We've been busy, and tired, and mostly happy.
We got mostly well and now Greystoke is sick again. and The Dude has another ear infection, and after 3 months of wheezing, he's finally on allergy medication and round the clock albuterol when he cooperates. Which isn't often.
This is the 2nd day of spring break, and it's already been an adventure. The two older boys have been playing together a little better lately. Aquaman is, every so often, able to love his brother more than his toys. The Dude has lost a touch of his 3 year old orneries.
Yesterday when I commented to The Dude that he had been listening and following directions really well the past couple of days, he shrugged and said "I just hear what you say, and I just want to do it." Then he dashed away, in his characteristic gallop-swagger, leaving me with my mouth hanging open.
Truly, I've been feeling somewhat unaccomplished lately. Nothing is ever done, and there is no meter to measure exactly how I am doing from day to day. Instead of doing a job until it is complete now, I have found that I simply have to set a time limit for each activity. I clean until my time is up, and then I play, or oooh and ahh over Aqauman's video game feat (one of his friends at school showed him a game on an educational website and he has become addicted.), or read a book to The Dude, while he tumbles around me, or roll the ball to Greystoke.
Poor sick-eyed Greystoke.
But yesterday as I cradled Greystoke in my arms as his temperature spiked to 104, and the 2 older boys splashed in the blackest mud out in the backyard, I wondered to myself how I was doing, and I realized I was doing ok.
Because when I tuck the boys in tonight, they'll be a little bigger, a little stronger, a little smarter, and they will know that they are loved. Even though I have been letting them watch movies as they fall asleep, just to be able to put them to bed just a little bit earlier so I have at least a couple minutes for adult interaction with the only boy of mine I get to keep.
"Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."
-St Francis of Assisi
Sometimes at the end of the day, I wonder if I ministered to them enough. Did I teach them as much as I could have today? Am I pointing them in the right direction?
Lately, it's been hard to get everyone to hold still very long at the same time, and sometimes our lessons are fleeting.
But really, that's not the only way we preach the gospel.
Last Sunday morning when I woke up, there were fire ants in our house. They found their way in from the backyard, and were swarming in between the area rugs where, yes, some crumbs had escaped. I had a few minutes with just the baby and a steaming cup of coffee when I found them. The other 2 were completely silent, and this might be the only quiet moment I had to pray all day. But the fire ants.
And I stood there feeling anxious and stressed because everything seemed like it was falling apart. And then I just sat down in an area that didn't have any ants. And I read my Bible and drank my coffee, and kept my baby from being bitten, and I thought to myself...I'm not that great at a lot of things. Sometimes I run into people with 3 kids or more and they just shrug their shoulders like it's no big thing, and I imagine how ant free and crumb-less their houses are, and that's not me. I'm just barely remembering the inhalers and struggling to calm the fevers, and there are crumbs and ants in my house.
But not everyone can just sit down and pray and talk to God when their house is filled with ants and crumbs either, and that's what God told me. And he led me right to a verse that talked about how we shouldn't fear "the pestilence" which, I'm pretty sure fire ants and roseola count as pestilence.
And I just felt peace and laughter washing over. And I stopped looking down at those ants, and when my boys woke up, I just looked at them instead. And then I looked up online how spray bottles with soapy water will kill the ants, and I bought one for each boy and they went on ant hunts while I was putting Greystoke down for his nap.
And I sprayed the ant hills outside, and now they're gone.
And they'll be back, like the coughs and fevers are always back. But none of those things can steal my peace every time, and so maybe...just maybe...even if my boys all have the wildest of ADHD I'm an ok mom to them after all.