“Mom? Can you help me tape this?” Twin A. asks.
“Not right now, sweetie. Do the best you can, okay?” I respond, holding a screeching baby with one arm and a basket of dirty laundry in the other. It’s 10:00 and nobody is dressed yet, the baby is as cranky as he’s ever been, and I didn’t get more than two hours of sleep in a row last night. A too-high smoke alarm beeps every three minutes. I think it needs a new battery.
I turn on some music and try to warm the mood in our home, which at the moment teeters somewhere between difficult and total chaos.
I grab baby b.’s cozy blanket and binky, and sit down on the floor to cuddle him. We sing along to the music, and the dark cloud lifts just a little. I manage to help Twin A. with the tape.
“Today is a hard day,” Twin A. tells me. “baby b. won’t stop crying.”
“Yeah,” Twin B. agrees, “it’s giving me a headache.”
“Yes,” I agree, “it is a hard day. Today is a ‘let’s just do the best we can’ kind of day.”
“Lord,” I pray aloud, “be present with us on this hard day. I give you my agenda––the laundry, the sticky floor, the scattered toys, my need for a nap. Please give me your perspective for today.”
The only magic in this prayer happens in my own attitude. Suddenly, it is enough to sit on the floor in my pajamas and simply be with my children.
And now, as I write this a few hours later, the noisy boys are at school, baby b. is napping, and the laundry is in the washer. I left a message with a tall neighbor to ask for his help with my smoke alarm. I can take a nap, scrub the floor and clean up the toys.
I am reminded once again of how much energy I expend trying to avoid hard. I plan ahead and try to make good choices, but sometimes, there’s no avoiding hard. It’s a part of life.