faithfulness will be rewarded! :)

thewonderfulhappens said...

I hear you, girl. I hear you.

Krissy said...

thanks for helping me remember that - when i said yes to child number 3, i said no to my own personal sanity.

i need to remember such love as well.

beautifully real and authentic.
love you

Kathy Olson said...

I totally understand and get everything you are saying. You are a beautiful mommy and things will get better. You'll look back on these crazy days of sickness, poop, and all the rest and laugh:)